This awesome guest post was written by Lidvina Wellness, a Holistic Nutritionist (CNP) and Women’s Wellness Coach! You can check out her website here!
Mushrooms have been used in cuisine around the globe for centuries for their unique flavours, tastes and textures.
Mushroom extracts and medicinal extracts have been used for centuries and by many cultures around the world to support immunity and fight cancer. However, in recent years modern medicine has started to investigate and confirm the many health-enhancing properties of mushrooms.
Today, mushrooms have emerged as nutritional powerhouses that are immune modulators, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. The polysacharrides and beta-glucans are the key active compounds that keep immune cells alert. Mushrooms also have a powerful antioxidant called ergothioneine that helps lower inflammation. Together, these features of mushrooms make them potent cancer-fighting plants.
7 Mushrooms for Fighting Cancer
Shiitake mushrooms are delicious and tender addition to many Asian dishes. From a medicinal perspective, Shiitake is effective at protecting DNA from damage. It contains lentinan, a beta-glucan that can heal DNA damage caused by cancer medication. Shitaake is widely used as an alternative treatment for cancer in Japan due to its immune-enhancing properties and lentinan is used intravenously as an anti-cancer therapy.
Maitake mushroom is used in traditional Chinese medicine to enhance immunity. It’s also used in Japanese cuisine. Research has shown that Maitake can enhance the immune response to fight off infections, that it is cell-protective due to its antioxidants and polysaccharide component called beta-1,6 glucan. Maitake has been shown to reduce inflammation that is common in cancer and can even help reduce the toxic effects of raditation or chemotherapy.
In Chinese medicine, Reishi mushrooms are known for ability to fight inflammation, cancer and a range of health conditions. Reishi is also an adaptogen, which means it can help balance stress levels, and is therefore a natural remedy for anxiety. The immune support from Reishi mushrooms can help reduce cancer cell growth as well as the spread of tumors.
Check out this Reishi tea recipe!
Cordyceps is one of the most widely used mushroom in anti-cancer protocols in Chinese Medicine. It has strong anti-inflammatory properties and acts to stimulate the immune system by increasing the activity of cancer-fighting T Cells and Natural Killer Cells. Cordyceps also inhibits cancer cell division and growth by interfering with how these cells make proteins. Cordyceps also extends white blood cell life and enhances the body’s infection-fighting capacity.
Chaga mushrooms have been used in traditional Russia, Baltic and Eastern European medicine. It has been studied for its anti-cancer properties, specifically because of a key compound called betulinic acid. This acid has been shown to be active against skin, brain, head and neck cancers by promoting the death of these cancer cells. Betulinic acid also decreased the growth, movement and physical attributes of tumor cells.
Research has found that Lion’s Mane mushroom contains strong anti-tumor and immunomodulatory effect due to its beta-glucans. Powerful disease fighting natural killer cells were tuned on by these beta-glucans, resulting in a reduction in tumor size. Scientific research focused on lung cancer has shown that Lion’s Mane extract has strong anti-cancer cell growth properties.
Turkey tail mushrooms are renowned in Asia for its cancer-fighting properties. It has been researched for its anti-cancer properties in the cases of prostate, breast and lung cancer. Immunity that is supressed following chemotherapy and recent research has shown that turkey tail mushrooms can increase conventional therapies for treating breast cancer by increasing tumor-fighting natural killer cells.
These seven amazing mushrooms are packed with powerful anti-cancer properties. They are safe for everyday and long-term use. Enjoy them in the form of teas, cooked into dishes and enjoyed as a tender and tasty addition to any meal.
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