Mushrooms are fungi, a group of non-green plants that feed on organic matter. Fungi reproduce utilizing spores. Other groups of fungi are molds, yeast, and toadstools. Mushrooms are commonly umbrella-shaped with spores under the cover. They produce fruit by shedding spores. As spore-producing fungi, they get the name sporophores. 

Not all fungi are edible – some, like toadstools, are poisonous.  

We have commercial mushroom farming. And there are sufficient reasons for this practice. Let us see why this is so before we examine the health benefits of functional mushrooms. 

Commercial mushrooms 

Mushrooms we grow commercially are cholesterol-free antioxidants with traces of amino acidsThe following are the other characteristics. 

  • More than 90 percent of water 
  • About 3 percent of protein 
  • About 5 percent of carbohydrates 
  • About 1 percent mineral salt and vitamins  

That speaks well of the nutritional value of mushrooms, as most people know them. But there is more. 

 Functional mushrooms  

Functional mushrooms have medicinal value. The mushrooms come in the form of pellets, powders, liquids and, sprays you can buy at an urban store – an indication that they may be imports.   

Different nationalities have been using the mushrooms for centuries, although others are just beginning to notice their medicinal value. To enjoy the health benefits of functional mushrooms, try to use the following kinds. If you cannot find them now, remember their exotic names and wait for them to arrive. They certainly will. 

  • Reish 
  • Chaga 
  • Cordyceps 
  • Lions mane 
  • Shiitake 
  • Maitake 

How functional are they? 

The health benefits of functional mushrooms date centuries back. The users’ confidence in them persists. That is proof that that the mushrooms are health remedies. Let us look at the details of each mushroom type. 

The use of reish dates two centuries back. The users attribute long life and improved spirituality to it. It helps the body to adapt to stress and normalize body systems. 

Chaga is anti-inflammatory and helps improve body immunity. 

Cordyceps is an energy tonic, and sportspeople take note of the fact since it improves endurance. It also boosts body immunity. 

To improve memory, increase focus and concentration levels, the lion’s mane is the functional mushroom. 

Shitake is the commonest mushroom. You find it in healthcare and beauty products, hence the popularity. 

For people with digestion problems and stomach sensitivity, Maitake is the answer. 

Research 

Most if not all mushrooms grow in places with dense forests. Consequently, they will remain imports to many countries. However, there is intensive research going on to confirm what users already know and establish new findings. 

We may not have much information on these mushrooms right now, but the situation is changing rapidly. With the proliferation of lifestyle diseases, many people are seeking health solutions from new and obscure sources. Soon the mushrooms will be on everybody’s lips. 

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