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Medicinal Mushrooms for Immunity, Clarity, and Energy

By Emily Lindholm

Medicinal mushrooms have been rising in popularity as of late.  You can find mushroom-infused coffee, mushroom supplements, and even superfood protein powders that contain medicinal mushrooms.  Most of the time, these mushrooms are so finely ground into a powder that you don't taste them or feel like you're eating or drinking mushrooms.  However, many medicinal mushroom varieties are tasty to cook and eat on their own.  No matter your preferences, here's why you should include these in your diet one way or the other.  

Types of Medicinal Mushrooms and Their Benefits

There are many varieties of medicinal mushrooms.  They each have different benefits, so let's take a look at the most popular ones, which include reishi, lion's mane, chaga, turkey tail, and cordyceps.  Often you'll find these paired together for a full spectrum dose of love from the fungi kingdom.  

Reishi Mushroom

Reishi is one of the kings of the mushroom kingdom.  It is known to produce a calming effect, thanks to the compound triterpene, which can encourage better sleep and alleviate symptoms of depression.  Reishi also contains healing properties and can help improve immune system function.  

Lion's Mane

Lion's mane is famous as a "brain food."  It's a unique one, as it helps to promote the production of NFG, which stands for Never Growth Factor.  It also helps us to produce myelin, insulation around nerve fibers.  Lion's mane is being studied for its ability to prevent Alzheimer's disease and dementia.  It's a great mushroom to incorporate into your diet if you are ever dealing with brain fog or want to improve your memory!

Chaga

Chaga mushrooms are known to be chock-full of antioxidants and are known to combat inflammation while improving immune function.  Anything with such a high antioxidant content can help to fight oxidative stress.  Lowering our levels of oxidative stress can lead to glowing skin and even lower levels of "bad" cholesterol.  

Turkey Tail

Turkey tail mushrooms are a superfood for the immune system, containing the compound, polysaccharide-k, also known as PSK.  Polysaccharide-k has the ability to powerfully strengthen the immune system.  In fact, in Japan, PSK has been approved as an anti-cancer subscription drug.  

Cordyceps

Cordyceps are one of the funkiest-looking mushrooms.  They look like little aliens up close. However, despite their extra strange appearance, they are extremely good for improving your energy levels.  This is due to their ability to help the body utilize oxygen more efficiently. Athletes especially can benefit from these, as they also aid in muscle recovery.  

Grab Your Mushrooms

Hopefully, this gave you some insight and clarity on which mushrooms are best for you.  These can all be found in abundance within any health food store.  Try putting some mushroom powders into a blender with your favorite smoothie recipe, or add some powder to your coffee in the morning for an added boost.  You can also try finding these in their whole form and add them to your supper! 

To learn more about your health, wellness, or fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Buckeye, Ariz.

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