To say that superfood mushrooms are one of the hottest new wellness trends seems like an understatement, but the reality is that trends come and go. When you consider that mushrooms have actually been around for thousands of years as a food source and a staple in Eastern medicine, they suddenly gain even more credibility. Not “new” at all, functional mushrooms, as they are sometimes called, are gaining popularity for their perceived health benefits.
If you’re like many active men, in the interest of taking care of your body, you try to exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight, eat a well-balanced diet, get restful sleep, and manage stress. As it turns out, several functional mushroom species can support you in those goals. In fact, the mushroom benefits for men are worth checking out.
8 Benefits of Superfood Mushrooms
There are many supplements that claim to support men’s health but the adverse side effects often outweigh the benefits. Whole mushrooms that include the fruit body and mycelium are naturally packed with bioactive compounds that have the power to nourish your body and strengthen your reserve. Research continues to unravel the effects they may have on human health. The good news related to the benefits of these powerhouses of functional nutrition is that they are now more accessible than ever.
While you are undoubtedly familiar with culinary mushrooms commonly used in everything from stir-fries and risottos to veggie burgers, you may not be aware of the more exotic species that grow in forests around the world. These superfood mushrooms are now cultivated in the U.S., bringing their incredible benefits much closer and making them accessible to you.
1. Provide a Range of Vital Nutrients‡
Mushrooms are full of nutrients and fiber, high in protein, and low in calories. They are rich in B vitamins and minerals. Low in sodium and fat-free, you can feel good about adding mushrooms and mushroom products to your diet. Choose supplement products that utilize the whole mushroom; extracted products exclude many of these nutrients.
2. Promote Longevity and Have a Protective Effect‡
Various mushrooms are a good source of glutathione, an antioxidant that scientists believe may have an anti-aging effect. Various mushroom species are an essential source of natural antioxidant compounds that help to prevent damage caused by free radicals and oxidative stress as we age.
Chaga is a mushroom species that contains some of the highest levels of antioxidants. Including this natural source in your supplement routine may have a protective effect against oxidative damage that ages you.‡
3. Support Brain Function and Focus‡
Certain mushroom species contain natural nootropics, chemicals found in plants, herbs, and fungi that support brain health. Research in animals and preclinical studies with human subjects indicate that Lion’s Mane mushrooms may support your body's recovery response to certain illnesses when used daily.
Most of us seek pick-me-ups like coffee throughout the day for clarity and cognitive support. Whether you are looking to improve your focus in the boardroom or seeking a competitive edge in your favorite game, compounds isolated from Lion’s Mane mushrooms may have neuroprotective properties that support memory and cognitive functions.‡
4. Support Your Response to Stress‡
Certain functional mushrooms are some of the most accessible sources of adaptogens. These naturally occurring, non-toxic, non-habit-forming compounds help your body adjust to life’s stresses. Despite the physical, chemical, and biological pressures we encounter in our day, our bodies strive to restore homeostasis, or balance, and maintain normal physiological functioning.
Reishi is one species that may help the body adjust and balance when it has been pushed to the limit.
5. Help You Wind Down‡
Mushrooms can help you de-stress and relax in preparation for sleep. Though it may be hard to wind down when the day has been particularly demanding, some mushrooms’ adaptogens can help you do just that. A natural source of beneficial compounds, including antioxidants, polysaccharides, polypeptides, and triterpenes, they can help your body adapt and unwind.
Reishi is versatile; when added to your evening routine, it can help you recover from the day and prepare for restful sleep.
6. Support Exercise Endurance and Recovery‡
Mushrooms contain polysaccharides that may support exercise endurance. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, supplementation with a mushroom blend containing cordyceps demonstrated increased aerobic capacity and resistance to muscle fatigue during high-intensity exercise in as little as one to three weeks.
7. Bolster the Immune System‡
Mushrooms contain several healthy chemicals, including beta-glucan, believed to bolster the immune system with regular use. Adding mushrooms to your routine may strengthen your ability to fight off infection and support healthy immune function.
Turkey tail mushrooms are a convenient source of polysaccharides, which may activate your immune system and promote gut health.‡
8. Support Cardiovascular Health‡
Mushrooms can support cardiovascular health. By exerting positive effects on immunity, stress levels, oxidative stress, and relaxation, the bioactive compounds in functional mushrooms may have a balancing influence. In addition, mushroom intake may promote heart health by supporting your body’s natural functions for maintaining blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, and homocysteine levels.
To add this heart-healthy benefit to your daily routine, look for products containing Shiitake and other mushrooms.‡ Portable, single-serving portions of these versatile superfoods can fit neatly into a backpack, gym bag, or briefcase.
Mushroom Benefits for Men are More Accessible Than You May Think
Gaining the benefits of the more functional mushrooms is not as simple as foraging through the produce section of your local grocery store. Fortunately, however, as many people are embracing and incorporating mushrooms into their daily routines, there are versatile options available. Mushroom powders and capsules provide easily accessible forms that can be used in a variety of ways.
Functional Mushroom Powders
Practical mushroom powders, both single species and multi-species blends, offer something for everyone, whether you like to experiment as a home chef or are on the go. Mushroom powders may be added to recipes like delicious and comforting soups, complex appetizers, or even satisfying, guilt-free desserts.
Single-serve portions of mushroom powder can be taken along and consumed at work, in school, on the trail, or at the gym. Look for products that contain your desired mushroom species, and add one to your morning coffee, blend it into a smoothie, or stir it into a cup of soup. Options that require no cooking and work on the fly include instant coffees and broths mixed with hot water and cold drink mixes that turn cold water into a nutritious and refreshing beverage.
Functional Mushroom Capsules
Capsules provide an easy alternative to adding mushroom powders to your food prep. These may be taken like any dietary supplement with a glass of water, providing a quick addition to your daily routine or a compact and portable source of high-powered nutrition that can accompany you wherever the day takes you.
Mushrooms are packed with vital nutrients, some in quantities you cannot get in plant and animal products. Functional mushroom products such as powders and capsules give you the benefit of a higher concentration of these valuable nutrients. Single-species powders offer a concentrated source of a specific mushroom’s nutrients and characteristic benefits.
Mushroom Powders Offer Something for Everyone
Functional mushroom products provide many unique advantages when taken regularly. Once you understand all the superfood benefits that mushrooms offer men, you will undoubtedly want to give them a try. But don’t keep them all to yourself. Mushroom powders are beneficial for the women in your life as well. Don’t be surprised if they ask you to share.
Om Mushroom offers a variety of products created from functional, whole food, organic mushroom species. These options make superfood mushroom benefits for men accessible to those who enjoy cooking as well as those who prefer to grab and go. Mushroom powder products support you in your daily routine, help you recover from your workouts, and even promote more restful sleep.
‡These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Functional mushroom products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.