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Of course, magic mushrooms are our favorites. However, they aren’t the only shroom taking up space in the homes of Gwellans. Did you know there are more than 10,000 types of edible mushrooms in the world? For thousands of years, mushrooms have been a revered ingredient in traditional medicine practices.

Since they grow in virtually every part of the world, mushrooms have found their place in hundreds of different cultures. In addition to providing an excellent source of dietary fibers and protein, there are many health benefits to mushrooms that can improve both physical and mental well-being.

What Are Functional, Or Medicinal Mushrooms? Is There A Difference?

Many fungi have medicinal properties, and functional mushrooms come in many forms. These mushrooms are medicinal in their benefits and functional in their integrated into meals, tonics, teas, and supplements. As you can see from our overlapping wording, if a mushroom is medicinal, it’s functional.

These healthy, non-hallucinatory mushrooms improve health and wellness mentally as much as they do physically.

The biggest caveat in our shroom guide is that eating a few shrooms of one strain can make you hallucinate whereas eating a handful of white button mushrooms might make you ask when the red wine will be opened.

General Health Benefits of Mushrooms

Enhancing The Immune System

The immune system protects the body from disease by fighting off harmful bacteria and pathogens. It does more than just eliminate threats, however. A healthy immune system supports a strong, healthy body. When it is working well, every organ, muscle, and system is able to perform its job effortlessly.

Many mushrooms can enhance immune function by building beneficial gut bacteria and lowering inflammation. For example, the Chaga mushroom can rapidly increase the presence of macrophages. Macrophages are white blood cells that surround bacteria and pathogens, destroy microorganisms that threaten the body, and help prevent cellular breakdown.

Reishi mushrooms are especially adept at cancer prevention; they can help increase the level of cancer-killing immune cells in the body. Shiitake is another popular mushroom that contains lentinan, which is known for its ability to boost immune function and possibly enhance the efficacy of other medications.

Managing Blood Sugar Levels

Because they are rich in anti-inflammatories, they can help lower blood sugar levels and maintain a healthy balance.

White button mushrooms can act as a probiotic and increase the level of beneficial gut bacteria. Improving the presence of healthy microbes in the intestines can help regulate the production of glucose from the liver. This can result in lower blood sugar levels overall.

Elements from cordyceps fungi also support safe blood sugar levels. They may also lower kidney breakdown markers and reduce glucose levels.

Enhanced Exercise Performance

Mushrooms have been used for thousands of years in treating and preventing many diseases. Quality mushrooms are also used to enhance overall wellness and make you live better. Cordyceps formula can dilate the aorta for more oxygen circulation.

In addition, the Cordyceps mushroom powder can stimulate the production of ATP.

Mushrooms, Protein, And Calories

Mushrooms are low-calorie and high in protein, so they make great additions to a salad, soup or even eaten alone. One cup of raw mushrooms provides roughly 1 to 2 grams of pure protein; their calories are generally under 10 per mushroom, so they make an excellent healthy snack.

Cognitive Benefits

Lion's mane compounds support brain health and also stimulate the nervous system. Healthy neurons enable the body system to conduct electrical signals effectively. A healthy brain enhances your focus and can eliminate anxiety-related issues.

Are Mushrooms Plants?

Although they are found in the produce section of grocery stores, mushrooms are fungi (and fungals). The reason they are classified as vegetables by the U.S. Department of Agriculture is due to the high nutritional value of mushrooms; thanks to their diversity and health benefits, eating mushrooms is a valuable part of a healthy diet.

It wasn’t until the 19th century that mycology was recognized as a science independent of botany, or the study of plants.

Mushrooms And Their Specific Benefits

1. Lion’s Mane Mushroom

Lion’s Mane is a medicinal mushroom that has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for centuries. Most notable for its cognitive-boosting skills, it can also help improve sleep issues and ease the symptoms of depressive disorders.

Lion’s Mane mushroom helps lower brain inflammation and enhance blood flow, which increases functionality thanks to an increased presence of oxygen.

Mushroom supplements that contain lion’s mane ingredients should be gluten-free, certified organic, and organic-certified.

2. Reishi Mushroom

Reishi mushrooms are brown, kidney-shaped mushrooms native to Asia; known to promote total-body wellness and promote longevity, they can strengthen the immune system and also improve sleep.

Reishi mushroom extracts have neuroprotective and antioxidant effects, which prevent neural damage. Current research suggests that taking reishi mushrooms for up to a year is safe, but extended use could be toxic to the liver.

3. Cordyceps

There are more than 600 species of Cordyceps mushrooms. Similar to lion’s mane, they have been used in TCM to treat fatigue, sickness, kidney disease, and low sex drive.

Most supplements are made in labs as the natural fungi grow on caterpillars in China’s mountainous regions.

4. Maitake

Maitake means “dancing mushrooms” in Japanese, a name that is said to come from the happy jig people did when they discovered them in the wild. Maitake are adaptogens, meaning they can help the body fight any physical or mental ailment.

Maitake supplements can be a fantastic part of your diet, but you should first speak to a healthcare professional to develop a schedule. This will help you get the most benefits while improving your overall health.

5. Turkey Tail

Turkey tail mushroom is one of the most common varieties used to fight cancer. It may also help balance neurotransmitters in the brain, resulting in greater mood stability, less irritability and lower symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Moreover, turkey tail mushrooms can increase GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid) production. This neurotransmitter plays a fundamental role in your brain’s communication with the central nervous system. Higher GABA levels can improve joint and muscle pain, alleviate anxiety, improve sleep quality and treat premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

6. Chaga Mushroom

Many people turn to the Chaga mushroom extract as an alternative to antidepressants and other pharmaceuticals.

Chaga mushroom capsules contain adaptogens, which negates the fatigue caused by anxiety. They can also help your body function more efficiently under pressure, making it easier to cope with stress.

7. Shiitake Mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms are usually found in Asian dishes, like miso soup, but they can be excellent dietary supplements as well. The tan-and-brown Shiitake mushroom can help lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation in the intestinal tract and even help exfoliate your skin. This is due to the antioxidant L-ergothioneine, which protects cells from degeneration.

8. Portobello Mushrooms

The portobello mushroom hails from Italy. It was first identified by French botanist Joseph Pitton de Tournefort in 1705. The ancient Italians used them for centuries before that, however, to concoct a variety of medicinal remedies.

The hearty portobello is rich in nutrients, including B1 and B2 vitamins, potassium, phosphorus, copper, and selenium. It can naturally accelerate the body’s ability to break down sugars from carbohydrates.

9. Baby Bella Mushrooms

Baby Bella mushrooms (criminis) are low-fat, cholesterol-free, and can help lower the risk of chronic diseases. Baby Bellas are petite mushrooms that can enhance your bone health, reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and increase the activity of white blood cells like macrophages thanks to their high density of phytonutrients.

10. White Mushrooms

White mushrooms are a broad family of mushrooms that make up 90% of all the mushrooms native to the United States. You may also see them called button mushrooms, cotton mushrooms, or champignon.

With stout bodies and smooth caps, these make excellent cooking mushrooms thanks to their soft texture and mild but fragrant earthy taste. White mushrooms have health benefits ranging from cancer-fighting properties to better gut health and reduced risk of heart disease.

11. Oyster Mushrooms

Oyster mushrooms , also known as hiratake, were discovered during World War I in Germany; now, they are renowned for their unique shape, soft texture, and savory taste.

The health benefits of oyster mushrooms include enhanced immunity, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, and a strong amount of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients. They are also low in carbohydrates, so they may be a good choice if you are following a low-carb diet.

Gwella's Take on Functional Mushrooms

Our product, Mojo, uses a hand-picked selection of functional mushrooms to help bring greater balance and energy into everyday life. From Lion’s Mane to Cordyceps, users have found Mojo to bring a better boost than their typical afternoon cup of coffee, workout, or even prescription pills.

Mojo is designed to make people feel better in their daily lives, promote a sense of calm, and enhance focus.

If you are ready to get in touch with a better you, let Mojo bridge the distance to your highest self.

The Come Down

Mushrooms are magical, even if they don't have psychedelic effects. The medicinal properties, nutritional value, and amazing health benefits of functional mushrooms can help you lead a healthier, fuller life.

Mushrooms help fight cognitive decline, boost the presence of amino acids, kill foreign bodies, and may even help prevent cancer.

Whether you enjoy raw or cooked mushrooms, you can expect to benefit from a reduced risk of disease, better bone health, more vitamins and minerals, and fewer calories in your diet. Choosing the right mushrooms for you will depend on your health, medical history, and personal tastes.

Talk to your doctor about what mushrooms you should try, and consider bringing up a mushroom supplement like Mojo to boost your nutrition.

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