Mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of certain fungi that form the basis of many foods, and have a wide range of health benefits including brain health. The use of mushrooms in traditional medicine has existed for centuries.
It has been proven that “mushroom extract can help improve memory in the elderly, reduce depression symptoms and lower cholesterol levels”. Practicing a healthy lifestyle is a way to prevent many diseases and prolong life expectancy.
Three of the most popular and extensively researched brain-loving fungi are the Lion's Mane fungus, the Reishi mushroom, and the Chaga mushroom, all of which we will discuss in this article.
Brain and Its Function
When it comes to the human body, the brain ranks as one of the most enigmatic organs. The brain's inner workings have long fascinated medical professionals, scientists, psychologists, and philosophers.
When our senses pick up anything, it tells our brain, which in turn tells our neurons to fire in order to produce the right response.
Scientific studies and dietary studies have demonstrated that by eating the right food for brains (such as green leafy vegetables, and healthy fats), along with the appropriate supplements, we can support and improve our memory, cognition, and the health of our neurons.
The study of environmental influences on gene expression and, by extension, which genes are expressed, is known as epigenetics.
This suggests that while everyone has specific genetic "weaknesses" or predispositions to certain diseases, these can be overcome through lifestyle choices and the foods they eat (a process known as nutrigenomics).
The food and lifestyle choices you make could be key to preventing or alleviating certain symptoms. This is especailly true if you struggle with memory loss, difficulty focusing or concentrating, brain tiredness, or a family history of Alzheimer's disease or dementia
Protecting Your Brain Using Mushrooms
There is growing scientific evidence that eating mushrooms can improve cognitive function, enhance emotional wellness, and even help those with mild cognitive impairment.
Medicinal mushrooms have shown promise in alleviating symptoms such as fatigue, sadness, anxiety, and mood swings as well as neuro-inflammation and the formation of beta amyloid plaque, the latter of which is the root cause of Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
When our brain cells, known as neurons, have an inflammatory reaction, this is known as neuro-inflammation.
Neuroinflammation stimulates the immune system. Neurons, nerve cells, and brain cells are all negatively impacted by this condition of low-grade immunological and inflammatory dysfunction.
The high concentration of bioactive compounds in edible mushrooms, such as the Lion's Mane mushroom, reishi mushroom, and Chaga mushroom, makes them potent adaptogens that support immune modulation and improve immunological response and brain function.
It's also been established that oxidative stress and an impaired antioxidant defense system contribute to neuroinflammation.
Protecting neurons from injury and lowering neuronal oxidative stress, medicinal mushrooms play an important role in maintaining brain health by bolstering the body's own synthesis of endogenous antioxidants.
Most Common Brain Disorders
Neuroinflammation, moderate cognitive impairment, and other brain illnesses are four of the most frequent health issues facing Western societies today such as:
- Sleep Disorders
- Alzheimer's Disease
A dysfunctional neuronal network underlies each of these states of mind. Fortunately, we can assist these conditions by taking a more holistic approach and making adjustments to our way of life.
In this way, eating mushrooms can help improve and sustain cognitive function.
List Of The Top Three Brain-Healthy Medicinal Mushrooms
The Lion's Mane fungus, the Chaga mushroom, and the Reishi mushroom are the top three therapeutic mushrooms for protecting brain health.
Scientific studies have revealed that these three medicinal mushrooms can aid with minor cognitive impairment, anxiety, and depression, and even lower plaque formation and oxidative stress.
These mushrooms prevent cell death and promote the development of new nerve cells (neurite outgrowth) and neural circuits in the brain.
Health Benefits Of Lion’s Mane
Stomach And Digestive Problems
Supporting a healthy gut and microbiome, Lion's Mane mushrooms act as a prebiotic and powerful anti-inflammatory fungus.
Lion's Mane helps with stomach and intestinal issues by calming the body's stress reaction and bolstering the adrenal glands and nerve system.
All diseases have inflammation at their core. Inflammatory mediators and pathways generate dysfunction that results in symptoms (an indication that something is wrong) and the development of disease, which is defined as the malfunction or disturbance to homeostasis and optimal function.
The anti-inflammatory properties of this compound restore immune system balance by decreasing the release and activation of these pathways and cytokines.
As a result of their anti-inflammatory properties, Lion's Mane mushrooms help to reduce neuroinflammation and boost brain health by blocking the activation of these pathways.
Calms Nerves And Lifts Spirits
The pathophysiology of both anxiety and depression has been linked to the activation of inflammatory pathways and an imbalance in the immune system.
Blood-brain-barrier (BBB) permeability is increased by brain inflammation, just as it is by gut inflammation, according to studies.
The formation of this "leakiness" allows for the passage of undesirable chemicals, which triggers an immunological response, neuronal loss, and alterations to the brain's structure and microglia's function.
It has been hypothesized that prolonged exposure to inflammatory indicators alters the neurotransmitter levels and neurocircuit function linked with those evident in depression and anxious states.
And stressors, in whatever form they manifest, can be a major contributor to mental health issues like anxiety and depression. An anti-inflammatory and antioxidant powerhouse, lion's mane mushroom can help mitigate the stress response that fuels inflammation.
Enhance Your Focus And Memory
Remembering and making new memories both take place in a region of the brain called the hippocampus. As a result of increased nerve growth factor (NGF) in the hippocampus, taking Lion's Mane has been demonstrated to enhance memory.
Low iron levels, exhaustion, poor sleep, excessive thought, an imbalance of neurotransmitters, or just a lack of interest or stimulation are just some of the many factors that can cause us to lose concentration or struggle to concentrate.
Lion's Mane is one of the medicinal mushrooms for the brain that has been shown to enhance focus and concentration by bolstering neuronal health and protecting the myelin sheaths, the fatty substance that surrounds each neuron and speeds up nerve impulses, thus enhancing learning, retention, and memory.
Eliminates Free Radicals
Damage to DNA and RNA is caused by free radicals, which are produced by normal metabolic mechanisms and environmental contaminants. The production of free radicals, which fuel inflammation, mitochondrial malfunction, and cell death is sped up and augmented by oxidative stress.
Antioxidants are helpful because they neutralize free radicals, preserving DNA and cellular function.
Naturally, we require some free radicals to stimulate our immune system and maintain good health. However, diseases manifest when free radical levels climb to dangerous heights, overwhelming the body's antioxidant defenses.
As a powerful antioxidant, Lion's Mane aids in the elimination of free radicals, which can lead to the onset of imbalances, pain, and diseases.
Reduces Risk Of Heart Disease
The following are among the most significant causes of heart disease:
- High triglycerides
- Large amounts of oxidized cholesterol
- Increased tendency to get blood clots
It has been shown in rodent studies that lion's mane mushroom extract increases fat metabolism and decreases triglyceride levels.
As both obesity and high triglycerides are risk factors for cardiovascular disease, this is one way in which lion's mane mushrooms benefit cardiovascular health.
Moreover, lion's mane extract has been shown effective in preventing the oxidation of cholesterol in the bloodstream in laboratory trials.
Oxidized cholesterol molecules have a propensity to bind to arterial walls, which can lead to hardening and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. For the sake of your heart, it's important to keep oxidation levels low.
Hericenone B, a chemical found in lion's mane mushrooms, can reduce blood clotting and hence protect against cardiovascular disease.
There is preliminary evidence that lion's mane mushrooms are beneficial to the cardiovascular system, but this needs to be confirmed by human trials.
May Help Fight Cancer
When cells divide and reproduce uncontrollably due to DNA damage, the result is cancer.
Several of the unusual chemicals found in lion's mane mushrooms have shown promise in cancer research.
In a test tube, combining lion's mane extract with human cancer cells hastens the death of the cancer cells.
Numerous types of cancer cancer cells have shown this to be the case. Cancerous cells found in the blood, liver, colon, and stomach. However, at least one other study has not found the same results. Lion's mane extract has been demonstrated to both destroy cancer cells and prevent them from spreading.
Health Benefits of Reishi Mushroom
Reishi mushrooms are potent adaptogens that work to regulate the body's stress response. Reishi boosts adrenal function promotes healthy stress hormone secretion.
The hormone cortisol has anti-inflammatory properties. However, when stress is continual and cortisol is continuously released by the adrenals, the stress response goes haywire and it is impossible for the body to restore homeostasis until we break out of this "flight or fight" reaction.
Excessive blood pressure, high cholesterol, and chronic weariness are all indicators of a body out of balance, which can lead to further breakdown and dysfunction of many systems.
Reishi mushroom's capacity to assist the adrenals and retain healthy cortisol release and circulation aids in lowering "cortisol resistance" and relieving chronic nervous system activation and stress.
According to TCM, the Reishi mushroom can help calm nervous and exhausted people by restoring their Shen balance and allowing them to reconnect with their inner peace and harmony.
Reishi's ability to reduce stress means it can help the brain keep working properly and boost resistance to external stresses.
Immune System Booster
The production of pro-inflammatory mediators is boosted when the immune system is out of whack.
Inflammation is known to play a role in the development of neurodegenerative disorders and has been connected to mental health issues such anxiety, depression, exhaustion, memory loss, and cognitive decline.
The over-release and availability of these pro-inflammatory mediators are reduced by the use of reishi mushroom, but the immune system is still able to respond normally.
Historically, people have turned to the immune-boosting properties of the reishi mushroom to combat viral infections and respiratory illnesses like asthma and bronchitis.
It has been established that neurodegenerative illnesses lower respiratory function, which lowers oxygen delivery to tissues and cells, resulting in hypoxia and cell death.
The Reishi mushroom is a powerful anti-inflammatory adaptogen that promotes healthy activation of pro-inflammatory pathways and mediators. When inflammation is reduced, brain health and function are both considerably enhanced.
Helps With Insomnia
The positive correlation between adequate sleep and a healthy brain is well-documented and accepted. Neurodegenerative disorders and cognitive decline are both accelerated by insufficient sleep and poor sleep quality.
All patients with Alzheimer's and Dementia, as well as those with sleep disorders, exhibit irregular sleep-wake rhythms and a decrease in REM sleep, both of which contribute to the development of insomnia. Lack of sleep is both a symptom and a contributor to both depression and anxiety.
The decline in cellular structure and function is what defines aging. Humans have a tendency to adapt this to their own physical appearance in the form of wrinkles, pain, and a decline in mobility and cognitive ability associated with aging.
Reishi mushroom has been shown to have anti-aging effects by bolstering vitality, replenishing Qi energy, nourishing blood, and supporting the cardiovascular system, renal system, hepatic system, and brain.
Health Benefits Of Chaga Mushroom
One of the world's most powerful antioxidants is found in the Chaga Chaga Mushroom (Inonotus obliquus). It has a greater value than such well-known antioxidant powerhouses as acai berries, baobab, and turmeric root.
We've already shown that free radicals play a significant role in cell death, DNA damage, impaired cell function, brain inflammation, and cellular degeneration.
Eating foods high in antioxidants, like Chaga fungus, helps maintain a healthy antioxidant system and shields cells from damage.
Chaga's antioxidant properties and ability to upregulate the Nrf2 pathway, one of the body's important anti-inflammatory pathways, have shown protective effects against neurodegeneration, inflammation, and Alzheimer's disease.
Traditionally, chaga mushroom has been used to promote cardiovascular health for hundreds of years because of its hypocholesterolemic qualities.
Modern research in mice reveal that Chaga dramatically lowers LDL (low-density lipoproteins, or "bad" cholesterol), total cholesterol, and free fatty acid levels, triglycerides while simultaneously raising HDL (high-density lipoproteins, or "good" cholesterol).
Chaga is a medicinal mushroom whose cell walls contain chitin, a special fiber and polysaccharide molecule. Cholesterol becomes trapped in chylomicrons in the gut thanks to fiber, and is then transferred to the liver to be recycled or expelled.
Chaga mushroom's high antioxidant content also helps preserve the liver. Chaga aids the liver in its function of producing, recycling, and eliminating cholesterol.
Boosting the Immune System
The chaga mushroom, a potent immuno-modulator, aids in the upkeep of a robust immune system.
Chaga also includes the unusual triterpenoid chemicals betulin and betulinic acid, which may be responsible for its anti-cancer effects and help to kill cancer cells.
Lower Blood Pressure
Because of its high antioxidant content, chaga mushrooms may help support healthy blood pressure and blood pressure lowering.
When blood pressure rises due to increased inflammation and plaque buildup in the blood vessels, antioxidants can help bring those numbers down.
Chaga mushroom, a potent adaptogen, reduces stress and enhances blood pressure by acting to buffer the stress response.
Are mushroom supplements good for the brain?
Mushroom supplements are a great way to boost brain health.
Mushrooms contain a variety of nutrients that can help support healthy brain function, including vitamin B12, selenium, and riboflavin.
In addition to these nutrients, mushrooms also contain compounds called beta-glucans that have been shown to improve cognitive function in older people.
Mushrooms are a great source of antioxidants, which help fight off free radicals that can damage brain cells. They also contain B vitamins, zinc, selenium and other nutrients that are vital for proper brain function.
There are several types of mushrooms that can be used as mushroom supplements. Some people prefer to use dried mushrooms because they're easier to store and less likely to spoil than fresh ones.
Which Mushroom Supplement Is Best For The Brain?
The mushroom that is best for the brain is the Lion's Mane mushroom.
This mushroom has been shown to improve memory, focus, and attention span. It has also been shown to help with sleep disorders and reduce anxiety.
The Lion's Mane can be found in both fresh and dried forms.
What Is The Best Mushroom Supplement for Brain Fog?
The best mushroom supplement for brain fog is Reshi.
This mushroom has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, and it has been shown to help the body balance its natural defenses against viruses, bacteria and other pathogens.
It's also great for regulating blood sugar levels and helping with inflammation, both of which can contribute to brain fog.
What Is The Best Mushroom Supplement for the Immune System?
Chaga mushroom is a powerful medicinal mushroom that helps to restore the immune system and increase energy.
It is best for people who are looking to improve their health, have low energy and feel drained due to stress.
Chaga mushroom has been used in Russia for centuries as an alternative medicine to treat many ailments such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and many more.
Safety and Side Effects
Both the mushroom and its extract, known as lion's mane, appear to be highly safe, though they have not been studied for any potential adverse effects in people.
Since lion's mane is a type of mushroom, however, it should be avoided by anyone with a mushroom allergy.
Allergic reactions to lion's mane mushrooms have been linked to incidences of difficulty breathing and skin rashes.
You Can Enjoy Mushroom Supplements With TRIIBE Organics' Supplements
If you’re interested in these incredible mushrooms in supplement form, you can shop it at Triibe Organics!
We offer both a mushroom complex blend as well as a Lion’s Mane supplement.
If you need a natural solution to boost your brain that is completely safe and effective, mushroom supplements are the right choice for you. Check out our other supplements as well!