What is Your Immune System Missing?

body wellness Jul 30, 2021

Now, more than ever, we are looking for ways to strengthen our immune systems. We supplement with Vitamin D3 (plus K2), add a bit of zinc and Vitamin C, get our exercise and eat our fruits and veggies. We all want our immune systems strong going into the fall and winter but there may be something missing in your cabinet.

What about mushrooms?  You might be surprised to know that mushrooms can have great benefits for our health. Store-bought mushrooms even contain Vitamin D, and you can enhance that by a factor of 10 by simply exposing it to sunlight for a couple of hours before cooking them. Mushrooms contain B-Vitamins, selenium and other important antioxidants. Studies have shown they are important for the health of the heart and in reducing cancer risk.

Aside from the typical button, cremini and portobellos we see in the store, there exists a whole range of mushrooms used medicinally throughout the world. The benefits of these plants are astounding, and I have seen great results by just adding a little spoon of mushroom powder to my (organic, low acid, shade-grown…) coffee each morning.

Here is a great guide to just a few of the wonderous, organic, delicious concentrates that we now carry at Heights of Health; (the text is borrowed from the producer: Roots Apothecary). Make sure you check out Amanda’s yummy recipes for more ideas of how to use them, too. All our mushroom products are on special for the month of August so you can get your family ready for the fall and winter germs.

Chaga Mushroom

inflammation. oxidative stress. gut health.

Chaga, the mushroom of immortality, is one of the most anti-oxidant rich superfoods on the planet, topping the ORAC scale at approx. 140,000 and contains over 200 phytonutrients. Chaga is used in functional medicine to boost immune system, reduce inflammation and mitigate oxidative stress. Chaga is shown to strengthen beneficial cytokins while reducing damaging cytokins such as TNF-a (tumor necrosis factor - alpha). This immunomodulating effect improves the body’s ability to fight pathogens while reducing the damaging effects of acute and chronic inflammation. Chaga’s high fiber and anti-oxidant properties are especially helpful in improving conditions of the gut.

Reishi Mushroom

immune support. stress. liver + kidneys. overall wellbeing.

Reishi is similar to chaga; it is very diverse in benefit with high anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety and immune-boosting properties. Reishi is considered an adaptogen for its ability to calm the fight or flight response, strengthening resilience in both physically and mentally stressful situations.

Reishi is additionally known for its potential benefits to the kidneys and liver by reducing inflammation and reducing erosion of the nephron outer membrane (decreasing kidney permeability). Reishi’s immune supporting properties are well rounded, including promoting the innate immune function, humoral immunity, and cellular immunity. In particular, reishi extract may improve the function of B and T lymphocytes, dendritic cells, macrophages, and natural killer cells.

Lion's Mane Mushroom

focus + clarity. neuroplasticity. mood. inflammation. brain health.

Lion’s mane is one of the most mainstream and popular mushrooms on the market. It’s been shown to stimulate neuroplasticity, memory, focus and overall brain health. Lion’s mane contains two special compounds that can stimulate the growth of brain cells: hericenones and erinacine.

In addition, animal studies have found that lion’s mane extract can improve the functioning of the hippocampus, a region of the brain responsible for processing memories and emotional responses. This may explain the effects of lion’s mane on improved mood, decreasing resistance to new habit forming and influence on depression. Lion’s mane may also help prevent neuron damage caused by amyloid-beta plaques, which is an area of interest for Alzheimer’s and dementia therapy.

Cordyceps Mushroom

physical + mental endurance. inflammation.

Cordyceps is known for supporting mental and physical performance and is especially popular in the athlete community. This mushroom (which is technically not a mushroom) supports healthy adrenal function while increasing ATP and VO2 (peak oxygen uptake during exercise). Cordyceps is highly recognized for helping improve acute and chronic fatigue and is often paired with lion’s mane to promote creative focus. Studies have associated cordyceps supplementation with increasing activity of catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) making it a powerful anti-oxidant as well.

Adaptive Cacao

holistic & complete.

This is our most well-rounded and complete of all roots products, serving the mind-body's many highly dependent systems like stress response, digestion, inflammation, mood, cognitive performance, and immune system. The adaptive cacao is made with 1x mushroom extracts that retain most beneficial compounds found in fresh mushroom while harnessing the improving digestibility and absorption of an extract. These 1x mushrooms are high in beta-glucan, pre-biotic fiber and trace minerals and are more well-rounded in benefit than higher concentration extracts.

The adaptive cacao is also packed with anti-oxidant rich raw Peruvian cacao, mineral-rich Himalayan salt, neuro-protective MCT, and adaptogenic ashwagandha. Acacia fiber and agave inulin are powerful prebiotics that help strengthen your good, low inflammatory microbiome. As your good microbiome strengthens, the bad bacteria gets weaker. The more we learn about optimal health and performance, the more we understand the importance of healing your gut through a balanced microbiome.

We carry other mushroom varieties in addition to these listed above and they are all on special for the month of August. Ask your Heights of Health Practitioner to recommend the best ones for you.