Reishi mushroom found growing on bark of tree: Photo: sashimomura/Flickr
You probably already know about the health benefits of adding magnesium-rich foods, goji berries, and adaptogens to your diet. But do you know that red reishi mushrooms are packed with a lot of health benefits, too?
Well, many of us think that mushrooms are only good for scrambling into soup, vegetable dish, or topping pizza. However, reishi mushroom has a plethora of healing properties, which makes it one of the most versatile superfoods.
Also known as Ganoderma lucidum and lingzhi in Chinese, this fascinating fungus has been used in Eastern Medicine for thousands of years.
Today, these mushrooms of immortality continue to be used for their incredible health benefits.
Reishi Mushrooms Health Benefits
Read on to know five ways reishi mushrooms support your health.
1. They Are Immunity Boosters
Reishi mushrooms are known as the ‘king of mushrooms’ for a reason. They are antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal, meaning they are great for supporting the immune system.
The components found in these mushrooms help the body to fight against viruses and provides relief from allergies. From influenza, or other viral infections to lung diseases, like asthma, reishi mushroom is used for treating several health conditions.
These mushrooms work as ‘immune modulators,’ which means they can keep your body at homeostasis. They put the body’s immune cells on alert and regulate the immune activity.
Aside from that, they also reduce overactive inflammatory reactions. This is why reishi mushrooms are helpful for people with autoimmune disorders.
2. They Help Improve Liver Function
The liver is responsible for cleansing your body from harmful, disease-causing toxins. Thus, it is a crucial organ for your entire well-being.
If your liver is functioning well, it ensures that your body is processing and circulating the essential nutrients properly. Luckily, reishi mushrooms support healthy liver!
Triterpenes, active compounds present in reishi mushrooms release free radicals, which helps promotes liver cell regeneration. Thus, adding these mushrooms in your diet supports the liver function and prevents liver disease.
Furthermore, supporting liver function also has positive effects on the body’s endocrine system. It’s the liver’s work to break down the extra hormones and detox the body.
By supporting healthy liver functioning, reishi mushrooms help the entire body function better.
3. They Have Anti-Cancer Properties
Organic reishi mushroom is a wonderful anti-inflammatory food. Thus, they are helpful in reducing tumors and preventing cancers. They are rich in antioxidants and amino acids.
Reishi mushrooms also contain polysaccharides that protect the body’s DNA, pause cell mutations, and preserve the health of body cells.
Researchers are still digging into deeper into its anticancer properties and many other unseen benefits of reishi mushrooms.
4. They Are Excellent Mood Boosters
This amazing fungus also helps fight depression, anxiety, and fatigue. The polysaccharides found in these mushrooms have anti-fatigue abilities; thus, they will make you feel less tired.
In fact, reishi supplementation has been found to help some cancer survivors experience less anxiety and depression, as well as improve their quality of life.
Today, many of us in our modern lifestyles live a stressful life. By incorporating reishi mushrooms to your diet, you will do good to your health. It can make you feel less anxious and boost your overall mood.
5. They Can Protect Your Brain
Your brain is the control center of your body. Thus, it is crucial to protect this vital organ.
Reishi mushrooms have neuroprotective properties that support the brain. They also help improve your memory and relieve the symptoms of brain diseases.
Specifically, reishi mushroom have therapeutic properties that are effective for brain disorders, like Alzheimer’s Disease, a common form of dementia. They also help the body produce special proteins that are essential for the brain to function well.
The brain serves as the center of communication for the nerves that control the body functions, sense, movement, memory, and muscles.
A healthy-functioning brain is a healthy-functioning nervous system.
Reishi mushrooms are excellent adaptogens, which are groups of herbs (and some mushrooms) that support the body's natural ability to resist stressors of all kinds, whether physical, chemical or biological. They have many health benefits and are a great addition to your diet.
Besides benefiting your brain, heart, and liver, when consumed in continuous, small doses, reishi may also help to boost your mood and support your body's sleep cycles.
Overall, reishi may not taste amazing on its own or when eaten fresh (it’s a little bitter), but when consumed it offers amazing health benefits. They also taste delicious when added to meals or enjoyed with other foods or drinks, like teas, coffee, and smoothies.
However, if you are breastfeeding or pregnant, consult a qualified health professional before using reishi.