According to research, chaga has been used in China, Japan, Korea and other Asian countries for thousands of years, often referred to as the mushroom of immortality.
Whilst studies have shown the health benefits of reishi to include reducing fatigue, anxiety and depression, it has also been studied for its cancer-fighting properties.
In one study of over 4,000 breast cancer survivors, researchers discovered that 59 percent consumed reishi mushroom.
Another study found that a year of reishi mushroom treatment decreased the number and size of tumors in the large intestine for colorectal cancer sufferers.
Scientists also conducted a three-month study where they treated 34 patients with advanced stages of cancer with a reishi-sourced polysaccharide.
The patients who were given the treatment had a significant boost in the efficiency of their immune system.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF LION’S MANE MUSHROOMS
Lion’s mane mushrooms are often referred to as a brain tonic, as studies show they have a rare ability to stimulate the growth and signaling of brain cells.
Several studies have shown the health benefits of lion’s mane include boosting memory, mood and cognition.
In one study, older adults who were given powdered lion’s mane mushroom daily for three months saw improvements in short term memory loss and cognitive function.
Another study involving menopausal women found that eating cookies containing lion’s mane significantly reduced their anxiety and depression after four weeks of consumption.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF CORDYCEPS MUSHROOMS
- According to recent research, the health benefits of cordyceps are extensive.
- One study in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology showed it to be beneficial for fighting fatigue, whilst another study in the Journal of Medicinal Food showed its ability to boost immune health.
- But thanks to its studied ability to increase the production of ATP – the compound that gives cells their energy – it has become a popular mushroom among athletes.
- In one study involving healthy younger adults, three weeks of supplementation with a cordyceps-containing mushroom blend improved VO2 max, reduced exhaustion and improved tolerance to high intensity exercise.
- Another study involving twenty healthy older adults found that supplementation with a cordyceps extract known as Cs-4 improved exercise performance and overall wellness.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF SHITTAKE MUSHROOMS
Among the health benefits of shiitake are its antiviral and immune-supporting capabilities.
Studies show that many of the compounds in shiitake have antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal effects that can help the body fend off invading pathogens that make you sick.
Shiitake mushrooms also contain a polysaccharide called lentinan, which the Carbohydrate Research journal has described as being an immune system activator.
In one study from the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, healthy young adults were given either five or ten grams of dried shiitake daily for one month.
Consumption of the chaga mushroom was found to significantly improve immunity and reduce inflammation, with results being most prominent in those who took ten grams daily.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF MUSHROOMS: FINAL THOUGHTS
So, the bottom line is, eating mushrooms is great. But a word to the wise: you generally want to avoid eating them raw.
According to research from Integrative Medicine – A Clinician’s Journal(opens in new tab), when mushrooms are cooked, the immune system is better able to defend against pathogens and other harmful components.
The cooking also allows some of the insoluble fibers in the mushrooms to be broken down, allowing you to get more nutrients out of them.
Of course, not all cooking methods are equal when it comes to healthy eating. Check out our guides to the best grills and best steamers for healthy ways to cook vegetables, fish and more.
Or, if you just love a fried mushroom, check out our pick of the best air fryers.