During a time where there is a growing concern over the threat of coronavirus spreading, whole societies are going on lockdown and citizens are going into panic mode as they stock up on supplies and ensuring they have the right materials to keep themselves in good health.
Boosting the immune system is among the top priorities of everyone from seniors to young parents and scared children, but perhaps one of the best ways to do it doesn’t involve the usual methods of vitamin C and exercise you always hear about. Instead, it comes in the form of mushrooms.
Mushrooms are a superfood packed with antioxidants that can help protect the body from free radicals which lead to conditions such as cancer or heart disease. They also help counteract the effects of aging and are incredibly supportive of immune function. Here are six mushrooms you should consider adding to your diet or regular regimen of supplements.
Packed with immune boosting flavonoids and phenols which reduce inflammation and release protective compounds that promote healthy immune function. Turkey tail has been approved for formal testing in clinical trials involving cancer patients and has significant effects for overall health. It’s widely available in the form supplement capsules and powders that can be mixed with a morning smoothie.
A mushroom that more closely resembles dirt growing on the flesh of birch trees, chaga mushrooms are packed with a variety of vitamins and nutrients ranging from B and D vitamins to potassium, iron, manganese, selenium, copper, fiber, amino acids, zinc, cesium, rubidium, magnesium and calcium. They’ve been shown to slow the aging process by lowering blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure while fighting inflammation. But of most interest right now, they support the immune system through regulation of cytokine production and helping cells communicate with one another. One of the most common methods of consuming chaga mushrooms is to make tea with them.
Loaded with antioxidants, the reishi mushroom is also beneficial for heart health, blood sugar and fighting cancer. Those experiencing self-isolation during the COVID-19 outbreak should take interest in it due to its ability to combat fatigue and depression and boost the immune system by increasing the activity of white blood cells, which are crucial in fighting infection and disease. Reishi is available in capsules as well as liquid and powder forms.
A lesser known mushroom due to how they grow, cordyceps can help treat fatigue and sickness. They are a type of fungus that grows on the larvae of insects, consuming the host until they replace its tissue, growing a sprout outside the body. They’re available in capsule form and are known for their antiaging properties and ability to boost physical performance.
Among the mushrooms to add to your diet, shitakes are a popular choice as they can be eaten dried for fresh. Dried shitakes have savory flavor that can be quite delicious, but either way, they’re known for their antiviral compounds. They’re also available as supplements and have been known to boost immune function due to the presence of polysaccharides. In particular, they’re known to reduce the effects of age on the immune system.
Perhaps the most commonly available and popular choice for adding mushrooms to your diet, portobellas are known for their meaty texture and flavors. They contain a variety of essential vitamins and nutrients and have similar anti-inflammatory benefits to other mushrooms, the difference being that they are available in nearly every supermarket.