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10 Amazing Mushroom Health Benefits for Your Skin, Brain and Bones Mushrooms are (usually) edible fungi that are packed with nutrients. Centuries ago, they were only accessible to royalty because their health benefits were considered too “good” for commoners.  Due to their health benefits, mushrooms have gained popularity among pharmaceutical and nutraceutical companies. There are thousands of varieties of mushrooms, out of which only 10% have been identified by scientists! Edible mushrooms include like white (button) mushrooms, portobello, shiitake, maitake, cremini, oyster, enoki, and so many more.  Other mushrooms, such as agarikon and poria, are less commonly consumed in meals but rather in supplement powders, tinctures, and capsules. Mushroom Nutrition Facts Mushrooms are low in carbohydrates and fat, but rich in vitamins and minerals. They are a natural source of vitamin B and D. They are also rich in calcium, protein, iron, copper and magnesium. They also contain antioxidant agents like selenium, vitamin C, and choline that help eradicate free radicals from the body. 10 HEALTH BENEFITS OF MUSHROOMS Other than its benefits for improving athletic performance, cordyceps offer a range of health benefits: Improves Cardiovascular system: Mushrooms are low in sodium and high in potassium. Potassium contributes to heart health and also regulates blood pressure. The vitamin C in many mushrooms may reduce the risk of serious heart diseases. Additionally, the beta glucans in mushrooms help prevent cardiovascular disease by lowering cholesterol levels. Boost energy, muscles, metabolism: Mushrooms are a good source for many of the B vitamins, including niacin and folate, which give energy to the body by converting food into fuel. The B vitamins help the body maintain fast and efficient metabolism. They also help produce more red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body. Vitamin B also helps in managing balanced hormonal levels, which improves both emotional and mental health.   Protects Central Nervous system: The abundance of antioxidants in mushrooms helps prevent brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Research suggests that adding mushrooms to your diet reduces the risks of neurological illness and helps improve cognitive health. The lion’s mane mushroom is popular among mushrooms, as its extract stimulates nerve growth factor and boosts the regeneration process on cellular level. Promotes Anti-aging: Mushrooms are power-packed with antioxidants that help fight free radicals in the body. Though free radicals are produced naturally within the body when nutrients are broken down to create energy, environmental pollution, including UV and sun exposure also produce (and speed up production of) free radicals that damage or even destroy cellular structure, proteins, and even RNA and DNA! Free radicals cause oxidative stress which results in loss of skin elasticity and wrinkles. The antioxidants found in mushrooms neutralizes the free radicals and can stop or delay damage to cells and reduce the aging process.  Boosts Immunity: Mushrooms help strengthen the body’s immune system and its natural defense process against infections. They are also immune cell activators that help your body produce and use T cells and antibodies.  These cells help the immune system fight off various infections. Mushrooms also help with anti-inflammation which allows antibodies to work effectively. The beta glucans in mushrooms also help stimulate the immune system and promote healthy gut bacteria. Cancer Fighting: There is a lot of research being done on mushroom’s protective effect against cancer. The sugar compound in mushrooms known as beta glucans stimulates the immune system and triggers certain cells and proteins to fight off cancer cells. In lab settings, a certain compound found in mushrooms known as PSK has been known to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.  The antioxidants in mushrooms help the body fight against free radicals that cause harm to cell structures. Mushrooms also contain minerals like selenium, which helps detoxify cancer causing compounds like benzene, arsenic, and asbestos. Anti-inflammatory Properties: Mushrooms have powerful antioxidant compounds that help prevent inflammation. Inflammation occurs when the body tries to protect itself from an infection or injury.  When the inflammation lasts weeks, it may lead to various health problems like diabetes, heart diseases or even cancer. The antioxidants in mushrooms help lower inflammation and suppress allergic responses. Good for Bones: Mushrooms are a good source of vitamin D (especially if they have been exposed to sunlight, because mostly mushrooms grow in dark. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium that helps promote bone growth. Adding mushrooms to your diet may delay conditions like osteoporosis and joint pain. Weight Loss Support: Mushrooms are rich in proteins and dietary fibers and low in carbohydrates and fat... Additionally, the fiber in mushrooms helps reduce appetite and makes you feel fuller. Vitamin B in mushrooms also increases the body’s metabolism by turning food into energy, which helps manage weight. Because of the way they support the diet and metabolism, mushrooms are very popular among various diet plans including the ketogenic diet and paleo diet. Reduces Stress and Anxiety: Some mushrooms possess adaptogenic properties, meaning hey help the body deal with stress and anxiety. These mushrooms have positive effects on mental health and reduce anxiety, stress, and fatigue. They also help improve sleep quality which in turn boosts mental health! Possible Side Effects It is very crucial to distinguish between safe mushrooms and poisonous mushrooms. You should never pick mushrooms growing in your backyard and ingest them if you have no way of knowing whether they are poisonous or not.  Mushrooms are fungus that absorbs nutrients from what it grows on. Some of them have harmful toxins that can cause nausea, hallucinations, or even death. People with autoimmune diseases should avoid consuming mushrooms because of beta glucans present that stimulate the immune function. Is there a difference in nutritional benefit between raw and cooked mushrooms? Because of their meaty flavor and multiple health benefits, mushrooms are widely used in all types of cuisine and in various weight loss programs.  Some people consume them raw by adding them to salad, while others boil or grill them. It is a common fact that vegetables and herbs/ mushrooms should be consumed raw to gain all of their benefits. But some research suggests that cooked mushrooms yield more benefits and are safe to consume as compared to raw ones! Why do cooked mushrooms provide more benefits than raw mushrooms? This is because mushrooms have tough cell walls that are difficult to digest. Additionally, mushrooms, even washed thoroughly, may have traces of toxins and pathogens like carcinogen. Upon consumption, some people may suffer from allergic reactions, upset stomach, or skin rashes. When mushrooms are cooked or boiled, they retain nutrients that contain protein, B-vitamins, and minerals. Cooking the mushrooms soften their tough fungal tissues and allow the digestive enzymes in our body to utilize the benefits of nutrients released by mushrooms. Research also suggests that boiling or cooking mushrooms destroys any toxins and carcinogens, enhances beta glucans, and increases the value of the antioxidants’ activity.  Taking Cordyceps Supplements Mushrooms are famous for their wide range of health benefits- like our very own Daily Multivitamin & Mushroom blend! They are a source of fiber, proteins, and antioxidants, and have been used by ancient and modern medical practices for many years. Mushroom supplements are also being widely used to improve mental health and overall energy. Mushrooms are like medicines - before adding them to your diet, it is advisable to consult your doctor. Boost your PHYSICAL & MENTAL PERFORMANCE NATURALLY WITH MD!
What are adaptogens? Are mushrooms adaptogenic? What are ADAPTOGENS? Adaptogens are herbs and fungi with special properties that help the body cope with “stress.” This stress can be physical, emotional or chemical.  Adaptogen plants are non-toxic and possess properties that enhance the body’s support system that deals with, and adapts to, stress. They may seem like a relatively new trend, but adaptogens have been widely used in ancient medicinal practices like Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Ayurveda for centuries. Apart from working as relaxants, adaptogens are also known to possess (natural) chemical properties that can boost immunity, trigger production and balancing of hormones, and improve the anti-aging process.  Some common household adaptogens like turmeric and holy basil are widely used as part of meals, while others are too bitter to eat directly and are instead made into powdered supplements which can be taken orally or added in herbal tea and smoothies.   How do adaptogens work? In this fast paced (pandemic) world, “stress” is the buzzword, but what does that actually do to the body on a physiological level? When faced with a stressor, the human body goes through three phases: Alarm Resistance Exhaustion Adaptogens aid the nervous in staying at resistance phase. When the body remains in resistance phase, it maintains equilibrium, which helps the nervous system in becoming more resilient to stressors.  Due to their antioxidant properties, adaptogens also indirectly help other effects of stress like pain, fatigue, digestive concerns and insomnia. Which Herbs are Adaptogens? There are a variety of herbs and mushrooms under the umbrella of adaptogens. Each of them has a different effect and therefore, before consumption, it's vital to understand what type of adaptogen is best suited for your needs. Some of the most commonly used and readily available adaptogens are: Siberia ginseng: helps ward off fatigue, depression and stress Rhodiola Rosea: supports the function of adrenal glands that promotes healthy response to stress Holy Basil: supports adrenal health, nourishes the mind and helps maintain state of equilibrium. Maca: boosts energy and stamina, supports the immune system and calms anxiety. Ashwagandha: used as a tonic for overall health and best known for improving sleep. Apart from herbs, research also suggests that some mushrooms act as adaptogens and have beneficial effects on the body's stress system.  Mushrooms are gaining popularity in the health and wellness world, as they offer a variety of health benefits. Mushrooms support your adrenal glands and keep the body in balance.   They are being widely used in modern medicine because of their medicinal nature. Mushrooms have even been approved to be used in treatment for pulmonary diseases and cancer. These useful mushrooms also have adaptogenic properties that provide health benefits like balanced hormonal and immune system and improved cognitive function.  It is also important to understand the difference between medicinal and adaptogen properties: Medicinal Defined as elements that can used as an extract to prevent or heal multiple diseases Used to treat conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, viral infections, heart disease. Adaptogenic Defined as substances that increase attention and endurance in fatigue and enhance the “state of nonspecific resistance” Used to combat fatigue, depression and anxiety and enhance mental performance. What Mushrooms are Adaptogenic? and what do they do on in the body? CHAGA High in antioxidants that fight free radicals  Anti-inflammatory  Speeds up the healing process Fights viral infection Provides energy  It is also considered as a tonic to cure stomach disease  Note: chaga can be problematic for anyone who suffers from kidney stones and/or kidney problems  Shiitake Rich in antioxidants that aid in detoxification Helps maintain cholesterol Reishi Also known as the "mushroom of Immortality" Antioxidants help the body build a strong immune system Lowers blood pressure Boost adrenal gland function Acts as an antiviral Improves quality of sleep Lions mane Improves cognitive function Improves memory and concentration = "Brain Booster"!  Regenerative properties for brain tissues  Reduces depression & anxiety symptoms Cordyceps Popular among athletes Boosts adrenal glad function (helps body fight fatigue + increase stamina)  "Hormonal Balancer" - reducing aging and increasing energy level Turkey Tail Packed with antioxidants Boosts immunity against cold and flu  Lowers inflammation  Reduces damage caused by stress Contains prebiotics aiding in smoother digestion Final Thoughts While there are benefits of mushroom adaptogens, it is important to understand that it is not a complete cure for all underlying health conditions - they are used as supplements to boost immunity and overall wellness.  Adaptogenic supplements usually are a combination of mushrooms and herbs. Before adding them to your routine, it is advised to consult your doctor.  Adaptogens don’t work like medicines with direct pathways, but they do aid in decreasing symptoms of stress. Like many OTC supplements, complete dependence on these adaptogens will not completely eradicate the effects of stress on your body.  Along with these adaptogens, it is also recommended to make changes in lifestyle by getting enough rest, following nutritious diet, exercising, and meditating to reduce stress. EXPERIENCE THE BENEFITS OF ADAPTOGENIC MUSHROOMS IN OUR 9-MUSHROOM BLEND
How prebiotics & probiotics support your second brain - the gut! Before delving into the difference between prebiotics and probiotics, we need to understand the importance of gut health and how it both directly and indirectly supports our bodies’ systems so that they run efficiently.   In the human body, the lining of the gut is covered with over 1000 different species of bacteria. All of these bacteria together are referred to as the microbiome and overall it weighs anywhere from 2-5 pounds (that’s nearly the weight of the human brain!). As these bacteria (probiotics) are living organisms, they also need healthy food to thrive...which is where prebiotics come in. What are prebiotics? Prebiotics are a type of fiber that cannot be digested by the body.  When the fiber passes through the digestive system, it is stored in the large intestine and fermented there by the good bacteria. The prebiotic fibers are a source of nourishment for these “good” bacteria that exist naturally. They break down food, absorb its nutrients and convert them to energy. In addition to providing sustenance to your good bacteria, it helps ferment food faster that reduces the chance of constipation. Prebiotics can be consumed in the form of food or supplements. Prebiotics are naturally found in bananas, apples, beans, honey, oats, and mushrooms. what are probiotics? Probiotics are “good bacteria” that contain live organisms that can repopulate healthy microbiomes in the gut, thus suppressing the bad bacteria.  Probiotics enter the gut and, by rapidly growing in quantity, will start to crowd out the “bad” bacteria, as they both compete for their food sources and space to live -- basically, it’s Good V Bad. As part of the probiotics’ digestion of its own, certain acids that discourage pathogen growth are released, which continues to support good bacteria growth over bad. Like prebiotics, probiotics can also be taken in the form of food or supplements. Yogurt, beets, cottage cheese, and kombucha, and essentially any fermented foods are probiotic-rich. what is the difference between probiotics and prebiotics? It’s all in the suffix! Pre is the Latin suffix for before. Pro is the Latin suffix for for. Biotic means life.  Probiotics contain beneficial bacteria that enhance the overall gut health by adding more healthy microbes.  Prebiotics are carbohydrates that the body itself can’t digest, that provide nourishment to the probiotics (good bacteria). Together, prebiotics and probiotics can enhance the performance of the digestive system, which overall impacts other support systems in the body.  When these supplements (or food) consistently become part of routine, they help improve digestion process, boost the immune system by keeping out bad bacteria, balance hormonal health, improve skin health, contribute to weight loss, and even support emotional and mental health, since many neurotransmitters are created and/or regulated in the gut!  taking care of the second brain and its enteric nervous system The brain's operating system is the CNS, or central nervous system, and it turns out at the the gut has its own system - the ENS, or enteric nervous system. The ENS is actually able to facilitate gastrointestinal behavior completely independently of the CNS (which is why you don't have to think about digesting the food you've just consumed), but there is a feedback loop via the gut-brain axis. Negative changes in the microbiome may in turn affect the brain and behavior. Studies have suggested that inflammatory cytokines, defensive molecules the gut produced during infection, can disrupt brain neurochemistry and make people more vulnerable to anxiety and depression! It has been said that our gut is “second brain” and we’re all about brain health at Mushroom Design!  There are 5 mushrooms - all of which are found in our mushroom blend -- that are prebiotics. These mushrooms contain enzymes that work as dietary fibers for the gut microbiome and overall health. Turkey tail:fully packed with fibrous nutrients that encourage the growth of good bacteria, which in turn crowd out unfriendly bacteria improving overall gut health. Lion’s ManeThrough its antioxidant property, lion’s mane decreases inflammation and improves the immune system. Its healing nature balances the nervous system and reduces the effects of depression, anxiety and mental fatigue. Reishi: has a high fiber content, which supports the gut’s good bacteria that absorb nutrients and convert them to energy. This leads to smooth digestion and reduces the risk of constipation. It also reverses gut imbalance due to poor diet or stress. Shiitake: acts as a bacteria balancer in the gut. It is an immune system supporter and has the ability to strengthen the lining of the gut that improves immunity against external pathogens, too. Chaga: full of antioxidant, chaga works as a friendly tonic to improve gut health by fighting against free radicals. It calms down the immune system and promotes growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. Please note: if you have any kidney issues, consult a physician before consuming chaga. the bottom biotic line: Gut health is important as it overall impacts the health of the whole body and our mood. Adding prebiotics and probiotics to our routine is an effective way to promote a healthier gut.  Before incorporating these supplements in your diet, it is advised to consult with your health care provider. Mushrooms have been proven to be a superfood with both immune boosting and prebiotic properties. They are readily available and well worth adding to your diet to promote a healthy gut and healthier life -- to make it easier, you can just take Mushroom Design daily! SUPPORT THE BIOME WITH MUSHROOM DESIGN