Mushrooms are yet another one of those foods that get missed during conversations about “super foods” or getting in your “fruits and veggies”. This is why I want to highlight them today because whether you like them or not, you simply cannot deny their powerful health benefits, especially when it comes to boosting your immune system, reducing chronic inflammation, preventing and fighting cancer, preventing and fighting heart disease and increasing overall energy and brain function!
Mushrooms have been utilized from a medicinal aspect for thousands of years, with oldest documented medicinal use being in Asian and African countries. We over here in the Western Hemisphere are now coming around to recognizing and learning about “mushroom power” from a healing perspective. It’s almost over-whelming how beneficial they are to your health!
It’s important to realize that there are tons of different kinds of mushrooms, and that all mushrooms are not created equally. In fact, let me provide you with three powerful ones, carrying very high amounts of nutritional content and health benefits…
1. Shiitake Mushrooms:
This is one of my favorite types of mushrooms to eat, by far! This type provides exceptional protection on a cellular level of your DNA from oxidative damage. This is great to enhance over-all wellness, slow down the cellular impact of the aging process and is a great natural treatment for cancer. It actually also helps to heal damage to the DNA that can be caused by various anti-cancer treatments! Other conditions that shitake mushrooms impact include: high cholesterol, digestive issues, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, infectious diseases (viral, bacterial and fungal) and high blood pressure.
2. White Mushrooms:
These are probably the most commonly used mushrooms. They are extremely nutrient-dense and protein-rich. There’s even research available showing that extracts from these white mushrooms can reduce hormonal imbalance and even prevent you from having any of the hormone-dependent cancers (particularly breast cancer)! Another mushroom similar to this one that you may have heard of before is the portabella.
3. Oyster Mushrooms:
What I love most about these mushrooms is their ability to naturally reduce joint pain and muscle aches! These mushrooms are highly anti-inflammatory and help with lowering your risk for a heart attack or stroke by strengthening the walls of your blood vessels. Another added bonus, especially for my fellow plant-based dieters, is that these mushrooms are an excellent source of iron!
How to Buy Mushrooms
When shopping for mushrooms, buying organic ones is extremely important! This is because mushrooms are very porous in nature, meaning that they’ll easily absorb chemicals (pesticides, heavy metals, pollutants, etc.) from the soil they grow in like a sponge! So yes, it’s definitely worth spending the extra money to purchase the best quality of mushrooms you possibly can. Once you get home, be sure to store them dry and in the fridge until you’re ready to cook them.
Another Source of Mushrooms
So, what if you read all of this, and want to experience all of the amazing health benefits of mushrooms but are thinking “I’m not a fan of the taste of mushrooms…”? Don’t worry, you don’t have to miss out on the fun. I provide many patients, friends and family with a mushroom complex…a supplement in pill form composed of 14 species of nutrient-dense mushrooms (including rare varieties not available in conventional mushroom products) ground up and enclosed in a capsule. You simply take 2 of these and you’re good for the entire day. Talk about a tremendous boost of your immune system!
Where do these 14 different species of mushrooms come from? Well, they’re sourced from regions all around the world including the desert of Nigeria, the southern highlands of Brazil and the highest levels of the Himalayas in Tibet and Nepal. And no worries, this is a whole-food product, that’s all natural, certified kosher and certified organic. If interested, just let me know and I’ll get this product to you as soon as possible.
Katherine Igah-Phillips, MD, MHA
Returning to Nature, LLC. | www.returningtonature.com
Mind Body Spirit Wellness, Inc. | www.mbswellness.org
Balance U, LLC. | www.abalanceu.com