comment
People are becoming increasingly aware of the many ways in which fungi support life on our planet. They break down decaying organic matter, improve soil health, and form close relationships with plants and animals.

Throughout the millennia, humans have developed a profound connection with these fascinating organisms. We have used mushrooms for nutritional, medicinal, and religious purposes since prehistoric times. However, they are now becoming more popular than ever, and mushroom supplements are all the rage.



This article explores some of the best-known mushroom supplement benefits and why they are in such high demand.


What Are Mushroom Supplements?

agk0z-o99exekyc4opdockooqgk9uriec5bvm840xjzeiplwjff9he9yoxhv.jpg

Mushrooms are a delicious, nutritious, and versatile food source. They are a key component of numerous cuisines worldwide, and many cultures praise them for their health benefits. They are low-fat, low-calorie, and low-salt while being good sources of protein, fiber, and micronutrients.

However, the mushrooms that you typically find in the supermarket are just the tip of the iceberg. Although there is a greater variety available than ever before, there are many more unsung heroes of the mushroom world.

Many of these species are too woody or bitter to be edible in a conventional sense but hold great therapeutic potential. Sometimes known as medicinal or functional mushrooms, these species are rich in bioactive compounds that can influence both body and mind. They have a broad range of benefits, including supporting digestion, immunity, mental function, and more.

Despite these mushrooms’ positive influence on our health, they are not generally known for tasting great. They can also be tricky and time-consuming to prepare. That’s where medicinal mushroom supplements come in. An ever-increasing number of people are tuning in to this effective and hassle-free way to benefit from mushrooms daily.

So, what are the options, and how do you choose the right product for you? Let’s take a closer look.


Mushroom Supplements: Types and What to Look For

A wide variety of mushrooms can be classified as functional or medicinal. Some of the best-known examples include reishi, lion’s mane, turkey tails, cordyceps, and chaga, although there are many more.

The most traditional methods of consuming these fungi involve simmering them in water to create mushroom broths or teas. Unfortunately, the process is slow and requires more time than most people’s hectic schedules allow. That’s why mushroom supplement companies tend to offer a selection of alternatives.

For example, mushroom powders are a popular and adaptable option. It is possible to add them to smoothies, soups, or pretty much any food or beverage imaginable. However, depending on the recipe, the mushroom taste and powdery texture may be noticeable.

Some brands offer their powders in the form of mushroom drinks. They include a blend of specially selected ingredients that complement the fungi’s natural flavor. The most popular products include classics like mushroom coffee and more decadent options, including hot chocolate and chai latte.

Mushroom capsules are another great choice. They consist of mushroom powder in a capsule casing, allowing consumers to swallow them like pills. They are perfect for people with little spare time or who prefer to take their mushrooms on the go.

Regardless of the mushroom type and dosage form, customers should look for a reputable brand that uses organic, natural ingredients. In an ever-expanding market, it is essential to thoroughly research the options to find a quality product that meets your needs.

One company that fits the bill is VidaCap. A relative newcomer to the industry, the brand is already making waves with its Pure Mushrooms and Mushroom Blends. Their USA-made capsules are among the strongest on the market today. They are also vegan and gluten-free, meaning everyone can enjoy the benefits of mushrooms.


What Are Mushroom Supplements Good For?

The main active components of most mushrooms are complex carbohydrates called beta-glucans. Our bodies cannot digest these large molecules readily, so they act as dietary fiber.

Therefore, they help to support digestive and metabolic function. Mushrooms also promote immune health, which is one of the most significant benefits of mushroom supplements.

Various species also contain unique compounds that provide them with additional effects. Here are just a few of the reasons why people choose to take these products:

Reishi
agk0z-m9luaenms6b31hmv6i9c-humi9xxcorrvpnfbpx-fmkjfx91gldaas.jpg
Reishi is one of the most renowned mushrooms in East Asian medicine. It is said to be a fantastic tonic and is sometimes known as “Mushroom of Immortality.”

As well as promoting general wellbeing, reishi reportedly has soothing properties due to its high concentration of aromatic triterpenes. Therefore, many people choose reishi as a relaxation and sleep aid.
  • Antioxidant
  • Calming and relaxing
  • May promote restful sleep
  • Supports immune function


Lion’s Mane
agk0z-odmaqlaprkiayutposxjjqdosgwqtdpiu1ts1sm9_i3nzazdesjkl_.jpg
Lion’s mane is named for its unusual shaggy appearance. It is prized for its health benefits in East Asia, where it is also a popular edible mushroom. It is said to have a taste and texture similar to seafood.

Lion’s mane contains unique chemicals that promote nerve growth and function in the brain. Therefore, many people take it to improve mental function, focus, and clarity.
  • Supports brain health
  • Promotes mental clarity
  • May enhance cognitive function
  • May improve memory and focus


Turkey Tails
agk0z-otnbwql5vk24i27apg-zw8dgjomvebgxergvehtcrnm3qcnvijjmmi.jpg
Turkey tails are common mushrooms that grow in many different regions around the world. They are easy to spot on old tree stumps and logs due to the distinctive concentric rings on their caps.

These mushrooms are especially rich in beta-glucans and are best-known for their influence on the immune system. They also promote digestive health and general wellbeing.
  • Promotes immune system health
  • Supports gut health
  • Improves general wellbeing


Cordyceps
agk0z-o22xitof5ua494yt3udxq0i85p5iq2tc0opkszo9un-hohqozaxj9n.jpg
Cordyceps is another famous fungus in East Asian medicine. It grows in the Himalayan foothills and is extremely rare in the wild. Therefore, most mushroom supplements use specially cultivated cordyceps, which are far more sustainable.

People use cordyceps for many reasons, although athletes particularly favor them. They are said to promote performance and recovery, improve energy, and more.
  • Supports athletic performance and recovery
  • May improve energy and reduce fatigue
  • Promotes immune system health


Chaga
agk0z-ot0ixgtaoajejgcytgbnoquypdyflkrt92rwkxvgvrocawjjwfxn4t.jpg
Chaga is an esteemed fungus in Eastern European and Russian folk medicine. It primarily grows on birch trees, which give it many of its healing properties.

It is known as an immune system enhancer and promotes gut health and metabolism. People also use it as an everyday supplement to improve general wellbeing.
  • Promotes immune system health
  • Supports digestive and metabolic health
  • Improves general wellbeing


Can You Take Mushroom Supplements Daily?

Mushroom supplements are ideal for everyday use. In fact, taking them regularly is the best way to maximize their benefits. They contain fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals that contribute to your daily nutritional requirements and support optimal health.

Moreover, mushrooms are considered a food supplement, and there should be no issues with long-term use. However, it is essential to choose a reputable brand that is transparent about its products’ ingredients.

Premium-grade items should come with lab reports to confirm that they are free from pesticides, heavy metals, mold, and other harmful contaminants.


What Are the Side Effects of Mushroom Supplements?

Most people can take mushroom supplements without experiencing any adverse effects. However, some individuals could have an allergic reaction to some of the ingredients. Therefore, anyone who knows they have an allergy to mushrooms or any other substances should exercise caution.

Other possible side effects of mushroom supplements include gastrointestinal upsets due to their high fiber content. However, these are unusual and should only occur when taking very high doses. People with sensitive digestive systems should start with a small amount and increase it gradually to reduce the risk of reactions.


Bottom Line on Mushroom Supplement Benefits

The health benefits of mushroom supplements are numerous. They include supporting gut health, metabolism, immunity, and much more. There are also a variety of different mushrooms with unique properties to suit every individual’s needs.

Mushrooms are generally considered safe, providing the products are well-manufactured and free from contaminants. The best brands provide lab reports to confirm their supplements’ purity and potency.

Why not give mushroom supplements a try and see for yourself how much better you could feel?


Natalie Saunders is an acupuncturist, natural health enthusiast, and lover of all things fungal. She studied in the UK and China before becoming a freelance writer in the health and wellness niche. She is one of the contributors to VidaCap, a functional mushroom supplement brand that supplies organic medicinal fungi products.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.