Looking to boost your immune system during cold season? Mushrooms may be the answer! Numerous studies show mushrooms can support a healthy immune system and help fight inflammation that leads to sickness and disease.
There are even a variety of mushrooms that have been shown to help fight off colds and the flu. In this quick guide, we'll take a look at four of the best mushrooms for fighting off sickness this cold and flu season as well as where you can find them. Let's get started!
Should You Fight the Flu Naturally?
Before we start talking about flu-fighting fungi, let’s answer one question. Should you fight the flu or a cold naturally? Let’s take a look at what we’re dealing with.
The flu is a respiratory illness caused by a virus, and it can be deadly, particularly for young children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems.
People usually spread the flu through the air when people cough or sneeze. However, it can also be spread by touching surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
Symptoms of the flu include fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, sore throat, and fatigue. A serious case of the flu can lead to pneumonia, which can be life-threatening.
Every year, many people die from the flu, and many more are hospitalized. The best way to prevent the flu is to bolster your immune system before you get sick! Preventative measures are always better than reactive ones.
However, there are also some natural ways to fight the flu if you do get sick.
These include staying hydrated, getting plenty of rest, and drinking warm liquids. You can also take over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen to help relieve symptoms. Even while you're sick, you can take immune-boosting gummies and supplements to help recover faster.
Do Immune-Boosting Foods Help During the Cold Season?
There is some evidence that certain foods may help to boost the immune system. Some of the most commonly touted immune-boosting foods include superfoods, citrus fruits, garlic, yogurt, and green tea.
For example, citrus fruits are a good source of vitamin C, which is necessary for the proper function of the immune system. In addition, garlic contains compounds that can help to fight off infections.
However, it's important to remember that no single food is going to magically protect you from getting sick. The best way to stay healthy during the cold season is to eat a balanced diet, get plenty of exercises, and practice good hygiene.
Likewise, it’s important to remember that immune-boosting foods and supplements work best if you incorporate them into your daily diet and health routine. The idea is to help support your immune system long-term, not just when you're trying to fight a cold or feel a tickle in your throat.
Immune System Fungi: 4 Fungi to Help Fight a Cold
While we’re talking about immune-boosting foods, it’s important to mention that mushrooms can be a great way to help support your immune system during the cold season. Mushrooms are known for having numerous mental health benefits.
However, immune system fungi are so much more than just mushrooms. They're a whole category of organisms that includes yeasts, molds, and mildews.
And while you may not think of fungi as being particularly beneficial, there are many types of fungi that can help fight the cold and flu. Namely, most fungi feature beta-D-glucans and beta-glycosides.
Some studies show that these compounds can significantly stimulate our body’s natural immune system. Of course, you still need to follow a healthy diet and exercise routine. However, here are four great fungi that you can take to help you fight off a nasty cold or even the flu.
Shiitake mushrooms are a type of edible fungi that is native to East Asia. In addition to being a delicious addition to many dishes, you can also use shiitake mushrooms for their medicinal properties.
Modern science has begun to back up these claims, and there is evidence that shiitake mushrooms can help boost the immune system.
One of the active compounds in shiitake mushrooms is lentinan, which has been shown to stimulate the immune system by increasing the production of white blood cells.
In addition, shiitake mushrooms contain high levels of beta-glucans, which are known to promote a healthy immune response.
Reishi mushrooms are a popular herbal remedy that has been used for centuries in Asia. Today, they are becoming increasingly popular in the West as people look for natural ways to boost their immune systems. So how do reishi mushrooms help you stave off sickness?
One of the active compounds in reishi mushrooms, triterpenes, is responsible for the bitter taste. It also has numerous health-promoting properties. Triterpenes are known to boost the immune system, protect against inflammation, and fight viral infections.
Additionally, the beta-glucans present in reishi mushrooms has also been shown to stimulate immune cells and promote a healthy inflammatory response.
Maitake mushrooms have been used in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine for centuries, but only recently have they been studied for their potential health benefits.
One Japanese study found that maitake mushroom extract was able to stop a strain of the flu virus from replicating in the body. Researchers also found that it helped stimulate and increase the production of TNF-alpha. This is a cytokine that has antiviral effects.
When combined with shiitake mushroom extract, the two compounds were even more powerful. These findings suggest that maitake mushrooms could be used as a natural way to boost immunity and protect against viral infections.
In addition to their antiviral properties, maitake mushrooms are also a good source of antioxidants and other nutrients that are known to support immune health.
Ancient cultures have long touted the benefits of cordyceps mushrooms. These mushrooms are commonly found in the high-altitude Himalayan mountains. They are known for being antifungal and antibacterial, as well as improving fatigue and libido.
The most common way to consume cordyceps is through capsules, powders, or teas (or in gummies, but we’ll get to that in just a bit!). How do they work to increase your immunity, though?
Cordyceps mushrooms help boost your immune system by increasing the production of white blood cells and interferon. White blood cells help fight infection. Interferon helps protect against viruses.
Cordyceps also help improve energy levels and stamina by regulating adenosine triphosphate production. This nucleotide is responsible for providing energy to cells.
Other Mushrooms That Are Great for Your Immune System
While the four types of mushrooms mentioned above can be great during cold and flu season, other mushrooms help boost your immunity, too. The best part is that you can take supplements that incorporate all of these mushrooms into one convenient dose.
Understanding how these fantastic fungi work together to help your body is important, though. So, let’s explore how other types of mushrooms help your immune system stay strong.
Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
Lion’s mane mushrooms are great for your immune system. However, they also have superb cognitive-enhancing properties. This is because lion’s mane mushrooms can protect our gut, too. They promote overall gut health by maintaining a robust immune system.
Most of the research suggests that lion’s mane mushrooms can help improve cognitive performance. They’re popular in nootropics because of this. Incorporate them into your daily routine and they can help improve memory, attention span, and focus.
Chaga mushrooms are an excellent choice for boosting your immune system as well.
Thanks to their specialized proteins, Chaga mushrooms can help regulate the immune system and stimulate white blood cell production. This makes Chaga mushrooms an excellent choice for fighting viruses.
Chaga mushrooms are also known for their anti-inflammatory properties, making them an ideal choice for those with respiratory conditions.
Turkey Tail Mushrooms
Turkey tail mushrooms are great for your immune system. They’re so great that the Japanese government approved them for cancer treatments (well, one compound from the mushroom). That one compound is something called PSK. Basically, it stimulates a strong immune response.
Turkey tail mushrooms are also rich in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. All of these factors help boost your immune system.
Fungi Supplements: The Best Way to Consume Fungi
The best way to consume fungi is by incorporating them into your diet as a dietary supplement. Fungi supplements are available in capsule, tablet, or powder form, and they can be taken with or without food.
At Nummies, we’ve created convenient, delicious mushroom gummies you can take that feature all of the above-mentioned mushrooms and more.
The recommended dosage is typically one to two capsules per day, depending on the specific product. If you’re taking Nummies Mushroom Gummies then you should be taking two gummies per day.
Overall, fungi supplements are a convenient way to add this beneficial ingredient to your diet, and they offer a wide range of health benefits aside from improved immunity.
For example, fungi supplements can help to improve digestion and increase cognitive function. They can also promote healthy skin and hair growth. If you are looking for a way to improve your overall health, consider adding mushroom gummies to your diet.
What to Look for in Fungi Supplements
Fungi supplements are becoming increasingly popular as people look for ways to boost their health. But with so many different products on the market, it can be hard to know which one to choose. Here are a few things to look for when choosing a mushroom supplement.
Many people take fungi supplements to improve their health, but it is important to make sure that the supplements are vegan.
Many conventional supplements use animal by-products like gelatin or fish oil, but vegan supplements are made without any animal ingredients. These vegan options not only align with a plant-based diet, but they also have the benefit of being cruelty-free.
In addition, vegan supplements can be easier for the body to absorb and digest since they don't contain any animal products. So next time you're shopping for supplements, make sure to choose vegan options for the sake of both your health and ethics.
Lucky for you, Nummies Gummies are vegan!
It’s also important to make sure that your fungi supplements are non-GMO. GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, are created in a laboratory by altering the genes of a plant or animal.
While there is no evidence that GMOs are harmful to human health, many people prefer to avoid them. When it comes to supplements, you want to be sure that you're getting the purest, most natural product possible.
No Artificial Ingredients
Finally, it’s best to choose mushroom supplements and immune-boosting supplements that have no artificial ingredients. After all, during cold and flu season, you don’t want to add anything to your body that it doesn’t need.
In fact, fungi supplements that contain artificial sweeteners, preservatives, or flavorings may be less effective. They can even cause adverse health effects. In addition, synthetic ingredients can interact with other medications you may be taking, making them less effective.
For these reasons, it is best to choose a fungi supplement that contains only natural ingredients. Not only will this ensure that you are getting the most benefit from your supplement, but it will also help to avoid any unwanted side effects.
Get Mushroom Gummies from Nummies
At Nummies, we use only the best functional mushrooms and adaptogenic superfoods to make our supplements. We carefully source our ingredients from local farms around the country and subject them to rigorous quality testing before they ever go into a bottle.
Our products are designed to support a healthy body and a happy self, and we hope you'll give them a try. Whether you’re interested in taking mushroom gummies during the cold season or want to check out all of our options, visit our store to browse around!