Read time: 2 min
Maintaining gut health is essential for overall well-being. A healthy gut can contribute to heart health, energy production, mood improvements, and immune support. While various products claim to promote gut health, medicinal mushrooms are a natural option with centuries of use in Eastern medicine. Species such as turkey tail, reishi, lion’s mane, and chaga offer gut health-supporting benefits, from immune defence to mood regulation.
Causes of Poor Digestive Health
The digestive tract is home to numerous beneficial bacterial species, which make up the gut microbiome. These microbes aid digestion, heart health, weight management, and brain health. Poor digestive health can result from genetics, inadequate diets, food allergies, irregular sleep patterns, and autoimmune or gastrointestinal conditions. While addressing these issues might require professional expertise, natural gut health support can start with fibre and protein-rich mushrooms.
How Medicinal Mushrooms Support Gut Health
Used in Eastern medicine for millennia, medicinal mushrooms are rich in prebiotics, beta-glucans, and immune-supporting elements crucial for gut health. As the majority of the immune system is located in the gastrointestinal system, medicinal mushrooms play a significant role in supporting this area. Moreover, mushrooms are low in calories but high in protein and fibre, essential for digestive health. Fibre contributes to better gut function, blood sugar levels, appetite, and cholesterol regulation.
The Best Medicinal Mushrooms for Gut Health
Bioactive compounds in mushrooms have been found to alter gut microbiota, promoting better function and overall gut health. Turkey tail, reishi, lion’s mane, and chaga are among the best medicinal mushrooms for gut health:
- Turkey tail contains polysaccharides and beta-glucans that stimulate the immune system. Daily consumption of turkey tail supplements can support overall immune health and promote good gut bacteria.
- Lion’s mane is known for stimulating nerve growth factor synthesis and has anti-inflammatory properties to stabilise mood affected by digestive complications. Research also suggests that lion’s mane extract can prevent helicobacter pylori growth, a bacteria that can infect the digestive tract.
- Reishi has immune potentiating and modulating properties, helping to balance and down-regulate an overactive immune system. A study found that reishi extract can assist in gut inflammation and prevent fat tissue development, supporting healthy gut bacteria and preventing harmful bacteria formation.
- Chaga is rich in bioactive compounds with significant immune-supporting properties and is a powerful antioxidant source. Antioxidants combat free radicals and contain anti-inflammatory properties to maintain a healthy digestive tract. Supplementing with chaga can help prevent free radicals from harming the gut and promote stronger immunity for overall health.
Medicinal mushrooms, such as turkey tail, reishi, lion’s mane, and chaga, are powerful natural options for supporting gut health. Rich in prebiotics, beta-glucans, and immune-supporting elements, these mushrooms can enhance overall well-being by promoting better gut function and supporting the immune system.