When you hear the word “fungus,” what does it make you think of? Your responses probably have a wide range. You could have heard the word in dramatically different contexts, from conversations about infections to discussions about the best way to cook and eat a delicious mushroom.
The truth is that fungi is a term that encompasses many things: fungi include everything from mold and mushrooms to yeast. Because microbes in fungi have some associations with skin diseases and conditions like athlete’s foot, eczema, dandruff and athlete’s foot, your first reaction to hearing the word “fungi” might be one of disgust. But there’s so much more to fungi.
In fact, trillions of microbes are living on you right now, and most do no harm at all! And in many cases, they actually help you. Microbes can help you digest food, protect you from infection, and keep your reproductive health on track. So it’s actually very important to make sure that you take care of the good microbes in your body.
One way you can do this is by eating or supplementing with the good fungi that can provide you with countless potential health benefits.
So what fungi are good for your health?
Let’s start with something familiar – mushrooms! Edible mushrooms have been consumed by humans for at least as long as history has been recorded. As a food, they are beloved not just for their taste, but because they are cholesterol-free and low in carbs, calories, fat, and sodium. But what they have in them is even more impressive. Mushrooms are a good source of vitamins and minerals like selenium, potassium, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin D, proteins, and fiber.
In some systems of traditional medicine, mushrooms are beloved for their healing properties. Some of the potentially beneficial properties of mushrooms include support for brain health during normal aging, high blood pressure, and the normal growth of cells in the body. In addition to these uses in traditional medicine, mushrooms have antibacterial properties and may support the immune system and healthy internal response to disease and infection. Among other benefits, the bioactive compounds are of particular interest and are commonly found in supplements.
You’ve almost certainly heard of mushrooms. But you may not have heard about cordyceps. Cordyceps is a genus of fungi, a type of parasitic spore that attacks moth larvae. But cordyceps (in particular, Cordyceps sinensis) also has many medicinal applications. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, cordyceps are used in the treatment of everything from fatigue, cough, hyposexuality, and renal dysfunction or failure.
The potential health benefits of cordyceps include support for the following:
- Cellular health
- Immune function
- Heart health
- Adaptogenic properties for stress and anxiety
- Energy production
- Liver and kidney health
- Reproductive health
- Normal blood glucose levels
The availability of cordyceps continues to increase with its popularity. Many species of cordyceps are now available. From natural cordyceps, cultured mycelia, and fruiting bodies in commercial health food formulations and natural dietary supplements (including tablets, veggie capsules, freeze-dried capsules, liquid extracts, and powdered superfoods).
More Ways to Get Whole Food Nutrition
Besides helpful fungi, there are more options when you’re looking for ways to get whole food nutrition. Garden of Life is a recognized leader and innovator of whole food nutritional supplements that makes accessing the nutritional benefits, like the kind seen in some fungi, easy.
The antioxidant activity of cordyceps is one of its best qualities. Garden of Life can also provide you with antioxidants through either its Raw Resveratrol or its Living Vitamin C capsules. Garden of Life’s Raw Resveratrol uses a powerful, whole food formula to provide antioxidant support with a raw fruit and vegetable blend, a raw probiotic and enzyme blend, and a raw resveratrol blend of organically grown cabernet sauvignon grape seed and raw fermented Wildcrafted Japanese Knotweed Polygonum cuspidatum.
It’s not just antioxidants. Garden of Life has a wide variety of whole food supplements for the whole family and everyone’s individual health needs.
How do you use healthy fungi in your diet? What supplements do you use to support yourself?