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Superfoods that Nourish, Heal, and Protect

ByDave Stopher

Dec 21, 2021

Superfood comes in many different shapes and sizes. Foremost among them are nuts, seeds, green tea, eggs, berries, dark leafy greens, garlic, salmon, avocados, pomegranates, onions, and especially medicinal mushrooms.

In the scientific literature, there is no specific mention of superfoods per se. However, our cultural zeitgeist has placed increasing emphasis on a wide selection of foods that fall into a category known as ‘superfoods’.

These types of foods are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other necessary ingredients for health and well-being. Legend has it that the superfood trend began in the west with the banana back in the 1920s. The potency of superfoods rests in their ability to fight disease, infection, and inflammation, as well as providing for our nourishment needs. Vegetables, fruits, nuts, and fungi are rich sources of antioxidants.

These antioxidants are free radical eaters. Whenever cells gain or lose electrons, they become deformed and can lead to inflammation or disease. Antioxidants scavenge for free radicals and destroy them, helping our bodies to heal, fight inflammation, and disease. By inhibiting oxidation, antioxidants restrict free radicals in the chain reactions they cause. This includes ascorbic acid, or thiols, found in abundant supply in superfoods.  The literature on this subject is immense, so it is important to narrow the focus.

Today, we will tackle one of the best sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in the form of Reishi mushrooms.

What are the health benefits of taking Ganoderma Lucidum?

Various in-vitro trials involving Reishi mushrooms indicate that the potent antioxidants in these mushrooms are highly effective at killing cancer cells. It is important to mention that in vitro trials do not necessarily translate vis-a-vis efficacy in human consumption. However, the results so far are certainly promising. A growing group of researchers around the world, in Asia and the West, are recommending Reishi mushrooms in addition to traditional medical treatments for combating cancer. Given the low toxicity of this superfood, it’s generally well-tolerated and serves as an important supplement.

Beyond cancer, Reishi mushrooms provide notable benefits in terms of improved sleep quality, improved skin quality, benefits for blood health and heart health, and as a treatment for alopecia. All of these major health benefits are due to the composition of these mushrooms. Since they are high in protein, vitamins, and antioxidants, they provide the required fuel to help your body ward off invading entities, boost immune system responses and scavenge for free radicals which are so destructive at the cellular and systemic levels.

Naturally, there may be mild Reishi mushroom side effects. associated with using them as a supplement. These may include an upset stomach, dizziness, dry mouth, a rash or itching. Provided an individual does not have any mushroom allergies, there should be few if any complications from consuming medicinal mushrooms as a supplement.

Scientific studies on Ganoderma Lucidum

Traditional Chinese medicine has focused on medicinal fungi for centuries. Healers routinely tout the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant value of medicinal mushrooms. Additional clinical research is needed to validate the claims of holistic healers. What we do know so far is that animal tests indicate that medicinal mushrooms look promising. A 2018 study in Oncotarget indicates that mushrooms can assist in the treatment and prevention of breast cancer [Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5973856/].

Of particular note is G. lucidum (Reishi) which is noted as having ‘…many interesting bioactive compounds… several studies have examined the biological effects of mushrooms, principally by examining the stimulation of innate immune cells, such as monocytes, natural killer (NK) cells, and dendritic cells (DCs). The activity is generally considered to be caused by the presence of high molecular weight (HMW) polysaccharides in the mushrooms, although other constituents may also be involved.’

  • G Lucidum is made of 6.9% water, 26.4% protein, 4.5% fat, 0.1% food fiber, and 43.1% carbs.
  • G Lucidum contains: Vitamin B1 3.5 mg, Vitamin B2 17 mg, Vitamin B6 0.7-mg, Inositol 307 mg, Niacin 62 mg, and Choline 1.150 mg.

[Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5973856/table/T1/?report=objectonly]

Like many groundbreaking discoveries, extensive scientific research is needed to verify much of the health benefits we are seeing from these superfoods. Adoptees are advocating their use as a supplementary tincture alongside traditional medicines and treatments.