In a changing world, boost your immune system with mushrooms!

By: Food Focus on 19 May 2020

In a changing world, boost your immune system with mushrooms!

With the world changing rapidly, it has become even more important than ever to beat winter’s unavoidable colds and flu symptoms thereby ensuring that you remain at optimum health!

Start today by taking an active role in your own health, maintain a healthy diet and include nutrients to boost your immune system. 

Good news is that research continues to show that including mushrooms in your diet will help boost your immune system, giving you added protection. Our immune system is the first-line defense against all disease, and a majority of your immune function resides or starts in your gut.

Mushrooms have a unique nutrient profile providing nutrients not typically found in plants as well as providing some nutrients more commonly found in animal products. Aside from being a good protein source and containing fiber, vitamins B and C, calcium and minerals, mushrooms are excellent sources of antioxidants, including antioxidants that are unique to mushrooms, such as ergothioneine, recognized as a "master antioxidant." which appears to have a very specific role in protecting your DNA from oxidative damage.

Some of the most potent immunosupportive agents are also found in mushrooms, which is one reason why they're so beneficial for both preventing and treating cancer. Long-chain polysaccharides, particularly alpha and beta glucan molecules, are primarily responsible for the mushrooms' beneficial effect on your immune system.

Tufts University in Massachusetts studied the effects of eating white button mushrooms on the human immune systems and found that a diet of mushrooms might promote innate immunity - the body's first line of defense - against viruses. Their findings were published in the highly regarded Journal of Nutrition. 

Nutrition researchers from Arizona State University and Pennsylvania State University (PSU) did similar research (published in late February 2009 in BMC Immunology) and found that the white button mushroom seemed to be the most effective in boosting the immune system.

Comments Ross Richardson chairperson of the South African Mushroom Farmers’ Association, "Now that new research shows that mushrooms can help fight against viruses, they should be an important component of a healthy and varied diet. We are particularly delighted with the results regarding white button mushrooms because they are the most affordable and are available 24/7 in the fresh produce isles of your favourite food retailer.”