When a fungus spore infects soil, a fruit or vegetable, or a living organism like an insect, it starts to consume the surrounding nutrients and grows a fruiting body that we know as a mushroom.
Mushrooms fall into a variety of classifications, different species, and may be wholly different at the molecular level. Some mushrooms are also toxic to humans, while others may provide medicinal benefits.
What mushrooms should you add to your diet or supplement regimen? Let’s take a look at the most popular and commonly used mushrooms below and how buying from Host Defense may provide optimal results for your individual needs.
Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor) is a mushroom that may provide support for a healthy immune system. The protein-bound polysaccharides and other nutritional compounds found in turkey tail are thought to help regulate cytokines and a healthy immune response to foreign invaders in the body, including irregular cell growth, and the regulation of inflammation factors.
Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum s.l.) is a type of mushroom that is popular throughout the history of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Practitioners of TCM and researchers have suggested that reishi mushrooms may provide support for aging and a feeling of youth, and also support for sleep, energy levels, a healthy mood and behavior, central nervous system, and kidneys and urinary tract. Modern research suggests that reishi may have other benefits too, such as helping to maintain cholesterol levels already within the normal range, a healthy immune system, and the regulation of inflammatory factors.
Maitake (Grifola frondosa) is known as the hen of the woods for its flat, stemless appearance and woody texture. Maitake is well-known in TCM for its potential to support the immune system and blood sugar levels. This mushroom contains a mix of beta glucans that help to regulate how the body absorbs sugars, which may help to maintain blood sugar and cholesterol levels within the normal range; vitamins support everything for the immune system to energy levels; and minerals like copper, phosphorus, selenium, and potassium support healthy bones, the tissue in organs, the brain, and even the kidneys.
Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus) is prized for its potential to support a healthy brain and central nervous system. Research suggests that extracts from Lion’s Mane promotes the synthesis of certain compounds that are essential for the growth of nerve cells. Other research also points to support for locomotor activity and memory recollection, which may be important during aging.
Cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis) is a fungus that grows from insects and some plant life. In Chinese medicine, cordyceps is favored because many of the more than 350 species have a sweet taste. Cordyceps is thought to support energy levels, a healthy respiratory system, reproductive health, the gut, and the immune system to name a few of its many potential health benefits.
Other Mushrooms You Should Try
Host Defense offers many single blend herbal supplements that harness the potential medicinal power of each mushroom species. If you’re more adventurous, Host Defense also offers herbal blends with up to 17 different mushroom species. MyCommunity Immune Support Extract is a smart way to experience a variety of different mush species and potential medicinal benefits. This supplement contains a few of the mushrooms discussed above, as well as several others that when taken together may provide optimal support for body and brain.
These mushrooms are good for use in supplements, and also as part of your diet. Mushrooms are considered a “functional food” because they are a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals, and contain very little or no fat, cholesterol, or calories. Your local grocer may not stock many varieties of mushrooms because they are uncommon to many regions, so consider combining a mushroom supplement from Host Defense with a diet rich in mushrooms and see if that helps to provide feelings of health and wellness each day.