The Best Mushrooms for Immunity

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Mushrooms are a mother lode of immune-boosting ingredients. We explore the best mushrooms for immunity and the supplements that provide us with these valuable nutrients in a lifestyle-friendly form.

The immune system is the body’s defense against infection and disease. Therefore, it’s essential to protect and fortify it as much as possible, and mushrooms have long been touted for their valuable nutrients that build and reinforce the immune system. Although they have been a part of Eastern medicine for thousands of years, it is only recently that the idea of mushrooms and their health benefits has taken off in the West.

The importance of the immune system

A strong and healthy immune system is vital for optimal health, which is why mushrooms and their many nutrients can be invaluable. The best mushrooms for immunity develop the immune system response by working to strengthen and support its natural defense mechanism. (A compromised immune system exposes the body to attacks from pathogens like viruses, bacteria, and toxins.) When pathogens invade your body, your immune system defends you with its protective barrier.  It comprises two systems: the innate (which we are born with) and the adaptive (which develops through exposure to microbes). Immune cells known as phagocytes  attack and kill invading pathogens, completing the response.

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A weakened immune system can become overactive, like when someone suffers from allergies or autoimmune diseases that attack the body from within. (Alternately, the immune system can also become underactive.)  The body produces white blood cells to protect itself from infection and microbes. Reactions like fever, chills, or a cough are outward displays of the body fighting off infection.

The Best Mushrooms for Immunity is an original (MuhsroomMaestro) article.

How mushrooms help the immune system

Mushrooms are rich in beta-glucans (a type of polysaccharide) and specific types of proteins, like lectins, that are responsible for most of the biological effects of mushrooms on the immune system. These compounds can not only help activate a body’s immune system but also help it to modulate itself. Mushrooms can also impact the body’s production and use of T cells, B cells, macrophages, and cytokines. These important elements play a role in the immune system’s ability to fight infection. Beta-glucans from mushrooms act like antigens for the immune system and stimulate innate and adaptive immune responses, which help the immune system build up necessary defenses.

The best mushrooms for immunity are also rich in antioxidants that help the body to fight free radicals and inflammation.

The best mushrooms for immunity modulation

Edible mushrooms are one of nature’s superfoods. Besides containing proteins, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants (many of which are beneficial for the immune system), mushrooms are also low in calories, cholesterol, and sodium. Their savory flavor makes a great addition to meals. Mushrooms like Reishi, Turkey Tail, Shiitake Cordyceps, Chaga and Maitake do not just stimulate the immune system; they regulate it. Individually or combined, they can help boost immunity. Reishi mushrooms keep the immune system in check and have calming qualities due to the compound triterpene. Turkey Tail, which provides many health benefits, contains polysaccharides that help stimulate and improve the immune system, especially in people going through chemotherapy.

Shiitake mushrooms are one of the most popular mushrooms in the world and are native to East Asia. They are rich and savory in taste, tan to brown in color, and, like most mushrooms, provide many health benefits. They are low in calories and a good source of fiber, B vitamins, minerals, amino acids, polysaccharides, terpenoids, sterols, and lipids, all of which have immunity-boosting qualities. Shiitake mushrooms can lower inflammation and may help to reduce the natural weakening of the immune system that occurs in older people.

Enoki mushrooms have been shown in studies on mice to help increase immune-boosting cells. In another study administering the Enoki compound to mice with a viral respiratory infection, this mushroom helped to reduce inflammation; it may even offer a defense against infections. Enoki mushrooms have a crunchy texture and a mild flavor with an earthy taste and they work with several dishes.

Alternatively, you can get mushrooms in a supplement.

The Best Mushrooms for Immunity is the (MushroomMaestro) report.

The best mushrooms for immunity in supplements

The best mushroom supplements for immunity incorporate a variety of mushrooms and minerals that can strengthen the function of the immune system and protect the body from free radicals and damage. They also help fight bacteria, viruses, and inflammation.

A good immunity-boosting supplement should contain some or all of these ingredients:

  • a variety of adaptogenic mushroom extracts
  • a plant extract like echinacea or olive leaf that contains antioxidants to combat oxidative damage caused by free radicals
  • astragalus root or garlic help to activate the system to strengthen and support the body
  •  BioPerine or an equivalent to help optimize absorption

Above all, the supplement should be third-party tested to ensure it does not contain cheap, synthetic fillers.  It should also have a money-back guarantee.

Three top mushroom supplements

PureNature’s Mushroom Complete contains a complex of mushroom extracts, including Shiitake, Reishi, Turkey Tail, and Maitake, all of which boost immunity. PureNature uses the fruiting body part of the mushroom and 100% natural ingredients. It is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic, and anti-fungal. This product is free of cheap fillers and binders and has no artificial colors.

 Immune Booster by Research Verified provides some of the best mushrooms for immunity in a supplement. This product provides an array of vitamins, plant extracts, and a unique mushroom complex targeted to boost the immune system and strengthen the body’s defenses. It even contains BioPerine to enhance absorption. This product uses only the highest clinically proven ingredients and comes with a money-back guarantee.

Our top choice of mushroom supplements comes from an environmentally-conscious brand called Troop. This company is on a mission to demystify medicinal mushrooms and present them in a package that is appetizing and approachable. Highly rated, Troop’s Super Troop gummies blend the best mushrooms for immunity: Reishi, Chaga, Lion’s Mane, Cordyceps, Maitake, and Turkey Tail. This standout company uses the whole fruiting body of the mushroom for optimal effectiveness. Troop also employs a dual-extraction method to ensure all the beneficial compounds are extracted from the cell walls of each mushroom. All Troop products are natural, vegan, soy-free, and gluten-free.

The best mushrooms for immunity are rich in nutrients that not only help the immune system to strengthen and even modulate itself but provide many other health benefits. Making healthy mushrooms a part of your diet or consuming them as supplements is sure to benefit your immune system and overall health.  

Further Reading:

Rolling Stone: RS Recommends: The Best Mushroom Supplements (and Why They Work)

The Huffington Post: 9 Natural Ways To Boost Your Immune System

The Epoch Times: Could Mushrooms Be the Key to Improving Immunity?

Important Note: The information contained in this article (The Best Mushrooms for Immunity) is for general informational purposes only, and should not be construed as health or medical advice, nor is it intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any disease or health condition. Before embarking on any diet, fitness regimen, or program of nutritional supplementation, it is advisable to consult your healthcare professional in order to determine its safety and probable efficacy in terms of your individual state of health.

Regarding Nutritional Supplements Or Other Non-Prescription Health Products: If any nutritional supplements or other non-prescription health products are mentioned in the foregoing article, any claims or statements made about them have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and such nutritional supplements or other health products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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