We at the Optimist Daily have long shared our love of mushrooms. They have been used for health purposes for thousands of years, both mentally and physically. Today, we take a look at four varieties of mushrooms which can boost your immune system to keep you healthy this cold and flu season.
These varieties have D-glucans, beta-glycosides, and other substances that have been determined in research to significantly stimulate our innate immune system. They are also high in selenium, magnesium, and zinc which have anti-influenza properties.
- Maitake (Hen-of-the-Woods): These yummy delicacies have been shown to significantly inhibit the influenza A virus from replicating and can be added to recipes or taken in tincture and or capsule form.
- Shiitake mushrooms: These culinary stapes have antiviral properties and are easily found in most stores!
- Reishi mushrooms: This variety is also an antiviral and has been proven to effectively combat influenza A virus and the common flu. One of the powerful components in reishi are substances called triterpenes. These can make the mushroom have a bitter taste, but it can still be taken in capsule or powder form.
- Cordyceps: This one is technically a parasitic fungus, but it has been used as an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial in many cultures because it boosts blood flow, enhancing oxygen use and acting as an antioxidant. These aren’t grown for cooking but can be found in capsules and powders.
While mushrooms are certainly not a cure-all for every ailment, they can be easily added to your diet for an immune system boost. Prevention is the best medicine, so why not add some fungi friends to your daily diet?