Food Focus: Mushrooms
My handsome husband hates mushrooms. I've seen him pick them out of every dish they are included in. So does my mom come to think of it. Somehow on the way home from the beach yesterday, I convinced him to try a new adaptogen drink made with fermented tea and mushrooms. He enjoyed it and asking while sipping "what is so healthy about mushrooms anyway?"
Thank you! I have my next blog post. Mom, listen up.
Mushrooms have been used medicinally in Eastern medicine forever. We are now starting to realize in the West how beneficial some types really are and how powerful an effect they have on the immune system.
Why so cool? They are a fungus that grow on places like rotting wood and poop. Which means they are able to absorb and safely eliminate toxins! I'd like a little more of that going on in my body.
These are used as cancer fighters throughout Asia, because of the compounds in them called HDPs - host defense potentiators. They are approved by the Japanese government as treatment for counteracting the effects of chemo and radiation! They also boost the effects of these treatments, if they are needed.
These delicious plants have enzymes and vitamins that most plants don't, which is an extra reason to add them to your plate. Lentinan is a compound in this particular mushroom that also has been shown to help prevent some of the damage that is caused by anti-cancer drugs. It stimulates the immune system, protects the liver, has cardiovascular benefits, seems to inhibit tumor growth in mice, and can lower cholesterol by almost 45%! See? Medicinal.
These are used in Traditional Chinese Medicine as the highest class of tonics. Reishi is now shown to reduce the side effects of chemo, once again, and improve the quality of life for cancer patients. Even Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center has it listed on their website as beneficial herbs. There is a compound class called triterpenoids that benefit everything from blood pressure to adrenal function (feeling tired?) and liver detoxification. It also appears to be a natural stress reducer! #adaptogen
All of the mushrooms above and the other species unlisted not only are high in antioxidants which everyone needs, but have also been studied as weight loss aids! They were named metabolic energy enhancers, meaning they stimulate the sugar break down in red blood cells, mimicking Carnitine in its ability to transport fat into the mitochondria so they can be oxidized (burned) to produce energy!
Do you eat mushrooms? If not, will you try some now? There are some supplement forms if the whole food's taste or texture both you. I personally drink some tea tonics with them, add a shiitake seed fiber powder into my every day drink and eat any type I can. Highly encourage you to start to add some to your daily diet for all these amazing benefits!
Sources and Additional Reading:
150 Healthiest Foods on Earth. Bowden, Jonny. 2007.