September brings a fresh start, with many of us headed back to school, university or work after the summer holidays. It can be a stressful time, which can lower our immune system defences and leave us vulnerable to infections. Let’s take a look at how we can stay healthy and use mushrooms for some natural immune support…
Our number one tip for natural immune support is to prioritize sleep. After a summer of late nights and social gatherings, it can be hard to get back into earlier bedtimes, and poor sleep can really affect our immunity. Get a good sleep hygiene routine in place: No gadgets 2 hours before bed, sleep in a dark and cool room, and take a relaxing bath in the evening too. Poor sleep can lead to an increase in stress hormones, sugar cravings, and affect our immune system. Reishi mushroom powder is a great choice to help the body relax and unwind and promote a sense of calm before bed; try our Reishi powder hot chocolate as part of your pre-bedtime routine.
Gut health is also vital for natural immune support. A large chunk of our immune system is housed within our guts, so if the gut isn’t healthy, it’s likely our immune system won’t be working effectively either. Shiitake mushroom is one of the most effective mushrooms for digestive and immune support. Shiitake has anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, as well as an ability to support the immune system, helping us to fight off pathogens and stay healthy. Regular shiitake consumption has been shown to improve immunity and the production of immune cells.
We also need to focus on stress management to stay healthy. Chronic stress can lead to adrenaline and cortisol release which act as immune suppressants, and leave us open to infections. Manage stress with yoga, meditation and time outdoors, as well as using adaptogens for natural immune support. Adaptogenic herbs and mushroom supplements like Reishi powder and Cordyceps powder can help our body to cope during stressful times and improve our resilience to the damaging effects of stress.
Mushroom supplements also contain antioxidants, polysaccharides and polyphenols which help to support the immune system. They are rich in beta-glucans which helps to modulate the immune system if it is under, or over active. Beta-glucans enhance macrophage and natural killer cell function- two important cells for our defences.
Many mushroom supplements contain a wide variety of compounds that are anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and contain antioxidants to protect the body. Reishi mushroom powder may provide anti-viral support and help production of T-cells which form part of our adaptive immune system. Cordyceps powder helps to support the bodies innate immunity (our front line of defence). Cordyceps is also an excellent choice for respiratory conditions and recurrent illness and infection to restore energy and health.
Whichever ‘shroom you choose they will offer natural immune support, so you can stay fit and healthy during September and the winter months ahead.