6 Reasons Why You Should Try Out Mushroom Supplements

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Edible mushrooms are known to have another purpose other than being food. While most people will think of their recreational use mushrooms can also be very beneficial when taken and used medicinally. 

However, there’s also another use for mushrooms, and that is as a supplement. While they are still growing in awareness mushroom supplements do exist, and they are quite popular. So what are mushroom supplements, and why should you try them out?

What are Mushroom Supplements?

As the name suggests, mushroom supplements are derived from extracts from various medicinal mushrooms. Some mushrooms commonly used as supplements are shiitake, chaga, lion’s Mane, reishi, turkey tail, enoki, cordyceps, etc. People usually take mushroom supplements for various reasons, but generally, as a remedy for many health problems like colds, inflammation, allergies, etc. 

However, it’s important to note that these health benefits are not scientifically proven yet, although some studies support the idea. Experts currently recommend that you only take mushroom supplements as vitamins. You can usually find mushroom supplements in mouth sprays, teas, capsules, powders, liquid extracts, coffees, gummies, and a combination of the products above. 

Some supplements can be from only a single type of mushrooms, while some brands have their formula derived from various mushrooms. That said, there are a lot of markets that delve into mushroom supplements, especially in the US. You can usually buy them online. However, if you’re in another country like Australia, they are also quite popular. 

Given that mushroom supplements are also popular, you can still boost your health with mushroom supplements, as the country offers many options to choose from. With all that said, why should you try out mushroom supplements in the first place?

Improves Immunity

Mushrooms have a lot of health benefits that you can enjoy, and one of them is improved immunity. Certain mushrooms, like maitake and shiitake, are rich in polysaccharides, including beta-glucans. Beta-glucans enhance your body’s macrophage and natural killer cell function-two, which are essential cells for our body’s defence. It also helps stimulate our body’s defensive response against invading pathogens and infected cells.

Improves Mood

There are a lot of medicinal mushrooms that improve both your physical and emotional well-being. Lion’s Mane is the most popular in enhancing your mental health. This is because Lion’s Mane is known to improve your depression, and can help alleviate most of the symptoms that  are present in most common mood disorders. This is usually linked to reduced inflammation, particularly in the brain.

Reduces Your Stress Level

When stressed, our bodies and systems are imbalanced, which is often represented by feeling tired and experiencing body pains. However, mushrooms, like reishi, can help you reduce your stress levels. Reishi mushrooms are an adaptogen that works on our HPA axis and supports our adrenal function. 

Not only that, but reishi mushrooms can also help us be resilient to stress over time. This is because reishi mushrooms have polysaccharide and triterpenoid compounds, which is responsible for lowering our stress capacity.

Promotes Lower Cholesterol

One of the most common ingredients in mushroom supplements is shiitake mushrooms. Shiitake mushrooms, or mushrooms in general, are a great alternative to red meats, which can be high in cholesterol. 

Shiitake, in particular, helps keep your cholesterol levels low as they have compounds that inhibit the production of cholesterol in your body. It also helps blood cholesterol in our bloodstream, which is very beneficial over time as it reduces any blockages in your arteries, effectively reducing your chances of getting a stroke.

Lowers Sodium Intake

Sodium and high blood pressure usually go hand in hand. That said, if you’re having problems with high sodium in your meals, you can substitute one food item with mushrooms. Mushrooms are naturally low in sodium with one whole cup of white mushrooms containing only 5 milligrams of sodium.

Not only that, but they are also naturally delicious. They offer a savoury taste that reduces your body’s urge to get more salt. And, of course, since your salt intake is then lowered, you also effectively reduce your blood pressure. Experts recommend this since you can substitute red meat for mushrooms, making your diet healthier without sacrificing the taste.

So What Should You Look For in a Mushroom Supplement?

There are currently no standardised methods for testing mushroom-related products, including mushroom supplements. However, brands that produce mushroom products have different ways of preparing and packaging them, so it’s still relatively unknown how these formulas can affect the human body.

As mentioned earlier, mushroom products can come in different forms like tea, capsules, powder, etc. However, as of now, they aren’t yet fully regulated by the US FDA. Supplement manufacturers are still encouraged to follow the right practices to prevent any mistakes when creating the product, contaminations, and wrong labels.

While you can still choose products that meet independent quality standards from ConsumerLab, USP, or NFP testing still needs to fully prove that a product is safe and effective. Which is why you should always consult your doctor first before taking any mushroom supplements.

Final Words

Mushroom supplements are quite popular today because of their reputation when used medicinally and because of their high level of advertisement by health influencers. However, you should still take precautions to remain healthy and safe. And most of all, you should talk to your doctor first.

Julie Higgins
Author
Julie is a Staff Writer at momooze.com. She has been working in publishing houses before joining the editorial team at momooze. Julie's love and passion are topics around beauty, lifestyle, hair and nails.