The Top 10 Benefits of Adaptogenic Mushrooms
Okay, so before we go in to all of the benefits about the most buzzworthy term on the market (yep, you guessed it: adaptogenic mushrooms), let’s take a step back and explain - just briefly - what these little babies are. And if you’re an expert in adaptogenic mushrooms, then you can either skip this next paragraph or just bear with us...
What if we told you that a varietal of mushrooms exists that contains “magical” properties (not shrooms, guys, stay focused) that can adapt to your body’s environment and, once consumed, target and heal those areas where your body needs it most? Yes, Mother Nature is truly more powerful than we probably give her credit for. There are seven mushrooms that exist in our world that have these specific “adaptogenic” properties, and have been used for centuries in Eastern medicine to treat everything from immunity to energy levels and mental health. These mushrooms (Chaga, Reishi, Cordyceps, Lion’s Mane, Turkey Tail, Shiitake, and Himematsutake) enter the body, conduct an overall assessment of your current state, and adapt their properties to directly alter the areas in your body that are in the greatest need for optimal health. Crazy, right? We told you we’d be brief. So anyways, without further ado, here are the top ten incredible benefits of our favorite mushrooms:
1. Relieves physical and mental stress, and reduces anxiety. Reishi has been known to relax tense muscles and inhibit pain both physically and mentally, thus reducing anxiety and leading to a calmer state of being.
2. Reduces inflammation and fights off free radicals. Reishi, Cordyceps, and Chaga are known to contain a greater amount of antioxidants than many famed superfoods themselves. These mushrooms have also been touted for their anti-inflammatory properties and have even been nicknamed the "Queen of Mushrooms" and the "Fountain of Youth".
3. Strengthens the immune system and works to fight off viral infections. This characteristic is found in essentially all of our adaptogenic mushroom friends - Reishi, Cordyceps, Chaga, Shiitake, and Turkey Tail - as there have been many studies done where research has proven these mushrooms to work hard towards balancing the immune system and fighting off harmful bacteria in the body.
4. Improves endurance levels by increasing levels of oxygen in the body. Cordyceps is famed as the "Athlete's Mushroom", as it is known to improve energy levels while lowering your heart rate and increasing blood flow within the body, allowing active individuals to train harder - and longer.
5. Contains antioxidant and anti-aging properties to help retain a youthful glow. Chaga and Cordyceps are known widely amongst beauty and wellness enthusiasts as containing properties to combat aging, deliver a large boost of antioxidants, and deposit the highest natural form of melanin available for more supple skin, hair, and eyes. Yep, we said "eyes". Didn't 'see' that one coming, huh?
6. Fights cancer cells in the liver, lung, breasts, and brain. Chaga, Shiitake, Turkey Tail, and Himematsutake have all been used in studies that have successfully proven these mushroom powerhouses to actually kill off certain cancer cells and decrease the effects of cancer within the body. In one study, Turkey Tail was even found to have improved immune functioning in 97% of breast cancer patients. How's that for magical?!
7. Lowers blood sugar, cortisol levels, and cholesterol levels, and helps decrease excess fat storage. It's true, Reishi and Shiitake have both shown effects of helping maintain a healthy weight and well-balanced blood sugar levels. Hey, it's never too late to get back on track with those body-centered resolutions, are we right??
8. Helps support nerve health and cognitive functioning by improving focus and agility. In the land of mushrooms, Lion's Mane is KING when it comes to those struggling with mental fog or memory loss. This "shaggy" mushroom encourages the production of NGF, which is a bioprotein essential for optimal brain health. Studies have also shown that Lion's Mane helps guard against symptoms of dementia, anxiety, and depression, and decreases the effects of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
9. Contains prebiotics that encourage good bacteria needed for gut health. Turkey Tail aids in the digestion process by nourishing the balance of good bacteria that is beneficial to those with leaky gut syndrome or those struggling with various digestive problems. If you have a sensitive tummy like us, adding a little Turkey Tail into your diet won't hurt!
10. Boosts energy levels and helps fight fatigue without the mid-day crash. Found in the Himalayas and the Tibetan plateau, Cordyceps is widely known to boost energy levels by stimulating the production of ATP, one of the main sources of energy found in body cells.
And that's a wrap! We could go on and on about these mushrooms, but we think you guys get the point. Moral of the story: do your best to incorporate adaptogenic mushrooms into your everyday diet, and over time, we promise you'll see improvement in both your physical and mental wellbeing - leading to a happier, healthier, glow-ier(?) you.
Stay magical, folks.