The Mighty Mushroom

Want to improve your health and enjoy some delicious food? Then pile on the mushrooms. This superfood fights off viruses, keeps your immunity up, and adds an extra layer of flavor to any meal.

Among an estimated 100,000 varieties of mushrooms, four stand out for their potent healing properties: maitake, shiitake, reishi, and the common white button. The first three have been used in Asia for 2,000 years to treat various ailments, and the last has antioxidant levels as high as the rest. Initial findings suggest that all four support heart health and fight cancer. Maitake, shiitake, and white button mushrooms are rich in dietary fibers, including cholesterol-lowering chitin, and immunity-boosting beta-glucan. Reishi, a natural antihistamine and anti-inflammatory, is also known for boosting immunity, and for enhancing mood, relieving altitude sickness, supporting liver function, and lessening asthma symptoms.

Most people don’t associate mushrooms with muscle building but…you should! For the muscle minded, I want to briefly focus on the anti aromatase effects of mushrooms. Aromatase (Estrogen synthase) is a dreaded word in the bodybuilding community. It is an enzyme produced by the body responsible for the synthesis of estrogen (for those who are not muscle minded, estrogen is catabolic…it’s breaks down muscle and turns it into fat). Mushrooms have estrogen suppression properties which have made them a popular anti-breast cancer food as well. Bodybuilders should consider stocking up on mushrooms too, the higher your testosterone to estrogen ratio, the more likely you are to build muscle and recover faster!

So if you haven’t already, fight off winter colds, build muscle, and recover faster by adding mushrooms to your plate.

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