As human life expectancy increases, most of us are giving more thought to safeguarding our minds and bodies for the long haul. Brain health is often a top priority since changes occur as part of the normal aging process. To be proactive, many people are looking for ways to support their brain health.
Activities like crossword puzzles, sudoku, and learning another language are common ways to stimulate the brain. Physical activities may also impact brain health. Research has found a link between physical exercise and brain health support.
Dietary modification is another avenue to combat the effects of aging on the brain. Structuring your diet with the proper assortment of macro- and micro-nutrients can provide a good foundation. To incorporate these brain-supporting nutrients into their diet, many people turn to supplements.
You may have heard about the power of mushroom supplements for brain health, but might be wondering which one to choose and how to incorporate it. By learning about the unique properties of mushroom supplements and particular species, you’re one step closer to brain health support.
The Benefits of Mushrooms for Health and Wellness
Mushrooms have many attributes that make them valuable as a food or dietary supplement. In fact, they have been used around the world as medicinal foods for thousands of years. Here are a few things to consider in terms of brain health:
- Mushrooms are fungi, a kingdom of living things that provides some nutrients and compounds that are not found in plant and animal food products.
- Mushrooms are nutraceuticals. They provide benefits beyond basic nutrition by virtue of the many bioactive compounds contained naturally in their fruit bodies and/or mycelia.
- Mushrooms are functional foods. As a conventional, superfood product, mushrooms contain many beneficial compounds, including antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and prebiotic fibers. The physiological activity and bioavailability of these compounds have been substantiated by scientific research, which continues to explore the many substances found in mushroom species. These compounds may help to improve memory function by reducing inflammatory processes and oxidative stress within the brain.‡
- Some mushrooms are nootropics containing food-derived compounds that have direct actions on the brain. These may help to protect against the cognitive decline associated with aging‡.
- Some mushrooms are adaptogens. An adaptogen helps your body to be more resilient and to rebound more quickly from stress.
While mushrooms support our bodies in these different ways, all of these factors may also have implications for brain health. Some species have specific benefits that are worth considering for your daily wellbeing.
Choosing the Best Mushroom Supplements for Brain Health Support
Whether you are a college student looking for support as you study for exams, a gamer seeking a competitive edge, a busy parent juggling work and a family, or a retiree wishing to stay sharp and active, mushroom supplements can help. The first thing you should understand before choosing a mushroom supplement is which mushroom species holds specific benefits for brain health. Consider these two:
Hericium erinaceus, or lion’s mane, is a culinary and functional mushroom. While it can be sauteed and eaten when found fresh, it is widely available in supplement form. As a food-based nootropic, lion’s mane powder supplements are one of the best mushrooms to support brain health.
Lion’s mane mushrooms contain many compounds that support the brain in various ways. Aside from the nutrients and antioxidant content, lion’s mane has hericenones from the fruit body and erinacines from the mycelium, two groups of chemicals that research has demonstrated can cross the blood-brain barrier and stimulate the production of nerve growth factor (NGF). This important neuropeptide is responsible for the outgrowth and differentiation of neurons. The neuro regenerative process has implications for brain healing and plasticity, the formation of new neural pathways following brain illness or injury.
Animal research with mice indicates that lion’s mane supplementation may benefit cognition even in a healthy brain. Nootropics may support:
- Learning and memory‡
- Attention and concentration‡
- Mood and motivation‡
- Decreased anxiousness‡
- Creative thinking‡
To get the nootropic benefits of lion’s mane in a quality mushroom supplement, Om Lion’s Mane Organic Mushroom Powder offers three convenient ways to incorporate this brain health superfood into your diet. The loose powder is perfect for adding to coffee, smoothies, or soups. It comes in a resealable pouch or plastic canister. As an alternative, lion’s mane powder capsules are a quick and easy way to consume the daily recommended dose.
While lion’s mane has nootropic benefits, reishi supports brain health through its adaptogenic potential. Reishi, or Ganoderma lucidum as it is known scientifically, is one of the best-known medicinal mushrooms. It has been used in Eastern medicine to calm the nerves and support the immune system,
Reishi mushrooms are the only known source of specific triterpenes called ganoderic acids, some of which are more prevalent in the fruit body than the mycelium. Triterpenes provide reishi’s adaptogenic potential offering support for the body’s natural balance.
Through actions on the endocrine and nervous systems, adaptogens help to balance the body’s reactions to physical and mental stress. When taken regularly, reishi mushroom supplements support the brain’s ability to adapt and maintain functional balance in spite of adverse conditions and stresses.‡
Om Reishi Organic Mushroom Powder provides a quality mushroom supplement—also in loose powder and capsule form. Reishi mushroom powder may support stress relief and sleep when taken daily before bed.‡
To gain the benefits of both lion’s mane’s nootropic and reishi’s adaptogenic benefits in a single supplement product, consider Om’s Brain Fuel + Mushroom Drink Mix. This product contains both brain-beneficial species along with Rhodiola rosea, a plant-based adaptogen, and folate, a B vitamin, in a mocha-flavored drink mix with less caffeine than a cup of coffee. Packaged in single-serving packets, this brain-fueling product is ready to accompany you wherever the day takes you. As an alternative, Brain Fuel capsules supply both lion’s mane and reishi along with folate which is important for brain and neurological health.‡
Accessing the Highest Quality Products
It is clear that in both species—lion’s mane and reishi—there are benefits to consuming both the fruit body (what we picture when we hear the word “mushroom”) and the mycelium (the vegetative part that gives rise to the fruit body). For this reason, when choosing a mushroom powder supplement, you should look for one that includes as many nutrients as possible from the mushroom life cycle.
Om Mushrooms grows both of these brain-benefitting species at our indoor farm in California. By controlling the entire process from cultivation to milling, packaging, and labeling, we ensure that our mushroom supplements for brain health provide the high-quality support you are seeking.‡ When selecting mushroom powder supplements, it is reassuring to know that your product has been prepared under current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP) and undergone third-party certification as all Om products have.
By accessing the nootropic and adaptogenic benefits of superfood mushrooms with daily consumption, you can harness the power of food to support brain health. Using antioxidant and anti-inflammatory foods to counteract the damage that occurs as we age is a proactive way to supplement all of the positive things you do to keep your brain in the best possible shape.
Om Mushroom offers mushroom supplements for brain health with your needs in mind. With products created from functional, whole food, organic mushrooms, you have access to nootropic and adaptogenic support in single species and multi-mushroom blends. If you’re looking to take advantage of the benefits of functional mushroom products, shop now or subscribe to save!
‡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.