Immunity is an essential aspect of your health. Your immune system is responsible for ensuring your immunity. It consists of organs, antibodies, white blood cells, and chemicals, which fight off infection-causing germs from your body. A deficiency in immunity increases your chances of falling ill, negatively affecting your health.
Health practitioners encourage boosting immunity, and there are many ways of doing this. One way is through mushrooms. A mushroom is a fungus that represents itself as a domed cap on a stalk and has gills on the cap’s underside. Some mushrooms can be poisonous, but others contain medicinal benefits. One of the medical benefits is boosting immunity.
Here’s a list of the mushrooms that can boost your immunity:
1. Turkey Tail Mushroom
The turkey tail mushroom is also known as the cloud mushroom. It originates from North America, although it’s in use worldwide. This mushroom contains krestin (PSK) and polysaccharide peptide (PSP). The two components can activate and inhibit the immune cells that help to regulate the immune system. In addition, turkey tail has antioxidants like flavonoids, which are said to reduce inflammation.
According to Mushroom Revival, there are many methods you can enjoy the turkey tail mushroom. You can take it as a supplement; another way is through your favourite vegetable soup. Add a tablespoon of turkey tail mushroom powder as you boil your vegetables for the soup. Should you use the mushroom’s stalks, add them to your soup after appropriately washing them. Once your broth is ready, remove the mushroom chunks and enjoy your soup.
2. Reishi Mushroom
The reishi mushroom originates from Asia, where the climate is hot and humid. This mushroom increases the white blood cell count, which is responsible for fighting illnesses. It also helps in regulating the activity of the immune system.
You can enjoy the benefits of the reishi mushroom as a powder, supplement, or capsule. If you love baked foods, add some powder to your dough and enjoy your goodies while boosting your immunity.
Chaga is a mushroom that originates in the Northern hemisphere and represents itself like a chunk of burnt charcoal. As an immune booster, chaga promotes the formation of beneficial cytokines. Cytokines help regulate the immune system. It’s also said to stimulate white blood cells, which, as previously stated, help fight infections in your body.
One of the ways you can enjoy the Chaga mushroom is in your cup of hot chocolate. Prepare black tea, which contains hot water and Chaga mushroom powder. Follow this with cocoa and milk, mixing the ingredients properly for a rich cup of cocoa.
Maitake is commonly referred to as the king of mushrooms due to its massive growth in nature. It originates in Asia, but it’s also grown in Europe and North America. It’s believed that maitake boosts immunity thanks to its beta-glucan content. Beta-glucan is a polysaccharide, which helps the immune system coordinate better as it fights off bacteria.
You can ingest maitake as a powder in your morning cup of coffee or smoothie. You only require one teaspoon of the mushroom for one cup of coffee.
5. Lion’s Mane
Lion’s mane is a mushroom that got its name due to its hairy appearance, like the lion’s mane. However, its scientific name is Hericium erinaceus. This mushroom originates from East Asia and is supposed to increase the activity of the intestinal immune system. The intestinal immune system protects your body from pathogens that enter your body through your mouth and nose.
The lion’s mane is a great addition to your tea. Boil two cups of water and add one part of your lion’s mane. Let the water simmer for 15 to 20 minutes at low heat, allowing the mushroom to soften. After 20 minutes, strain your mushrooms and remove them. You can now sip your tea as you boost your immunity. It’s good to point out that you can add other ingredients to your tea as ginger or cinnamon, for a better taste.
The shiitake mushroom originates from East Asia and grows on decaying hardwood trees. This mushroom contains polysaccharides, mainly lentinans, which are supposed to boost the production of white blood cells. White blood cells fight off diseases in the body and boost immunity.
The shiitake mushroom is best to consume as food. You can have it sauteed when you fry it with cut onions in oil. Once golden brown, season them with your favourite ingredients, putting in mind that shiitake has a meaty flavour. Finish it off by garnishing with green onion. You can enjoy this dish with mashed potatoes for lunch or with your eggs for breakfast.
Most fungi, such as moulds, are considered harmful to ingest. However, there are beneficial fungi as medicinal mushrooms, which are the primary focus of this article. The discussion above has highlighted the types of mushrooms that help boost your immunity. It has guided how to consume them appropriately to reap the benefits. With this insight, you know which mushrooms to buy, as a powder, supplement, or as a whole, from a grocery store or pharmacy.
However, before taking any of them, please consult with your doctor. You don’t want your body to react negatively, should you have an allergy you don’t know about that negatively interacts with mushrooms.
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