Focus On: Mushrooms


What are they? Mushrooms are the spore-bearing fruits of a fungus. They are not categorized as a plant because they do not undergo photosynthesis, yet they still boast nutritional benefits of their own. They can be found in virtually any habitat, especially where it is warm and wet.
 
[ Benefits ]
Mushrooms pack the nutritional punch of both produce and certain meats, beans, and grains. They also have the unique ability to boost the immune system by increasing the body’s natural healing potential. Various mushrooms used medicinally in China and Japan for years have proven effective in fighting viruses and bacteria; eliminating high cholesterol, inflammation, and fatigue, battling tumors and cancer; and providing support to the lungs.
 
[ Nutritional Value ]
>> Mushrooms are an excellent source of potassium—a 3 oz portabella cap contains even more than a banana (over 400 mg)! Since potassium helps lower blood pressure, mushrooms are more valuable to those suffering from hypertension.
>> Mushrooms are rich in copper, a mineral that has cardio-protective properties. A single serving of mushrooms is said to provide 20 to 40 percent of the daily need for copper.
>> Mushrooms are believed to work against cancer. They are an excellent source of selenium, an antioxidant that compliments vitamin E, protecting against dangerous free radicals.
>> Keep your metabolism roaring by including mushrooms in your diet! They are loaded with fiber, protein, and vitamin B, which send your metabolism into overdrive as it works to break down these nutrients during digestion.
 
[ Types of Mushrooms]
CORIOLUS: Known as “Krestin” in Japan, this mushroom is one of the most researched supplements for immune system health in the world.
 
CORDYCEPS: A diverse supplement that is used to provide energy, as well as support for issues relating to respiratory health, kidney health, and adrenal fatigue.
 
SHITAKE: This popular mushroom is high in antioxidants. Numerous studies find it to have anti-tumor, cholesterol-lowering, and virus-inhibiting effects.
 
MAITAKE: In Japanese tradition, these mushrooms are called the “dancing mushroom” and are used in a variety of soups and sauces. They help repair and restore the immune system and can be used to ease the side effects of cancer, HIV/AIDS, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrom (CFS).
 
REISHI: This mushroom may provide the widest variation of health benefits thanks to its plentiful supply of polysaccharides. In recent studies, Reishi mushrooms show promise for potential benefits in fighting cancer.