How can anybody not love mushrooms? Small, tasty and healthy, they have everything you could ask. These edible fungi come in different types. The lion’s mane mushroom is one of them and also counted among the most popular. In its natural state, it is large, white and hairy. When cooked, it is known to taste like crab meat or seafood. They can also be eaten raw. But their appeal isn’t just limited to taste, as they have immense health benefits on the body and mind. It’s helpful to have some idea of a lion’s mane mushroom and what are the benefits of mushroom extract before deciding to buy one for yourself.
What is a lion’s mane mushroom?
The scientific name for this mushroom is Hieracium Erinaceus. It is an edible mushroom native to Asia but is also found in Europe and North America. Although it has received an immense surge in popularity, it has been recognised for its medicinal properties for thousands of years in Korea, China and Japan. It is interesting to know that Buddhist monks have used these mushrooms as tonics when immersed in long periods of meditation.
Benefits of lion’s mane mushroom
Enhanced cognitive functions
Lion’s mane mushroom is also referred to as a “smart mushroom” for its cognitive enhancing abilities. That is because it contains different kinds of naturally occurring bioactive compounds like hericenones and ericanines. Neurotrophic compounds found in this mushroom lead to the growth, repair and proper functioning of neurons. Its extract is also known to prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, which diminish mental health significantly.
Great source of antioxidants
A study conducted to determine the medicinal benefits of fourteen kinds of mushrooms found that lion’s mane had moderate to high antioxidant activity. The antioxidants contained in it combat the oxidative damage in the body caused by free radicals. They also prevent inflammation in the body, which causes cancer, heart attacks, diabetes, and other diseases.
Enhance the digestive ability of the body
A significant amount of the population is troubled by stomach issues daily. Consuming lion’s mane extract has a wide variety of digestive related benefits. Stomach ulcers, both intestinal and gastric, can also be prevented with their regular consumption. They act as a prebiotic and encourage the growth of good bacteria in the stomach. Further, they have anti-inflammatory properties that prevent tissue damage responsible for inflammatory bowel disease, also known as IBD.
They are highly effective against depression
Another great benefit of lion’s mane extract is the fantastic benefits it has on depression and anxiety. Studies show that its properties can effectively heal sleep and mood disorders while improving the overall quality of sleep. They are also helpful for people with irritation issues. It can do this by encouraging the rapid growth of nerves within the hippocampus, which controls our brain’s memory and learning functions.
A more robust immunity system is guaranteed
A robust immune system is essential for healthy living, and regularly consuming this mushroom extract strengthens your immune system immensely. These edible fungi contain phytochemicals and digestive enzymes that boost immunity within the body. The overall health witnesses a noticeable improvement as the mushroom has the perfect mix of antioxidants and amino acids.
Very helpful for people with diabetes
Diabetes, the silent killer, affects almost 9.3% of people around the world. That is why the mushroom’s benefits for diabetes needs a special mention. Research has shown that lion’s mane decreases the blood sugar levels in the body by blocking the enzyme alpha-glucosidase inactive. When that happens, the body’s ability to process and absorb carbs is dramatically reduced, resulting in lower blood sugar levels.
How is the lion’s mane consumed?
Lion’s mane mushroom is eaten raw as well as cooked. Its extract is available as supplements which you can take with tea, coffee, smoothie or even plain water. It is advisable to take 2-3 grams per day to receive its maximum benefits. If you are looking for improved brain function, enhanced immunity and more energy, you should take almost 4-5 grams daily.
Knowing what are the benefits of mushroom extract of lion’s mane is advantageous because you will be able to keep track of the changes occurring. Since it has such beneficial effects on both the body and mind, you should go ahead and give it a try.