The Health & Performance Benefits of Mushrooms – 2 minute read

Welcome back for some little short sharp snippets that are bought to you via some of the leading lights in the health and wellness space. Today’s post focuses on the power of the humble mushroom and is bought via mushroom extraordinaire and all round fungi (sorry, it was crying out), four sigmatic founder Tero Isokauppila.

Tero’s first hot tip is the oyster mushroom. Oyster mushrooms are especially good in the evening as they are high vitamin b6 which supports the production of serotonin. Serotonin helps to regulate sleep and mood, making oyster mushrooms the perfect accompaniment in your dinner. On that note however, ensure your oyster mushrooms are eaten cooked and not raw, as cooking eliminates a toxic protein they contain.

Ok, next we have the super shroom Chaga. Chaga has a number of health benefits including it being good for gut health, safeguarding against cancer and having a super high antioxidant count.

Chaga is also a particularly good choice for athletes. One reason for this is it’s power to reduce both chronic and acute inflammation. This is down to the high betulinic acid content, which reduces inflammation across the body and especially in relation to digestion. Chaga’s positive effects on gut health is likely due to the mushroom’s extraordinary levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD), an enzyme that fights cell damage caused by oxidative stress.

Another damn good reason to get chaga in you is Melanin. Melanin is a broad term for a group of natural pigments found in most organisms. In humans it’s the dark-ish pigmentation produced by tyrosine found in our eyes and skin. When taken from Chaga it serves as a natural sunscreen, helps to combat stress, regulates biological rhythms, enhances the appearance of hair, skin and eyes, and can even help protect us against cancer. Last chaga tip; make sure it’s birch tree grown to ensure maximum goodness!

Our next mushroom of choice is the cordycep. These little beauties are known for their power to increase sexual and physical performance as well as producing all round general higher energy levels. In addition to having a positive effect on training athletes, Cordyceps has proved beneficial for the general population as well. This is done by increasing how much of the energy molecule ATP (Adenosine Tri-Phosphate) is created through the cellular respiration process, and even more importantly, improving how thoroughly the body uses oxygen.

Lastly, the regal sounding Lion’s mane. This mushroom is a powerful aid to both brain function and central nervous system,(CNS). It increases focus, sharpness and general cognitive functioning. Lion’s mane also passes the brain barrier and as such, is particularly neuro protective.

Lion’s mane contains large amounts of the compounds erinacines, which are especially effective at stimulating the production of NGF (nerve growth factor), a protein that’s central to the growth and health of neurons in our brains. Since the blood-brain barrier prevents NGF from entering the brain, that stimulation is essential for making sure that the brain synthesizes the protein on its own. When our brains cannot induce NGF on their own, we become more susceptible to degenerative conditions, particularly dementia, so an external source of NGF production is imperative to maintaining our cognitive health.

Ok, hope there was a couple of take aways there, till next time.

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