Mushrooms that are used for healing and immune function have been called “medicinal mushrooms.” Common in Chinese medicine, these mushrooms contain β(beta)-glucans which are complex polysaccharides. β-glucans are able to inhibit the growth of cancer cells by activating the immune system.
Cordyceps have been linked to anti-aging and athletic performance, as they are known to help increase stamina and endurance. These are most commonly found in dried or capsule form.
Reishi mushrooms are linked to lessening inflammation which helps with the risk of cancer, heart disease and other health issues. The β-glucans in reishi mushrooms help increase T-cell levels in the immune system lessening the inflammatory response. Reishi mushrooms are best taken in a tincture, capsule or tablet.
The lentinan produced in Shiitake mushrooms has been found to have antitumor effects. Lentinan can heal chromosome damage caused by cancer treatments as well. Although I love roasting them, it has been found that the nutritional value of most mushrooms, including shiitakes mushrooms is best maintained by microwaving or grilling these mushrooms.
Chaga mushrooms are a great immune support. Research has linked chaga mushrooms with activating the immune cells that fight cancer initiation. Chaga mushrooms come in hard chunks that can be simmered to make a tea or used in broth.
Maitake mushrooms have been linked to the inhibition of metasis in cancer patients, and can help minimize damage to those undergoing chemotherapy. These are most commonly found in a powder.
Button mushrooms can reduce hormonal imbalances which helps to prevent cancers that are related to hormones, most especially breast cancer.
HOW TO EAT MUSHROOMS
Mushrooms are not meant to be eaten raw, as they have very strong cell walls. When cooked, they release most of their nutrients. When looking for medicinal mushrooms, they must be from a trusted source or they can be contaminated or even toxic.
Creamy Mushroom Soup – sub almond or non dairy milk for the half and half