Mushroom supplements are all the buzz – but what are they?

Reishi Mushroom Extract
(© Eugeniusz Dudziński – stock.adobe.com)

Mushroom supplements are everywhere. They’re the latest health and wellness trend to hit the market and are well-known for the myriad of potential health benefits that they offer.

We’re not talking about your typical grocery store portobello mushrooms, though. We’re referring to those that are considered a functional food, which means their health properties extend beyond basic nutrition. Some of the most popular types of functional mushrooms include reishi, chaga, and cordyceps, to name a few.

While most types of functional mushrooms promote general health, each species has unique effects that could be beneficial for specific health issues. For example some mushroom supplements boost the immune system, while others may do things like increase energy and improve focus.

And, from what we’ve been hearing, they really do work.

Read on to learn more about what mushroom supplements are, and how they might be able to tremendously boost your overall health, energy, and focus.

What are mushroom supplements?

Mushroom supplements are basically easy-to-consume variations of functional mushrooms in their raw, natural form. Products like mushroom capsules, for example, could potentially offer more potency and more bioavailability to humans compared to mushrooms that are cooked or eaten raw. This means more of the mushroom’s active compounds are available for use in the body.

In terms of different types of mushroom supplements, capsules are arguably the most effective and the most convenient. There aren’t many companies on the market today that sell quality, well-made capsules, but these are some that I’ve been using recently that I’ve really been impressed with. Capsules also don’t have the taste and texture of mushrooms, which many people find unpleasant.

As far as what mushroom supplements offer, they are packed with an incredible amount of functional nutrients, and are relatively high in protein and fiber. They also contain high concentrations of essential B vitamins, vitamin D, and potassium. There are actually few (if any) living organisms on earth that offer the same abundance of beneficial compounds as mushrooms.

However, each mushroom species offers distinct health benefits. Here are five of the most popular types of mushroom supplements, and what they offer in terms of effects:

  • Reishi: Commonly associated with longevity, reishi is touted for its ability to boost the immune system, reduce stress, and promote sleep.
  • Chaga: Packed with antioxidants, chaga may support the immune system, fight inflammation, lower blood sugar, and lower cholesterol.
  • Cordyceps: Usually linked to fitness and athletic performance, cordyceps may increase energy and enhance stamina and endurance. They’re also said to have anti-aging properties.
  • Turkey Tail: Rich in Krestin (PSK) and Polysaccharide Peptide (PSP), two compounds with immune-boosting properties, turkey tail is particularly useful for improving immune function. It may also enhance gut health.
  • Lion’s Mane: Touted for its effects on brain health, Lion’s Mane is widely believed to improve focus, clarity, and memory.

There are of course other types of mushroom supplements with varying health benefits and effects. However, these are a few of the most common and have some of the most significant therapeutic benefits.

Some companies even offer specific formulas for stress reduction and sleep improvement. These unique blends are made using extract from different types of species, many of which contain a variety of active ingredients. Functional blends like these are actually some of my favorite types of supplements, and they can work incredibly well for a variety of applications.

Do mushroom supplements really work?

To answer the question on a personal level, yes – I do think mushroom supplements work well. That is, if you’re able to find a good, well-made product from a reliable and reputable brand. The American company VidaCap is probably my favorite, as they offer all of the five different types listed above, as well as a very good sleep specific blend.

If you’ve been struggling with noticeable yet hard-to-define issues like brain fog, fatigue, and lack of mental clarity/sharpness – or even if you just want to boost your immune system and improve your overall health and wellness – functional mushroom supplements are definitely an avenue worth looking into. If taken consistently on a daily basis, I really do believe they have the power to change people’s lives within weeks – if not days.


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