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Make room for mushrooms!

By Emily Seddon |


Keys2words - Make room for mushrooms!

Mushrooms are touted as being the next big thing in health. And it’s no wonder – they’re incredible!

Did you know the world’s biggest living organism is a fungus in the U.S. that measures over 8 square kilometres?

Of course, they’re a nutritional powerhouse with different mushrooms containing various amounts of protein, fibre, minerals, B vitamins and vitamin D. However, on top of this, more and more research is also highlighting just how beneficial mushrooms can be to our health.

Let’s delve into a few reasons why you should make room for some mushrooms…

Immune support.

Mushrooms, like turkey tail, reishi and shiitake, are all helpful in staving off colds, flu and other immune conditions. Different mushrooms contain different types of protein-bound polysaccharides that stimulate our immune function but by acting as biological immune response mediators (BIRMs), they activate and strengthen various immune cells that are involved in our first and second lines of immune defence.

In fact, the polysaccharides found in turkey tail mushrooms are so effective, they are used as a medication in China and Japan!

Mushrooms face the same pathogens as animals (virus, bacteria, yeasts), which is one of the existing theories behind mushrooms close affinity with the!

Brain food.

Lion’s Mane mushrooms always make me think of the big MGM lion head roaring at the beginning of movies (you know the one?) and as Lion’s Mane is protective to the brain, I think this is quite fitting!

The positive effects Lion’s Mane, or Yamabushitake, can have on the brain and wider nervous system include:

Metabolic support.

Mushrooms are also supportive to our gastrointestinal system, our cardiovascular systems and the relationship between these systems. Metabolic syndrome, for instance, is an increasingly common syndrome, affecting at least 15 per cent of Australians over 25 years old and is defined by the presence of three of the following conditions (which are all risk factors related to heart disease and type 2 diabetes):

  • Abdominal obesity

  • High blood pressure

  • High blood sugar

  • High serum triglycerides

  • Low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels.

Almost seemingly too good to be true, Maitake mushroom, or Grifola frondosa, has beneficial actions to help with all of these conditions!

  • hypoglycaemic

  • All mushrooms (including maitake) contain alpha-glucans – a form of fibre – which can bind to triglycerides and cholesterol and facilitate excretion from the body.

Ovulation.

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It has been established that by enhancing insulin sensitivity, and thereby lowering insulin levels, women with PCOS will have lower androgen levels and consequently, regular ovulatory cycles. It is thought that maitake assists ovulation via this insulin-lowering mechanism.

Sustainability.

Maintaining a sustainable and healthy environment is vital in such a busy world. You can use mushrooms in your compost to create high-quality fertilisers for your garden (suitable for most garden plants) – they will literally grow anywhere. !

Some creative innovators in the U.S. are even using mushroom fibres to create clothes, hats, socks, and bags too! If you’re interested more in this, check out

Have you experienced the medicinal benefits of mushrooms? Let us know in the comments below.

Emily Seddon
Naturopath + Nutritionist
Emily is a qualified Naturopath and Nutritionist based in Sydney. She loves using herbal medicine to treat ailments and lives by the philosophy of "there is no such thing as too much tea".

Please be respectful of other participants in the conversation. We'd love you to keep your comments respectful, friendly and relevant. Differences of opinion are welcome, but trolling and abuse of other commentators and the IQS editorial team is not and will result in blacklisting.

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