When we meet people and they learn about our business, there are a few questions we are pretty much guaranteed to hear about functional mushrooms. One of the most common ones is: “Are mushrooms good for you?” Or “is it true that mushrooms are good for you?”
It’ll come as no surprise to our most loyal readers that our answers are always: yes and yes! Mushrooms are good for you – and they’re also good for the planet. Mushrooms have been used to support overall health and well-being (as well as specific areas) for centuries.* Keep reading for a more in-depth answer to the question “Are mushrooms good for you?”
Are Mushrooms Good for You?
Sure are! Let’s count out the reasons why. Feel free to also do your own research to find out the amazing health benefits of mushrooms. Consider this an ode to ‘shrooms!
1. Mushrooms are adaptogens.*
Adaptogens are a category of herbs (including mushrooms) that give your adrenal glands some targeted support and love.* While all mushrooms have some adaptogenic qualities, certain ones are better known for being adaptogens. This group of herbs promotes a balanced response to physical or emotional stress – and they also can promote stamina, energy and endurance.*
Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) and Cordyceps (Cordyceps militaris) are the mushrooms best known for being adaptogens.*
2. Mushrooms support your immune system.*
When answering the question “are mushrooms good for you?” one aspect of health usually gets mentioned first. You’ve likely read about beta-glucans on our site. These are a unique type of complex carbohydrates found in mushrooms.
Research shows that beta-glucans support the immune system, including your immune cells, and healthy cell turnover and growth.* Certain mushrooms also have unique polysaccharides, such as the lentinan found in Shiitakes or PSK in Turkey Tails (Trametes versicolor.
But beta-glucans are found in all mushrooms, and these are the bioactive compounds that support immune health.*
3. Mushrooms can promote calm – but they can also promote healthy energy.*
Mushrooms are both yin and yang in many ways. Reishi and Cordyceps are the ones known for their adaptogenic qualities, but they offer support in different ways.*
Cordyceps is popular among athletes for its ability to support healthy stamina and energy levels… all the way down to the cellular level.* Reishi is known to support your body’s natural stress response, and it’s a restorative mushroom that’s long been used for healthy sleep and relaxation.*
4. Mushrooms can support brain health.*
Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus) is our top pick for the brain, offering nourishment while also supporting the production of nerve growth factor.* Beyond that, both Tremella and Poria Cocos have traditionally been used to promote nervous system health and helps with mild memory loss associated with aging.*
5. Mushrooms can offer support for women’s health.*
Meshima (Phellinus linteus) is a lesser-known mushroom that looks like a black hoof (and it sometimes called that). It is traditionally used to support women's health, plus immune function and cellular health.*
6. Mushrooms can promote healthy sleep.*
Reishi is perhaps the best-known mushroom to support healthy sleep.* But there’s one more mushrooms that does the same.
Poria Cocos (Wolfiporia extensa), which interestingly enough grows underground like a potato or radish, is traditionally used to promote healthy sleep.* This mushroom also supports normal and healthy hydration levels, nervous system health and memory, and normal stomach function.*
7. Mushrooms contain plenty of vitamins.
Most sources of vitamin D are animal products, but mushrooms are also a source of this fat-soluble vitamin. Vitamin D is essential for humans, which means we can’t live without it but our bodies can’t make it on their own. Mushrooms — including Shiitake — are a source of vitamin D, especially if they are exposed to UV light from the sun. Mushrooms also provide many B vitamins! Are mushrooms good for you and your diet? Yes!
8. Mushrooms can also promote healthy skin.*
A couple of different mushrooms that we use in our products can offer support for the skin.* Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) and Tremella (Tremella fuciformis) mushrooms promote healthy skin, and we use both in our Mushroom Mix Daily 10 Tincture.
9. Mushrooms can support the liver.*
Shiitake, Maitake, Reishi, and Tremella are all used to support the liver these days, and they have a rich history of traditional use, too.*
10. Mushrooms were traditionally used to promote longevity.*
Are mushrooms good for you as you age? Sure thing! Want to live long and prosper? For centuries in China, Reishi has been known as the “10,000-year mushroom,” where it has been traditionally used for longevity.* Try these three super tasty drinks all containing Reishi.
So that just about covers the basics of “are mushrooms good for you?” We could pretty much write a book, but instead we’ll leave it here for now.