Functional mushrooms have been used for centuries to improve cognitive function, support the immune system, and manage stress. In this article, we delve into the world of fungi and reveal the top five best mushroom supplements of 2023 that can transform your mental health journey.
Functional mushrooms are special types of fungi offering a range of extraordinary health benefits that surpass their nutritional value. These beneficial mushrooms have been a cornerstone of traditional medicine for centuries, and lately, they caught the attention of a wider audience. Functional mushrooms are packed with beneficial compounds that can improve cognitive function, strengthen the immune system, and aid in stress management. They are commonly classified into two primary groups: medicinal mushrooms and adaptogenic mushrooms.
Medicinal mushrooms are endowed with unique compounds that contribute to specific health benefits. Many of these mushrooms possess potent combination of remarkable properties such as antioxidative and cytotoxic effects. In simpler terms, they have the potential to combat harmful oxidation processes and eliminate detrimental cells. It is crucial to note that although these mushrooms may offer medicinal advantages, they are officially categorized as dietary supplements rather than pharmaceutical drugs, and we should treat them that way.
Adaptogenic mushrooms on the other hand are compounds that aid the body in adapting to and combating various forms of stress, including chemical, biological, and physical stressors. Unlike relieving a cough or reducing inflammation caused by a headache, adaptogens assist our body's stress response systems in functioning optimally.
It is important to exercise caution when incorporating functional mushrooms into your diet or sharing them with others, as improper usage can lead to adverse side effects such as nausea and insomnia. As with any dietary supplements, it is advisable to consult a medical professional before use to ensure their suitability for your specific circumstances.
To understand the difference let's take a look at a few examples of functional mushrooms, adaptogenic mushrooms, and medicinal mushrooms:
The renewed interest in mushrooms comes from their incredible nootropic qualities. Imagine having razor-sharp focus, enhanced memory, and crystal-clear mental clarity at your fingertips. That's what the best mushroom supplements can do for your brain health. Rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and essential nutrients, these supplements can improve memory, focus, alertness, energy levels, mental clarity, and even prevent memory loss. With such remarkable benefits, it's a shame that up until now we haven't paid more attention to these wonderful healers at our feets.
In 1928, Scottish biologist Alexander Fleming made a remarkable observation that impacted the lives of all of us. While studying the Staphylococcus bacteria, he noticed that a mold called Penicillium notatum had contaminated one of his petri dishes and inhibited bacterial growth around it. This accidental discovery led Fleming to identify the potent antibacterial substance produced by the mold, which he named penicillin, our first antibiotic.
Penicillin belongs to a class of fungi that have antibacterial properties and can help us fight bacterial infections that could otherwise be even fatal to humans. Fungi are incredible organisms as they had to fight off bacterial infections for hundreds of millions of years, and since they are more closely related to humans than plants or other microorganisms, our genetic buildup is similar enough so that humans can be beneficiaries of their powerful defense systems.
Mushroom supplements are known for their remarkable antioxidant properties, thanks to the bioactive compounds they contain such as polyphenols, polysaccharides, ergosterol, and lanosterol. These antioxidants help prevent or slow down cellular damage, thus contributing to overall health and well-being.
Ergothioneine, an amino acid and antioxidant present in mushroom supplements, plays a crucial role in protecting cells against oxidative stress. By incorporating antioxidant-rich mushroom supplements into your daily routine, you can safeguard your immune and cardiovascular health and prevent the harmful effects of free radicals.
Inflammation is a natural response of the immune system, but chronic inflammation can lead to various health issues. That's where mushrooms step in, offering anti-inflammatory effects to help keep your body in balance. Studies have indicated that Cordyceps, Reishi, and Chaga mushrooms, in particular, can inhibit inflammation in the human body.
By including anti-inflammatory medicinal mushroom supplements, in your daily regimen, you can support your body's natural healing process and maintain overall health.
Stress is an inevitable part of modern life, but adaptogens can help the body to adapt to stress and to maintain a state of balance or homeostasis. They do this by helping to reduce the negative effects of stress on the body and brain, such as inflammation and oxidative damage. Think of them as a thermostat regulating our bodily stress to keep it at healthy levels. For instance, Chaga mushrooms have been shown to reduce cortisol levels, the "stress hormone," suggesting their potential stress-reducing effects.
Functional mushrooms can also possess high concentrations of tryptophan, an essential amino acid that helps in the production of serotonin, the "feel good" neurotransmitter that can alleviate stress and promote a sense of well-being. And if you want to go for a depression busting mushroom supplement, not other mushrooms have as much juice as Shiitake mushrooms.
Now that we've explored the benefits of functional mushrooms, it's time to unveil our top choices for the best mushroom supplements of 2023. Let's dive into each of the supplements and learn how they can improve your health and well-being.
The number one nootropic mushroom supplement has to be a Lion's Mane extract, and we found Om's powder to be of the highest quality in the market. Research suggests that this standout supplement can enhance cognitive functions, protect from cognitive decline, reduce anxiety and depression symptoms, and even help repair nerve damage. It's the no. 1 supplement for anyone who wants to achieve peak cognitive performance and healthy brain function.
Research shows that stacking and consuming certain adaptogen mushrooms together boost their overall effectiveness due to a phenomenon known as the "entourage effect." While each functional mushrooms have unique compounds and properties, combining them creates a synergistic effect that enhances their individual benefits. The best mushroom stack on the market also comes from Om, as their Master Blend is the perfect one-stop blend if we want to supplement our body with all the important functional mushooms in one scoop. The curated blend from Om's master mycologist offers 10 of the most potent adaptogens (Lion's Mane, Chaga, Reishi, Cordyceps, Turkey Tail, King Trumpet, Maitake, Shiitake, Antrodia, Himematsutake) with 3 ayervedic herbs; Ginkgo Biloba, Holy Basil and Astragalus.
If you hate the taste of powdered mushroom supplements, a more convenient way to enjoy the benefits of a powerful mushroom stack would be Troomy's Mushroom Blend Gummies. These vegan-friendly and gluten-free mushroom gummies each contain a blend of 14 different mushrooms, with the superstars Lion's Mane, Reishi, Cordyceps, and Chaga included.
With their great taste profile and powerful health benefits, including improved concentration, better cognitive performance, increased exercise performance, and reduced stress levels, Troomy Mushroom Blend Gummies are an easy and tasty treat that packs a punch.
Chaga, an extraordinary functional mushroom renowned for its exceptional qualities, particularly in the realm of nootropics. It boasts a unique composition of bioactive compounds which are believed to offer notable cognitive benefits like improved mental clarity, enhanced focus, and increased memory retention. On top of its nootropic qualities this powerful mushroom supplement can help regulate gut microbiota, balance the immune system, and potentially fight cancer, chronic inflammation, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels.
Last but not least, we have Cordyceps, a powerful mushroom that offers potential benefits such as increased focus, heightened mental clarity and improved memory retention. But Cordyceps is also an incredible pre-workout supplement as it improves oxygen utilization, increases energy production, supports respiratory function, and enhance overall stamina and athletic performance. By incorporating Cordyceps into a pre-workout routine, individuals may experience improved energy levels, reduced fatigue, and enhanced exercise capacity.
The reason why we chose Real Mushroom's product is the fact that instead of the widely use Codyceps sinesis, their extract is derived from Cordyceps militaris, that contains up to 90 times (!) more cordycepin.
According to famous mycologist Paul Stamets, the secret ingredient in making mushroom supplementation effective is taking Vitamin B3 (Niacin) alongside. Stamets believes that Niacin can aid in breaking down the mushrooms' compounds and facilitating their absorption into the nervous system, potentially improving their neurological benefits. But taking Niacin as dietary supplement is a good idea either way as it plays a vital role in converting food into energy, improving circulation, lowering cholesterol levels and reducing inflammation.
Mycelium and fruiting body are two distinct parts of a mushroom, each with its own unique benefits. Mycelium is rich in polysaccharides, which exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective properties, while the fruiting body is packed with beta-glucans, known for their immune-modulating, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumor qualities.
When selecting a mushroom supplement, consider whether it's derived from the mycelium or the fruiting body, as this will dictate the type of benefits it offers.
Polysaccharides, such as beta-glucans are one of the most important aspects of mushroom supplements, and higher polysaccharide content indicate a more potent and effective supplement. The ideal polysaccharide percentage in a mushroom supplement can vary depending on the specific mushroom species and the intended benefits. Generally, a polysaccharide content of 20-40% or higher is considered good for many functional mushrooms, and it should always be clearly stated on the product.
When it comes to choosing the best mushroom supplements, quality and purity should never be compromised. Mushrooms absorb everything in their surrounding, good and bad too, so look for 100% organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan, and US-grown ingredients, free of fillers, additives, synthetic chemicals, and solvent residue. Additionally, look for third-party testing and certification for quality assurance. By selecting only pure mushroom supplements and capsules from a reputable brand with stringent quality and purity standards, you can trust that you're getting a safe and effective mushroom supplement.
In conclusion, functional mushrooms offer a plethora of health benefits, ranging from cognitive enhancement and immune support to stress management and overall well-being. By carefully selecting the right functional mushroom supplement or stack for your unique needs, you can experience the transformative effects of these natural remedies and lead a healthier, happier life.
Based on all available research mushroom supplementation can have tangible health benefits but we need further studying to understand how much impact they have and how they work precisely.
Mushroom extracts are generally better, since they can contain a higher concentration of compounds than capsules and they tend to be absorbed more quickly by the body.
Mushroom supplements offer a variety of potential health benefits, including improved brain function, enhanced immune system function, increased energy, and better sleep. With proper research, there is much to gain from taking them as part of a balanced diet.