Medicinal mushrooms have been incorporated in ancient healing modalities for centuries. Only recently have researchers been able to isolate and identify the specific compounds that give the various mushrooms their incredible health-supporting properties. All mushrooms contain polysaccharides, or long chains of carbohydrates. The type of polysaccharide within the mushroom determines the qualities and strengths of the mushroom.
Many mushrooms are considered adaptogens, an appropriate term that describes a substance’s ability to help us adapt to life’s stressors. Essentially, they help our internal state respond appropriately to external input.
At True Leaf Market, we offer a number of grow-your-own mushrooms kits and plug spawn. We’ve highlighted the various varieties and the benefits that they offer, of which there are a multitude!
Lion’s Mane Mushrooms - The mature cerebrum form of lion’s mane alludes to its brain boosting powers. It is lauded for its ability for brain support and improved cognition. A quick Google Scholar search yields upwards of 4,000 results about Lion’s mane studies and the benefits associated with this powerful mushroom.
Shiitake Mushrooms - Said to boost immunity, strengthen the respiratory system, and support the heart. Just 4 shiitake mushrooms will provide you with 39% of your daily recommended amount of copper.
Oyster Mushrooms- Contain many beta glucans. Beta glucans are a polysaccharide that are essential for regulating cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels, and immune support.
Reishi Mushrooms - Has been referred to as the mushroom of immortality and is another adaptogen. It is most known for as and aid to promote restful sleep, lessen stress, and support the immune system.
Maitake Mushrooms - Are good for digestion, packed with antioxidants and promising studies have shown the cancer fighting properties of this mushroom. For even more immune support, consider combining maitake and shiitake together!
Enoki Mushrooms - Contain a multitude of vitamins and minerals like vitamin B1, B3 and B5, phosphorus, iron, selenium, copper, calcium, and thiamin, to name a few!
Chicken of the Woods Mushrooms -Rich in vitamin C and potassium. This mushroom gets its namesake from a reminiscent chicken-like flavor and it is a great meat substitute
In conclusion, you can’t go wrong with these mushrooms! No matter what variety you try, you will be consuming an abundance of amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Try incorporating mushrooms into your diet by making a healing broth with them, sautéing them with onions and garlic for a delicious side, or substituting them for meat in a favorite dish.