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Stay Healthy This Fall With ‘Medicinal Mushrooms’

shitake mushroom -- wikimediaIf you want to stay well this fall and winter, it is important that you take steps now to support the health of your immune system. Include mushrooms in your diet regularly so that you can reap their benefits.

Mushrooms enhance immune health. In addition, they are one of the few plant sources of vitamin D, needed for strong bones and teeth. Most people do not get enough sunlight and vitamin D, especially as temperatures grow colder and days become shorter.

Where to Find Mushrooms

Even common mushrooms such as portabellas, oyster and white button mushrooms – available in stores — provide some healing benefits. For maximum immune system benefits, and a diverse array of flavors, try some of the less common mushrooms which are becoming increasingly available in markets.

Mushroom propagation kits are available. Try your hand at growing your own. You may be able to grow them in a basement or garage. Some come pre-inoculated in logs.

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If access to fresh mushrooms is limited, use dried mushroom, as they retain many of their healing properties. You can dry your own with a dehydrator. If purchasing commercially dried mushrooms, buy dried mushrooms in bulk through herb suppliers. You will save a great deal of money when purchasing in bulk compared to buying them from supermarkets in little packets. Many of the most important immune-boosting mushrooms are most readily obtained online or from herbalists.

If you gather your own wild mushrooms, be sure to take care to identify them correctly. Wild mushrooms add marvelous flavor to healing soups and other dishes.

Shitake Mushrooms: Amazing Immune Boosters

Shitake mushrooms make marvelous meat substitutes. They are readily available fresh and dried in large supermarkets. Shitakes are among the most powerful medicinal mushrooms. Compounds in shitake mushrooms are capable of destroying viruses, including the herpes virus. Most common winter ills such as colds flu, and some types of pneumonia, are caused by viruses.

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Shitake mushrooms can help prevent cancer. Compounds in shitake mushrooms are capable of causing cancerous tumors to shrink.

In addition to enhancing the health of your immune system, shitakes reduce levels of unhealthy LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. These actions reduce your chances of experiencing cardiovascular illnesses, including heart attacks, strokes and hardening of the arteries.

How ‘Medicinal Mushrooms’ Keep You Healthy

Mushrooms work directly on your immune system and improve the health of your entire body. You are better prepared to fight off infections and stay well if all of your tissues and organs are healthy.

Reishi, shitake, maitake and turkey tails mushrooms improve the health of your blood. Mushrooms support the health of your blood cells, which are important parts of your immune system.

In addition to fighting off infections, mushrooms can help relieve symptoms if you do become ill. For example, reishi, shitake, maitake and turkey tails mushrooms help to relieve nausea if you contract a stomach virus. These mushrooms improve the health of your blood. Mushrooms support the health of your blood cells, which are important parts of your immune system.

Mushrooms protect your liver cells. Your liver is responsible for detoxifying harmful toxins that can make you sick. Toxins come in the forms of environmental pollutants, food additives and pesticides.

Mushrooms are adaptogens. Adaptogens are gentle tonics. Regular consumption of mushrooms will improve your stamina, relieve fatigue, and support the health of the entire body. They help your body to withstand physical and mental stress, which is important for your general well-being. You will be less prone to contracting an illness this winter if your stress levels are reduced.

Mushroom Soup for Immune Health

Eat plenty of hot, immune-boosting soups during the fall and winter months. Hot foods, especially soups and beverages, can help to prevent stagnation within your tissues. Eating hot spicy soup may make your nose briefly run, which can prevent it from becoming a breeding ground for bacteria.

Here is a simple soup which will help you to stay well during the colder months:

Sauté 3 cups of vegetables of your choice in a teaspoon of olive oil until golden brown. Be sure to include plenty of fresh shitake mushrooms, onions and garlic in the blend. Add 8 ounces of cubed meat or poultry if you like. Add 1 tablespoon of turmeric and a pinch of cayenne pepper to the pan when the vegetables are almost done. Pour 2 quarts of rich broth over the vegetables. Add 2 ounces of dried mushrooms which have been soaked for 30 minutes in hot water or broth. Add the soaking broth to the soup, too. Simmer the soup until the dried mushrooms and other vegetables are tender. Tailor the soup to your family’s tastes. Try making the soup with different types of fresh or dried culinary herbs, as they contain potent antibacterial compounds. Adjust the consistency of your soup by adding more or less broth. Add pasta, grains, or legumes for a richer soup.

What are your favorite mushrooms to eat for health? Share your mushroom tips in the dedicated section below:

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