The humble mushroom has been used in Eastern medicine for thousands of years and is becoming more popular in the West. Years of scientific research have demonstrated their many health advantages—they are undoubtedly a superfood that can positively impact your health.
You might be familiar with mushrooms on pizza and other everyday dishes, but there are many more varieties that bring incredible health benefits.
All mushrooms contain immune-boosting polysaccharides such as lentinans and beta-glucans. These polysaccharides enhance macrophage production, stimulate white blood cell formation and have anti-inflammatory properties. But each mushroom is also unique and provides its own distinct health benefits.
In this article, we take a deep dive into six of the healthiest and best-tasting mushrooms you should be taking right now:
Turkey tail mushroom is a beautiful fan-shaped fungus, easily found in many parts of North America due to its striking resemblance to a turkey’s tail. It has been used in traditional Eastern medicine to boost the immune system and improve digestion.
Turkey tail mushrooms contain high concentrations of antioxidants that counter free radicals, known to contribute to some forms of inflammation and cancer.
Compounds in turkey tail mushrooom boost white blood cell production, support the immune system in fighting illnesses, inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells, and reduce tumor activity.
These mushrooms also function as a prebiotic, an indigestible fiber that serves as fuel for probiotics or good bacteria in the stomach.
Chaga is a mainstay in traditional medicine throughout Asia, Europe, and North America. It promotes immunity and resistance and is used to reduce inflammation, mitigate stress, and even as a cosmetic supplement.
To the uninitiated, chaga might appear innocuous—it just looks like a burnt lump of wood stuck on a tree. But its soft orange interior is a radical-fighting powerhouse rich in antioxidants and minerals that support health.
Studies have shown that chaga can reduce inflammation. This has implications for the treatment of diseases including colitis and other inflammatory bowel disorders.
Consuming chaga can decrease LDL levels and boost overall cardiovascular health.
Blood Sugar Regulation
Chaga is believed to manage blood sugar, improve insulin sensitivity, and display promising results for those with diabetes.
Lion’s mane mushroom, also known as the "thinking mushroom," is well-recognized for supporting cognitive and brain health. It is large, fluffy, and resembles a lion’s mane.
People turn to lion's mane to help them stay focused and “in the moment” while fighting distraction and brain fog. Aside from being a great cooking ingredient, it enhances memory and cognition.
Lion’s mane mushroom has bioactive ingredients (erinacines and hericenones) that promote nerve growth factor (NGF), a protein that encourages nerve cell formation and function.
Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory
It also contains antioxidants that neutralize free radicals to prevent oxidative damage. Its anti-inflammatory properties promote healing and combat oxidative stress and inflammation.
Preliminary studies indicate that lion's mane mushrooms can help reduce stress and symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Savory, delicious, and nutritious—shiitake mushrooms have been a staple in Asian kitchens for thousands of years. Because they're so accessible and familiar, they're a great introductory mushroom for those who want to learn more about these healthy fungi.
Shiitake mushrooms are a low-calorie source of fiber, protein, and healthy carbs. They offer many health benefits, such as lowering cholesterol, reducing blood pressure, and improving overall cardiovascular health.
These mushrooms have been used as anti-inflammatories and natural antibiotics in Eastern medicine for centuries. As with the other mushrooms on this list, they're high in antioxidants that fight diseases and slow aging.
Eritadenine in shiitake mushrooms lowers cholesterol and blood pressure.
Adding shiitake mushrooms to your diet provides your body with the vitamin D it needs to maintain healthy bones.
For centuries, Cordyceps mushrooms have been used to boost energy, endurance, and stamina in traditional Chinese medicine. These are consequences of the naturally occurring substances in the mushroom that enhance the blood's ability to supply oxygen.
As natural energy boosters, cordyceps are perfect for people searching for an all-natural pre- or post-workout supplement. They are a fantastic solution to get through work meetings without feeling jittery or crashing afterward.
Studies have shown that cordyceps improve blood oxygenation and support cardiac and respiratory health.
Cordyceps can also improve blood flow to the liver and non-exercising skeletal muscle. This improves lactate clearance, allowing athletes and sports enthusiasts to experience less fatigue during extended physical activity.
Reishi mushrooms have been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat various ailments, including liver disease, high blood pressure, and insomnia.
The meaty, kidney-shaped, and reddish-orange mushrooms can be found on dead tree branches or trunks.
Many people believe reishi to be a superb adaptogen since it can help the body deal with everyday physical, mental, and emotional stressors while restoring overall balance. Additionally, it contains triterpene, which helps with mood regulation and provides cardioprotective properties.
Adaptogens help the body mitigate physical, chemical, and biological stress. Reishi mushrooms contain compounds that facilitate adaptogenic stress responses, which naturally reduce anxiety, boost attention, and restore balance.
Reishi mushrooms are also rich in triterpene, an active compound that lowers blood pressure and cholesterol. It also supports blood flow and oxygen intake in the heart.
A Power Packed Mushroom Blend
MyPure™ MYcoMune™ immune-boosting supplement is a great way to add most of these amazing mushrooms to your daily regimen.* It contains an exquisite blend of the world’s most power-packed medicinal mushrooms: shiitake, lion’s mane, cordyceps, reishi, maitake, and chaga. Each capsule contains 500 mg of hot water treated extracts to maximize nutrient bioavailability, and every batch is triple-tested for quality, purity, and heavy metals.