What is the nutritional value of mushroom powder?

In a perfect world, we would all have access to an abundance of fresh, colorful, nutritious food. The reality is, however, that planning and preparing the ideal balance of macro- and micronutrients is something few of us have time to do. For this reason, many of us turn to nutritional supplements.

Supplement use is at an all-time high. The Council for Responsible Nutrition believes that 77% of Americans choose to supplement their diet with one or more, with the greatest use among the 35-54 age group. When these supplements are nutrient-dense and made from whole foods, we can feel especially good about our choice.

Mushroom powder is one such supplement that has been gaining a lot of attention lately. Although mushrooms are often added to dishes in cuisines around the world for flavor, their potential for health benefits has prompted many to investigate the nutritional value of mushroom powder.

Understanding the Science of Mushrooms

Mushrooms may be a bit of a mystery, but they represent a unique superfood worth getting to know. Let’s start with some basics.

Mushrooms are neither plants nor animals. Unlike the meat, fish, and poultry in our diet, which come from the Kingdom Animalia, and the fruits, vegetables, and grains that belong to the Kingdom Plantae, mushrooms are part of the Kingdom Fungi. Also part of this kingdom are yeasts such as those that make bread rise, wine ferment, beer brew, and mold, including those used in soy sauce, miso, and cheese production.

Fungi play an important role as natural decomposers and recyclers in the ecosystem. As such, they break down dead plant and animal matter, returning nutrients to the earth. In this capacity they develop bioactive substances which can be useful in humans and animals. More than 9,000 of these compounds have been identified to date in various fungal species.

In many cases, bioactive substances from fungi can be extracted for specific purposes. They provide critical resources for human use in:

  • Antibiotics, including penicillins and cephalosporins, used to treat infections
  • Immunosuppressant, cyclosporine, preventing rejection in tissue transplant recipients
  • Medicines that lower cholesterolsuch as lovastatin and pravastatin, which promote cardiovascular health
  • Antifungal agent, Grisofulvin, useful against common fungal infections such as athlete’s foot and ringworm
  • Contraception and hormone therapy in some Latin American and European countries

Uses for fungi in pharmacology, manufacturing and agriculture continue to emerge as researchers unlock the potential for their characteristic bioactive compounds.

To take advantage of the potential health benefits of mushrooms, many are turning to mushroom powder for its convenience and nutritional value.

Deciphering the nutritional value of mushroom powder

Culinary mushrooms have been found to have unique nutritional profiles, such as being high in protein, low in sodium, and a good source of fiber. Similarly, functional mushrooms are packed with nutrients that support the body’s natural immune functions and balance. Some of these specific functional mushroom species include:

  • The lion’s mane
  • Reishi
  • Chaga
  • Cordyceps
  • Turkey tail
  • Maitake
  • Shiitake

Each of these species is valued for specific characteristics and benefits. And while you won’t find most of them in their original form at your neighborhood grocery store, they can often be found in capsules, powders, and blends that combine their best nutritional properties.

In addition to similar benefits to culinary mushrooms, in some cases in much higher concentrations, superfood mushrooms offer additional nutrition to support your good health.

Beta-glucan

Mushroom powders made from specific functional mushrooms are higher beta-glucan. This essential polysaccharide contributes to soluble fiber, as well as promoting healthy immune function in the gut. A recommended serving of 2,000 mg quality mushroom powder from AdaptogenShrooms, for example, should provide you with 400mg of immune support from beta-glucan.

Fiber

Grain-grown mushroom powders are a source of dietary fiber that supports the digestive system’s natural elimination. Soluble fiber helps your body better regulate blood sugar and cholesterol. In addition, mushroom fiber serves as a prebiotic to support the growth of healthy microorganisms in the gut.

Antioxidants

Many chemical reactions in the human body result in the production of free radicals that cause oxidative stress. These unstable individuals are thought to be prominent in aging and disease processes. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, stopping the cascade of tissue damage. Mushroom powders are a good source of antioxidants, including glutathione, ergothioneine, polyphenols, superoxide dismutase, and peptides.

Sterols and Triterpenes

These compounds found in various types of mushrooms have immunomodulatory and other health properties.

Incorporate easy-to-use functional mushrooms into your diet

With the tremendous nutritional benefits inherent in functional mushrooms, it makes sense that you want to comfortably incorporate them into your diet. However, the key to obtaining the unique benefits of functional mushrooms as a whole food is to find a source that harvests and processes the whole mushroom into a powder. Look for unextracted whole food mushroom powders to get the most out of your supplement. How they are produced and whether they are standardized should also factor into your decision when making a purchase.

The nutritional value of mushroom powder as a valuable supplement to your diet is equivalent to adding a healthy helping of mushrooms to your day. Finding a reliable source that you can rely on for quality, safety, and reliability is essential to getting the most benefit from supplementing with functional mushroom powder. When added to recipes, mixed into drinks, or taken in capsule form, a significant amount of concentrated functional mushroom powder can add nutrients to your diet.

AdaptogenShrooms offers products created from functional, whole-food, organic mushrooms that have life-changing health benefits. Our products contain the recommended functional dose of mushrooms to support your body’s natural health functions.

If you want to benefit from the benefits of functional mushroom products, store now or sign up to save!

Bibliographical references:

  1. https://www.crnusa.org/newsroom/dietary-supplement-use-reaches-all-time-high
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7122484/
  3. https://www.americanscientist.org/article/statins-from-fungus-to-pharma

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