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How To Choose The Right Mushroom Supplements: A Complete Guide

Mushrooms, while formally classified as fungi, are full of natural nutrients that can improve the immune, digestion, circulatory, nervous, and other systems within the body.  Online and in-person stores are full of different types of mushroom supplements. Learn more about which mushrooms produce which benefits.  As there are many different types of mushrooms, not every mushroom supplement produces the same type of benefits.  It is important to find mushroom supplements that fulfill the whole body’s needs and improve overall health and wellness. 

 

What is a Mushroom Supplement?

A mushroom supplement is exactly like it sounds. It’s enriched with boosting properties from different types of functional mushrooms. A functional mushroom supplement is an easy way to reap the multiple benefits of different types of mushrooms.

The proverb “Eat Less, Live Longer” goes well with these functional mushroom supplements. Because it’s a superfood, a little supplement is enough to produce the benefits. Having 2 grams of mushroom daily can protect the body from various diseases and make it stronger. However, eating mushrooms as a supplement doesn’t require two grams, half a tablespoon of mushroom supplement powder or two capsules a day is enough.

 

Why Take Mushroom Supplements?

Why take mushroom supplements when the opportunity to eat fresh mushrooms exists? Aren’t eating fresh mushrooms better than a supplement?

When eating common and good-tasting shiitake, white button, portobello, porcinis, or other types of tasty mushrooms directly, they do not offer the same benefits as known functional mushrooms. Functional mushrooms are full of higher quantities of antioxidants and phytonutrients. They also have many of the important nutrients a human body needs along with a high level of beta-glucans.

Reishi, chaga, and turkey tail are some of the functional mushrooms that are also called medicinal mushrooms.  These mushrooms taste bitter.  How many types of functional mushrooms can be consumed at a time? Because people can’t get the whole body benefits from only one type of mushroom, it is best to have at least two grams of functional mushrooms at a time.  For ease, the functional mushrooms offer an opportunity to get the benefits without the taste in an easy powder or capsule. 

Before selecting a mushroom supplement, it is important to look at the number of mushrooms and potency and understand each mushroom’s benefits in the product.

Types of Mushrooms

Popular functional mushrooms include chaga, reishi, turkey tail, cordyceps, and lion’s mane to support the brain, digestion,  healthy inflammation response, and energy.

type of Mushrooms

  • Chaga mushrooms are the richest mushroom of functional mushrooms. It’s enriched with antioxidants and also has anti-inflammatory benefits. It helps in balancing the immune system, improves skin cells and lungs.

  • Reishi mushrooms, also known as lingzhi, are used in spirituality and longevity and have become an integral part of medicine. It improves the cardiovascular system and reduces stress and supports restful sleep.

  • Turkey tail mushrooms are usually found on the underside. It works for healthier liver function, gives natural antioxidant support and has prebiotics that performs an innate cleansing process.

  • Cordyceps mushrooms are parasitic mushrooms. It’s a tonic of energy, endurance, healthy immune system,  breathing, endurance, and improves athletic performance.

  • Lion's mane mushrooms are fluffy mane mushrooms. It is known to boost focus, memory, and support the nervous system.

Rather than taking several supplements, it can be helpful to group the mushrooms together to experience optimal health and wellness.


Benefits of a Functional Mushroom Supplement

Mushrooms contain polysaccharide-K (PSK) compoundsthat are used to make medicine to combat dangerous diseases such as cancer. According to Japanese research, mushrooms, especially functional mushrooms, have multiple benefits. It can help ensure a healthy inflammation response, reduce insulin levels, stop tumor growth, support a healthy immune response, and more.

The immune system

Mushrooms can boost the immune system with the present polysaccharides and beta-glucans that increase the blood cells and bone marrow cells thereby enhancing the overall immune system. With age, the immune system becomes weak and starts to wear down. Taking immune-boosting supplements, including mushroom supplements with reishi and chaga mushrooms, creates blood cells and eats cancer cells, microbes, bacteria, and debris that are unhealthy or harmful for the body. Mushrooms are also known to help in natural cleansing for healthy detoxification. 

Increase antioxidant levels

Mushrooms such as chaga and turkey tail are enriched with antioxidants, beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin A, selenium, etc. Additionally, polysaccharides are also found in chaga and turkey tail mushrooms that are essential to keeping the human body healthy. These enhance the body’s antioxidant system and protect the cells and DNA from damage. The antioxidant process not only removes free radicals but also supports healthy aging, younger-looking skin, and reduces inflammation. 

Diabetes Support

Diabetes is one of the common and dangerous diseases facing our communities.  There are two types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2.  In type 1 diabetes, the insulin producing cells in the pancreas are destroyed by the immune system. In type 2 diabetes, obesity and an inactive lifestyle are two of the most common causes. Left untreated, diabetes may cause kidney problems.  Functional mushroom supplements have vitamin B and bioactive compounds polysaccharides that work to lower blood sugar, reduce ovarian tissue damage, and promote insulin resistance. Polysaccharides also have anti-diabetic properties that control the level of insulin in the blood and help type 2 diabetic patients.  The beta-glucan-founded compound in functional mushrooms has soluble fiber that interrupts sugar absorption and slows the absorption process and controls the blood sugar level.


Improve energy levels

Cordyceps mushrooms are stimulating by increasing stamina and endurance. Having functional mushroom supplements helps the body to exploit oxygen smoothly and enhance blood circulation. It helps young people, including athletes, keep their bodies stronger and healthier. Japanese research found that functional mushroom supplements can improve a runner’s performance up to 70%. 


Increase brain power

Enjoy mushroom supplements’ memory-boosting power. The bioactive properties of functional mushrooms will boost brain power and reduce stress. Availability of nerve growth factors in functional mushrooms, such as lion’s mane, increases signals in the brain that generate new neurons. It is because of this neuro-regenerative effect that the lion’s mane is known for its helpfulness with memory, anxiety, cognitive function, and depression.

Do Mushroom Supplements Have Side Effects?

The source of the mushroom supplements and manufacturing to ensure high-quality is extremely important.  Some lower-quality mushrooms have been known to contain heavy metals, harmful chemicals, and unnecessary additives.   To avoid unwanted side effects, research the manufacturer and company before purchasing a mushroom supplement. If it’s not from a reliable source, avoid purchasing that supplement.

How to Choose The Right Mushroom Supplement

Among hundreds of brands, it's difficult to find the right or real mushroom supplement. But not impossible either. Read below to learn tricks to find the right mushroom supplement for you.

Which Mushroom Does The Supplement Contain?

Before choosing any mushroom supplement, research the right type of desired benefits by mushroom type.  To strengthen the immune system, select a supplement containing reishi or chaga mushrooms.  For energy and athletic support, select a supplement with cordyceps mushrooms.  To fulfill the whole body’s needs, choose a mushroom supplement with a wide variety of functional mushrooms.  

Choose a Fruiting Body Mushroom Supplement

To enjoy the benefits of mushrooms, choose the supplement made with a real mushroom-fruiting body. Some mushroom supplements are not made with mushroom fruiting bodies but mycelium. Mycelium supplements are also good but not as beneficial as mushroom-fruiting bodies as they are part of the mushroom but not whole. Pay close attention and read the ingredients.  If the supplement is made of mycelium (grain like rice, rye, cereal grains, or oats), then this isn’t the ideal mushroom supplement. Mushroom supplements made with the whole fruiting body are filled with real mushroom extracts, holding more antioxidants and phytonutrients. Mycelium supplements are made with grinded mycelium grain, and most of it is filled with brown rice. 

 

Check Where The Mushroom Comes From (The Source)

When selecting the best mushroom supplements, ensure the mushrooms are sourced from a trusted seller and preferably from the US.  To answer any questions, email or contact the company and ask for clarification. 

Check What You Will Get From The Supplement and Certification

In addition to looking for whole fruiting bodies and the manufacturing country and country of origin, learn about the extraction process for maximum potency.  Hot water extraction is preferred.  It’s also preferable to select supplements that are gluten-free, non-GMO, and have no fillers. Finally, look for a GMP logo and other certifications or notifications on the products.

Hello Health’s Functional Mushroom Supplement

Hello, Health’s mushroom complex supplement offers a complete functional mushroom formula with 10 different mushrooms. It is made from 100% whole fruiting bodies, unsweetened, gluten-free, GMO-free, lab-tested, and manufactured in a US GMP facility.

Happy Brain Mushroom Complex (1564 mg) offers the following benefits: 

  • Improve brain power, memory, and focus
  • Reduce stress and ensure better sleep
  • Strong immunity and heart health
  • Improve sexual health and balance hormone level
  • Reduce inflammation and control blood sugar level
  • Lower the risk of cancer and slower the tumor growth
  • Promote gut health.

Conclusion

Mushrooms have many benefits that are easily consumed through the use of a complete functional mushroom supplement as opposed to eating non-functional mushrooms.  The above guide explains how to choose the right mushroom supplement and offers insight in choosing the best mushroom supplement.

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