Invite Health Podcast, Episode hosted by Amanda Williams, MPH.
Isn't it funny that you can look back at certain things in your life and think, "Why was I never a fan of mushrooms growing up?" Now that I know about mushrooms and all of their many benefits - especially for the immune system
and for detoxification - it is really astonishing to think about the benefits it has for our overall wellness. We're also going to talk about mycoremediation, which is something that is extremely interesting in my opinion. Let's talk about the science behind how mushroom extracts can be extremely beneficial for our immune system
and for overall wellness.
Mushrooms contain a good amount of fiber, but are also packed with antioxidants. It's these antioxidants that a lot of the scientific research has been focusing in on. They have a high amount of ergotamine and glutathione. Glutathione is the body's primary antioxidant, making it one of the most important that the body actually makes. It plays a significant role in liver health and metabolic detoxification.†
What is Mycoremediation?
There is an underwhelming amount of information available on this, but scientists are actually doing this throughout the country. I had first learned about mycoremediation after watching a television program on how scientists and researchers were utilizing fungus or mushrooms to filter out and clean up areas where they have been oil spills and other toxic chemicals that had seeped into fresh water supply. The mushrooms and the enzymes within them have the ability to degrade a wide variety of environmentally persistent pollutants.
The Benefits of Mushrooms
Mushrooms have been an integral part of traditional Chinese medicine for hundreds of years and have been used for a variety of medicinal purposes. Western medicine has certainly been able to replicate the mushrooms benefit in terms of human clinical research trials ad laboratory trials. The unfortunate thing is that most doctors in the United States are either not aware of these wonderful bits of research or are just uninterested.
There is a great study that came out about five years ago from the University of Florida, through their Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences that published their findings in the American College of Nutrition. Researchers gave participants 4 oz. of cooked shiitake mushrooms every day for four weeks. The participants were healthy and between the ages of 20 and 40. At the start of the study, researchers noted the participants T cells and different inflammatory markers in the body with blood tests. Interestingly enough, at the end of the study, research proved that the immune system was enhanced, especially a reduction in inflammation.†
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Researchers at Penn State University were looking to see if mushrooms - that are packed with powerful antioxidants - actually had any kind of anti-aging potential. They studied 13 different mushrooms, including shiitake and cordyceps, that have quite a bit of ergotamine, along with glutathione. The research found that in places where there are higher rates of mushroom consumption, there are also lower rates of degenerative diseases, especially oxidative stress.†
Questions about Mushrooms and their benefits? Leave Amanda Williams, MPH a comment below!
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