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Supercharge Your Immune System with These Mushrooms


Supercharge Your Immune System with These Mushrooms


The healthier your immune system is, the stronger it will be. To strengthen the immune system, one must consistently nourish the body with vitamins and minerals and keep it hydrated. Another method is to use immune-boosters and immune-modulators. In the case of immune-modulators, mushrooms notably pique interest.

Ancient civilizations like that of Egyptians, Greek, Romans, Chinese, etc. used mushrooms to fight infections and various forms of diseases. Mushrooms are excellent sources of nutrients like fiber, protein, Vitamins B, C, D, and E, as well as minerals such as potassium, selenium, etc. In addition to these substances, certain compounds are present in them, acting as immune modulators. Immune-modulators are agents that help modify or regulate the immune system.

One of these compounds is β-Glucan, the first-class polysaccharide. β-Glucan enhances immune function and may prevent infection and lower cancer-risk as it interacts with various immune cells.

Some of the mushrooms with exceptional immune-modulation impact are below.


SHIITAKE

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This is a commonly consumed mushroom in Asia. It is a rich source of vitamins B, D, and selenium, all of which are antioxidants and protect the body from free radicals. They also provide the body with seven essential amino acids. Studies reveal that this mushroom may also boost the immune system and defend against inflammation. Shiitake may kill tumor cells by signaling them to undergo lysis (apoptosis: normal or controlled cell death). They are considered very potent antibiotics, with their action only against the harmful bacteria.


TURKEY TAIL MUSHROOMS

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Turkey tail mushrooms have been shown to potentially protect the body from carcinogens and may defend against breast cancer. They also tend to boost the functions of macrophages and natural killer cells in the immune system. All these immune-boosting effects of this mushroom are due to Polysaccharide-K (PSK). PolysaccharideK (PSK, Krestin) is a commonly tested and used extract for cancer therapy in Asian countries. Japan approved PSK for cancer therapy.


REISHI

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This mushroom in research studies promoted the production of Natural killer cells and lymphocytes. It could also be helpful in treatment against HIV and Mononucleosis.


CORDYCEPS

In addition to potentially enhancing exercise performance, this edible mushroom demonstrated its ability to boost the immune system. It has the potential ability to interrupt the synthesis of nucleic acids. Thus, it may be helpful in the treatment of viral illnesses like HIV and Hepatitis. This feature of cordyceps may also limit tumor growth by inhibiting DNA replication. It may also reduce the symptoms of asthma as well as autoimmune disorders.


MAITAKE

Known for their flavor, maitake mushrooms are also a competent booster of the immune system. They are rich in β-Glucan and may enhance the function of macrophages and killer T-cells.


Final Thoughts

Apart from the mushrooms listed, there are others that promote the immune functions of the body as well as enhance the nutritional status of one’s diet.

Mushrooms like Tremella, Lion’s Mane, Chaga, etc. may also help strengthen the immune system.

Ultimately, one should consider consuming these mushrooms to not only gain the nutrients but also potentially defend the body against various forms of cancer.

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