Is there anything worse than getting sick during the summer? You just start to relax and enjoy some downtime on your holiday, and boom you come down with the mother of all colds. Let’s have a look at how you can support your immune system and stay healthy this summer with a little mushroom support…
We are constantly bombarded with potential pathogens from our environment and in the food and drink we consume. Our immune system is vital to protect us from the damage these pathogens could have on our body, but even with our immune systems in tact we occasionally do fall sick. Our immune systems can be compromised due to a range of factors which can lead to us feeling run down and suffering recurrent infections. Diet, and lifestyle are key to stay healthy and support our immune system. It’s best to avoid large quantities of refined, processed foods and alcohol, as well as minimising stress and prioritizing sleep, which can all help to keep us healthy, as can our mushroom friends.
Mushroom supplements contain many nutrients like Vitamin D, Iron, Selenium and Vitamin C which are important for the body and overall health. They are rich in antioxidants, polysaccharides and polyphenols which have been shown to support the immune system. They are also rich in beta-glucans which is a polysaccharide that helps us to stay healthy by modulating the immune system and bringing it back into balance if it is under, or over active. Beta-glucans have been shown to enhance macrophage and natural killer cell function- two important immune cells for our defences.
Many mushroom supplements contain a wide variety of compounds that are anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and contain antioxidants to protect and defend the body. Mushrooms produce many strong antibacterial and anti-fungal compounds in order to be able to survive in their own environment and many of these compounds have been isolated and used to form common antibiotics and other medication.
Shiitake is a great choice for supporting the immune system. Known as the “elixir of life” traditionally, it has anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Studies have shown that Shiitake kills only pathogenic microbes- leaving beneficial bacteria in tact- unlike antibiotics which don’t distinguish the good from the bad. Regular shiitake consumption has been shown to improve immunity and the production of immune cells.
Reishi mushroom powder may also provide antiviral support and help production of T-cells which form part of our adaptive immune system.
Cordyceps powder has been shown 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 you will be helping to support your immune system so you can stay healthy and enjoy your summer holidays, as well as gaining a whole host of other health benefits alongside.