The One Mushroom I Consume Everyday
I know there are differing opinions out there when it comes to supplements. How many you should take, in what form, the best time to take them etc. and I know that often times less is more, but the simple truth is our modern food is lacking and is usually void of many nutrients that were once there. Finding supplements that are clean, in whole form and can help fill those voids specific to you, is important.
Now that we're in cold & flu season I have a fairly tight supplement regimen, but I also eat a whole foods, mostly plant based diet to nourish my body and support my immune system. One of my favourite ways to give my immune system a little extra love this time of year is by eating mushrooms, specifically Reishi, which I consume every day. I keep dried pieces to toss into soups or stews, and use our Wildflower Superfoods powders to add Reishi into my coffee and smoothies.
Why do I love this mushroom so much? Referred to as the mushroom of immortality in TCM, Reishi (Ganoderma Lucidum) has been used in herbal medicine for thousands of years, not only to support the immune system, but to bolster overall health and longevity. Native to Asia, Europe and North America, Reishi can be found growing in various climates all around the world, on fallen logs and hardwood trees. The fruiting body is what is used most commonly for medicinal purposes due to its polysaccharide compounds, called beta-glucans. However, this shiny red-brown mushroom is also extremely nutritious, containing mineral elements (such as zinc, copper, iodine, selenium, and iron), vitamins, and amino acids.
3 Reasons I Consume Reishi Daily:
Immunomodulating - Reishi provides a wonderful daily support for our immune system, without being overly stimulating. Reishi's polysaccharides have been shown to enhance our white blood cell production, which are critical parts of our immune system. Several studies have shown the immuno-modulating effects of Reishi's polysaccharides are extensive, including promoting the function of antigen-presenting cells, mononuclear phagocyte system, humoral immunity, and cellular immunity.
Adaptogenic - Adaptogens help the body maintain a state of homeostasis, by normalizing the stress hormone levels and have been shown to influence the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis) which controls our body's stress response. Reishi has long been used for restoring energy, calming the mind and reducing stress thanks to triterpenes which help support adrenal function.
Anti-Inflammatory - Aside from containing a high antioxidant content, the triterpenes found in Reishi mushroom are also responsible for its anti-inflammatory actions, particularly in the lungs where it reduces cytokine production, supporting inflammatory lung disease like asthma and general allergies.
There are so many reasons to include this beautiful mushroom into your daily routine. Not only is it packed with antioxidants and important minerals, it supports your immune system and may help reduce stress and anxiety.
My favourite ways to add Reishi into my life are by adding our Queen of Green powder into our morning green smoothie, or tossing Mighty Maca powder into a coffee or afternoon elixir. I also buy dried Reishi pieces from Mountain Rose Herbs and keep them on hand to toss into broths, or nourishing teas.
Here are some of my favourite recipes with a little Reishi mushroom boost:
Safety: Consult your health care provider if pregnant or on immunosuppresent medication