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How Functional Mushrooms work on our body

Functional mushrooms, also known as medicinal mushrooms, have been revered for centuries and have been used across the world by different civilizations for their intended health benefits. Discovered by different generations throughout history, functional mushrooms have been the medicine for generations before modern medicine was introduced. Thanks to the advancement of research and science, we now know the beneficial bioactive compounds such as Polysaccharides, Beta-glucans, triterpenes, antioxidants etc which are believed to give the power to medicinal mushrooms as we know them.

There are different ways functional mushrooms work on our bodies. We have discussed and learnt how different functional mushrooms help us with preventive healthcare and help provide the much-required essential nutrition to our body. Let us look at how functional mushrooms enter and work across different sections of the human body.

Immune system support –  Bioactive compounds such as Polysaccharides specifically Beta-glucans in the revered functional mushrooms like Reishi, Turkey tail, Shiitake are known to have immunomodulatory effects on the human body. This means that they can stimulate or suppress the immune system and may help the body fight cancer, infection and/ or other diseases. Functional mushrooms have the capability to enhance the activities of immune cells such as natural killer cells and T cells thereby strengthening the body’s defences against foreign organisms that can cause diseases.

Reduction of Inflammation – Inflammation happens when a physical factor triggers an immune reaction inside your body. Functional mushrooms possess anti-inflammatory properties due to their bio-active compounds such as triterpenoids, polysaccharides, phenolic and indolic compounds, fatty acids, carotenoids and vitamins which can lower the rate of expression of the genes of different inflammatory mediators. For inflammation specifically, certain functional mushrooms such as Reishi, Chaga and Cordyceps are particularly effective.

Supporting cardiovascular health – Research has found that certain bioactive compounds in mushrooms can help counteract the development of plaque in arteries. The bioactive compounds also help in lowering cholesterol levels, reducing blood pressure and improving blood circulation, thereby promoting heart health, and reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Functional Mushrooms such as Reishi, Shiitake and Cordyceps have been shown to help support cardiovascular health.

Cognitive boost – Functional mushrooms offer essential nutrition in the form of bioactive compounds that can help boost brain health by lowering neuroinflammation and increasing nerve growth factor (NGF). Mushroom types such as Lion’s Mane, Reishi and Cordyceps are believed to have neuroprotective properties and can help in improving memory, focus and boost overall cognition.

Enhanced Energy – Often called the “Energy Mushroom,” Cordyceps may help boost the immune system, have anti-tumour effects, increase energy levels, stimulate libido and have anti-metastatic and antioxidant properties. This happens by enhancing oxygen utilization, increasing ATP production and improving endurance during exercise. Cordyceps has been revered for centuries for its ability to elevate energy levels in the human body.

Liver support – Some functional mushrooms have Hepatoprotective agents which can help maintain liver health, mitigate the liver injury caused by hepatotoxic agents and thus prevent damage to the liver. The bioactive agents in functional mushrooms such as Chaga, Reishi and Cordyceps can help detoxify the liver, and reduce inflammation while protecting the liver against oxidative stress.

Managing stress response – Functional mushrooms like Reishi, Cordyceps and Chaga are adaptogens which help the body to adapt to stress and maintain balance by regulating the production of stress hormones like cortisol. Regular consumption can reduce the negative effects of chronic stress on the body.

At Organic Mushrooms, we believe in the power of functional mushrooms that have been used for centuries for various health benefits. The advancement of science and growing research along with feedback from people across the world has reintroduced the interest in the regular use of natural functional mushrooms.

It is to be noted that individual responses to functional mushrooms may vary, we advise you to consult with your healthcare professional before incorporating functional mushrooms into your daily routine, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are on medications.

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