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Why Are Mushrooms Taking Over The Supplement Industry?

Reishi mushrooms

Mushrooms seem to be everywhere in the supplement industry now, from gummies and capsules to powders and teas. Everyone seems to have their hands on a mushroom supplement, and with brands making big promises about the benefits of them, they definitely have a lot to live up to.

The prevalence of mushroom supplements is only growing exponentially, with the market set to grow annually at 7.9% until 2026. Even in 2017, the global market for mushrooms was worth $38.13 billion, so it’s a big industry!

But, why?

Why have mushrooms suddenly made their way onto the supplement scene and why are they so popular with so many types of people?

In this article, I’m be answering these questions and giving you a quick mushroom 101, telling you everything you need to know and showcasing the most powerful mushrooms out there.

A Short History of Mushrooms

Mushrooms are fungi, and they have been used for thousands of years for both medicinal use and recreational use.

Mushrooms have been used for thousands of years in ancient Chinese medicine, certain mushrooms were used for anti-inflammatory benefits in ancient Greece, and in Mesoamerican culture, consuming hallucinogenic mushrooms would often occur during rituals. So, mushrooms have been used for a long time, for various reasons!

In more recent times, fungi have been used to create medicine, such as penicillin, and mushrooms are one of the many vegetables available for purchase at supermarkets across the globe. So they’re still widely used, even if used slightly differently.

Benefits of Mushrooms

Although I’m going to talk about three of the most powerful mushrooms out there and the benefits that they provide, I think it’s useful to take a look at the benefits that are associated with mushrooms overall, so you can further understand why mushrooms have become so popular.

  • They boost the immune system
  • They support heart health
  • They contain essential vitamins & minerals such as vitamin B, D, and selenium
  • They’re anti-inflammatory
  • They help maintain clear, young-looking skin

The Top 3 Most Powerful Mushrooms & Benefits

Reishi

Reishi mushrooms

Reishi mushrooms, also known as Ganoderma lucidum, have a wide range of health benefits. This type of mushroom boosts the immune system by affecting white blood cells, has cancer-fighting properties, reduces fatigue, improves mood, lowers cholesterol, and helps balance blood sugar levels.

Potentially not suitable for: People taking blood pressure medication and people with diabetes.

How to take: Reishi mushrooms aren’t pleasant to eat due to a tough texture, so it’s best to consume it as a powdered supplement or as tea.

Lion’s Mane

Lions mane mushrooms

Lion’s Mane, also known as Hericium Erinaceus, provides an array of health benefits, specifically the brain, digestive system, and heart. This type of mushroom stimulates the growth of brain cells and therefore reduces the likelihood of dementia, reduces anxiety and depression, reduces inflammation, lowers oxidative stress, boosts the strength of the digestive system, and protects against ulcers.

Potentially not suitable for: Lion’s Mane seems to be a very safe mushroom for most people, however, this type of mushroom hasn’t been widely tested on humans for side effects.

How to take: Lion’s Mane mushrooms can be eaten raw or cooked, it can also be taken in powdered form or as tea.

Shiitake

shiitake mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms, also known as Lentinula edodes, provide a multitude of health benefits, especially for the immune system and the heart. This type of mushroom lowers cholesterol, reduces blood pressure, reduces inflammation, boosts the immune system, contain lentinan that may help fight cancerous tumors, and strengthens bones.

Potentially not suitable for: Women that are pregnant or breastfeeding and people with autoimmune conditions.

How to take: Shiitake mushrooms are best consumed cooked, as eating raw shiitake may cause an upset stomach. You can also consume shiitake mushrooms in powdered form or as tea.

Are All Mushrooms Safe?

As mentioned above with each of the three mushrooms discussed, not all mushrooms are suitable for everyone, and of course, not all mushrooms are safe for consumption – some are highly poisonous.

Before you consume any mushroom, make sure you do your research and check that it’s suitable for you, especially if you have medical conditions.

You should never consume a mushroom unless you are 100% certain what it is – so don’t go digging up mushrooms in your garden and eating them!

How To Add Mushrooms To Your Diet

There are many ways that you can add mushrooms to your diet, so you can choose whatever method suits you best.

Of course, you can cook mushrooms and add them to your lunch or dinner, you can take a mushroom supplement, such as a capsule or a powdered formula daily, or you can have mushroom tea.

Most people tend to add mushrooms to their diet through capsules, formula, or tea, simply because it can be quite hard to find the most powerful types of mushrooms in their fresh form, and it takes more effort to incorporate them into a meal.

Just remember that if you’re taking a supplement, it needs to have a fully disclosed ingredients label and contain sufficiently dosed amounts of each ingredient. Avoid supplements with proprietary blends and filler ingredients.

The Bottom Line – Jump On The Mushroom Bandwagon!

The mushroom craze isn’t something that you should bypass, it’s actually something that you should 100% get on board with. However, don’t just get into mushrooms for a few months and give up, as you would with a fad diet, instead, make sure mushrooms are part of your long term diet.

There’s a multitude of reasons why mushrooms are taking over the supplement industry and being talked about as the newest type of superfood.

So, what are you waiting for? Look at which mushrooms are the most beneficial for you personally, incorporate them into your diet, and get ready to see the benefits.

Adam Author

About the LifeHacker Guy

Hi, I'm Adam the founder of the LifeHacker Guy.

I have a First Class Honours degree in Sports Science from Brighton University, specialising in exercise physiology and nutrition. In my youth I was a competitive Triathlete and long-distance runner placing top 10 in most triathlon races I completed.

Since suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I moved into web development, after a couple of years I then moved onto developing a number of online businesses. I've recently taken a sabbatical and I'm now looking to make big changes in my life, hopefully this may resonate with you - join me in my journey!

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