In some parts of the world, depending on the time of year, hunting for mushrooms is part of a walk in the woods. It's a pastime for young and old alike. An important part of this activity is of course inspecting the mushroom, and if they're good to eat, you can include them in your mealtime preparation. That's a great start to a delicious meal. New research has determined that mushrooms not only taste good – they also improve the function of the immune system, thus helping the body to fight viruses and bacteria.
In his best-selling book entitle "How Not to Die", the renowned American physician Dr. Michael Greger references an Australian study in which two groups of test subjects were examined and compared. The first group continued to eat their normal diets, and they did not change any of their day-to-day habits. In contrast, the second group was asked to supplement their everyday diet with a cup of fried or steamed mushrooms.
Astonishing positive effects of mushrooms have been proven in research
There was something remarkable that the research team noticed after only a week. Even though this time frame was quite short, the IgA levels in the saliva of the test subjects increased by 50%. Immunoglobulin A is not only found in the blood – it is also present in mucous membrane (e.g. in your mouth and nose). These are antibodies that work together with immunoglobulins; they are responsible for protecting our bodies from viruses and bacteria. The markedly increased IgA values even remained high in the respective test group a week after the end of the experiment…and they only started to fall after this time.
Additional positive effects for allergy sufferers
According to Dr. Greger, an overreaction of the immune system due to a large increase in antibodies is part of allergic reactions and other immune system problems. Interestingly, mushrooms – even commonly available white mushrooms – have a very anti-inflammatory effect. He discusses this in the context research he conducted in 2014 in which a reduction in the allergic symptoms of the upper airway in children could be proven.
Strengthen your immune system by eating mushrooms daily for 1-2 weeks
There are different kinds of mushrooms. You can find them all year round in the vegetable isle of your local market: white mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, porcini mushrooms, and many more. Try to include different varieties of mushrooms in your meals.
Source: Dr. Michael Greger and Gene Stone, How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease, Flatiron Books, 2015
To go along with today's topic, we'd like to recommend our Holler Vulcan Drink. Strengthen your immune system with the short-term therapeutic use of this vitamin-rich drink, and of course by also adding more mushrooms to your diet. Holler Vulkan is rich in polyphenols, so it additionally helps to protect your body against pathogens and free radicals.
Holler Vulkan drink: find out more!
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