5 Best Mushrooms for Gut Health and Digestion
It is not new that most of your health is linked to your gut and digestion. Inside you live over a trillion microbes that form your body’s microbiome, which generally means you have tons of bacterial guests aiding your daily functions.
Now, as guests, not all of them are pleasant visitors. Like that cheeky or nosey neighbor, some bacterial families can make or break your gut health and general digestion. However, as part of the buzz of the newest nutrients, adaptogenic mushrooms have been helping users for a while now.
Mostly introduced in ancient and traditional medicine systems, these mushrooms have been used to help with your digestive system. How do they do it? In this article, we’ve crafted a comprehensive guide to learn about the five best mushrooms that can aid your gut health, digestion, and overall wellness goals.
- Many factors can cause digestive problems, like high sugar diets, stress, and other diagnoses.
- Mushrooms, specifically the ones with adaptogenic properties, can help digestion thanks to their prebiotic content.
- Some fungi can actually have the opposite effect and potentially cause nausea, diarrhea, and other side effects. Because of this, it is important you only consume ingredients with backed-up research.
- Ingredients like reishi, turkey tail, lion’s mane, chaga, and shiitake mushrooms can potentially aid your gut health.
- You can skip cooking and preparing mushrooms by using our TUNE IN powdered drink, packed with adaptogenic and superfood ingredients ready to power up your wellness goals.
What Causes Issues in Your Gut
Getting gut issues is relatively common nowadays, especially with poor diets with processed food and sugars. Here are some common causes that might make your gut health feel down.
- Unhealthy diets. Yes, sadly, having too much sugar can cause a spike in the “bad” bacteria in your biome. Remember you have a small world of bacteria and other creatures living in you, and an unbalance of sugar is linked to more inflammation in your body.
- Stress. General stress can potentially cause alternations in the brain-gut interactions, leading to gastrointestinal disorders from IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) to ulcers and other problems related to your gut.
- Gastritis. This common diagnosis usually happens when your stomach’s lining is swollen. The most common cause for this is the infection of a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori.
- Food intolerance. If your internal gut biome has poor quality, that is, having very few of the “good bacteria,” you might struggle to digest certain types of food. This results in not-that-happy symptoms like bloating, diarrhea, and nausea.
- Smoking. Continuous smoke can harm your digestive system in several ways, including heartburn, ulcers, and nausea. Make sure that if you are a casual smoker with gut issues, lower your daily intake.
All of these can cause problems to your gut health, including having a diet low in fiber or abusing spices and other products that might irritate your stomach lining. Because of this, having a varied diet with nutrients can help you build better gut health, which is why people have recently incorporated adaptogenic ingredients like mushrooms.
How Do Mushrooms Help Digestion?
Mushrooms can potentially help with digestion due to their prebiotic characteristics. This happens because most mushrooms have components like chitin, xylans, galactans, and alpha and beta-glucans. All of these can help you protect and aid your immune system and help with the restoration of your gut lining.
The world of fungi is full of nutrients as well. Specifically, this study mentions how adaptogenic mushrooms can potentially help restore your body's general balance. Thanks to their bioactive components, some mushrooms may protect your immune system and aid with neurological effects, which can be linked to your general well-being and your stomach.
Most of the neurotransmitters that make you feel good (specifically serotonin) are created by bacteria in our gut. A healthy gut is potentially linked to your brain. Some studies like this one even call it your “second brain.” What’s the role of mushrooms in all of these? Let’s take a deeper look.
Are Mushrooms Good for Your Digestive System?
Yes, there are a few ways that mushrooms can aid your digestive system. Mushrooms and bacteria have a synergistic relationship, which basically supports and makes each other better.
Specifically, α and beta β-glucans are the stars of the show. Without getting too technical about it, these components are unable to be digested and broken apart. This means they can help as prebiotics and serve as a small buffet for the bacteria that live inside your microbiome.
Can Mushrooms Cause Digestive Problems?
Some mushrooms containing high amounts of simple carbs can be too difficult to digest, even for the bacteria in your gut. This can cause diarrhea and nausea to some users, depending on their current biome. Other stomach problems include vomiting and cramping, depending on the users’ gut health.
Because of this, it is only recommended you eat mushrooms that are known to help with gut issues. Also, try to have small portions of the mushroom at first or have small portions of your mushroom-based drink or powder.
Which Mushroom is Best for Gut Health and Digestion
Due to the possible side effects of different mushrooms, choosing fungi that won’t cause gut problems and instead potentially aid your wellness goals is important. Because of this, we found 5 of the best mushrooms for gut health and digestion. Let’s take a look at them.
Turkey Tail Mushroom
First, Let’s start with one of the mushrooms that best help with probiotics characteristics. These also usually help certain gut-helping bacteria, like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. So eating turkey tail could potentially benefit and slowly enhance your gut biome.
Now, this study showed how turkey tail also plays a very specific role in helping these two bacterial families. Not only did the mushroom support these two bacterial families to help repopulate the gut, but it also helped kill normal or “bad” bacterial colonies.
This, together with the polysaccharides we discussed before and their prebiotic properties, can aid in getting a healthier gut in general and stabilize your digestion.
As part of traditional medicinal systems, reishi is perfect for aiding your gut. In this study, researchers explain that reishi has both soluble and insoluble fibers. Thanks to the polysaccharides and chitosans, it may help your digestion and aid with nutrients that help you nurture your diet.
Reishi also has been reported to help with antimicrobial properties against viral, bacterial, and even fungal pathogens. Specifically, there’s evidence that it may help fight bacteria that can mess with your biome, like Staphylococcus and E.Coli.
Lastly, this comprehensive study also explained how it could help with blood cholesterol, helping with gut microbiota composition, and general disruption of fat metabolism.
Lion's Mane Mushroom
Lion’s mane is one of the best mushrooms that can help to strengthen your microbiome. Let’s first take a quick review of how the gut connects to our brain: the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is basically the axis that speaks between the brain and the gut and influences cognitive function and behavior.
According to this review, this adaptogenic mushroom may help with inflammation in the nervous system and connection the brain, strengthening the tract between the gut and brain. By aiding with the regulation of gastric production, it could help with ulcers and the regeneration of gastric wall mucus and gastric lesions.
Lion’s mane also has strong gastroprotective properties, aiding to help with swelling and neurodegenerative diseases and even aiding with immune responses.
Known as a powerful antioxidant, chaga has properties that may help with hypoglycemic activity and aid with the intestinal biome.
Now, antioxidant activities can help inhibit the oxidation of cells, which helps with the balance of your general health. Other properties include aiding with antiviral and immunomodulatory effects that can help boost the immune system, aiding with potential viruses and non-beneficial bacteria in your gut.
Last but not least, meet a classic of Japanese cuisine and medicine systems: shiitake mushroom. These mushrooms are filled with umami and rich in polysaccharides and beta-glucans, which aid as prebiotics for the gut system.
Shiitake is also a pretty good source of magnesium, potassium, and vitamin D, which all contribute to better health. This study also showed how this mushroom could potentially support the immune system and help with bacterial balance. The researchers also concluded it could help with intestinal inflammation (colitis) and general immune-potentiating properties.
How to Promote Healthy Gut and Digestion
We’ve talked about different adaptogenic fungi that can help your digestion, but here are some useful tips and tricks to promote a healthy digestive system. Let’s take a quick look.
- Eats fiber-rich foods. Products like bitter greens can help your digestion and aid your general diet.
- Try probiotics-rich drinks like kombucha. Drinks like kombucha and kefir can help your gut with “good” bacterial colonies.
- Try drinks that can quell your digestive system, like chamomile. If you experiment constant stress, you can try teas that can help with both anxiety and your gut, like chamomile or lavender tea.
- Drink enough water. Many gut problems can be supported by drinking your daily water intake.
- Exercise frequently and stretch out. By having a balanced lifestyle, you can help your gut to absorb nutrients better, and that includes exercising frequently.
By practicing some of these habits and adding superfoods like mushrooms, you can easily help your gut to strengthen itself and get a better biome. Because of this, you must get a balanced lifestyle.
Where to Buy Medicinal Mushrooms Online
Getting mushrooms online can be tricky. Some of them are easier to get alone due to their presentations, while others can be harder to try because they are too hard to chew. However, you add some of these mushrooms to help your gut health to your diet by using VYU’s TUNE IN.
This tasty performance drink was designed to get the best out of adaptogenic mushrooms and ingredients and add them to your diet easily. Basically, it can help you supercharge your brain and aid you in different wellness areas, from helping your gut biome to getting you a much-needed energy boost.
This drink comes in two delicious flavors: Pink Lemonade and Tropical Punch. They come in a 20-serving tin that can be reused and will keep your powdered drink away from light and humidity. TUNE IN has a low caffeine and low-calorie formula with only 30 calories per scoop.
This and the nootropic and adaptogen formula that includes cordyceps, lion’s mane, ashwagandha, Rhodia rosea, vitamin B1, TeaCrine, and BioPerine, you’ll be getting all the necessary superfoods and nutrients to jumpstart your day.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ve looked at some of the best mushrooms you can use for gut health and digestion. We first reviewed some of the gut issues that can arise and how mushrooms can help your general gut wellness.
Some mushrooms can be beneficial, helping with things like gut lining, aiding digestion, and even helping to repopulate certain bacterial populations. However, you must only try mushrooms that have science backing up their properties.
Lastly, remember you can also do some things to make your gut stronger. Having a fiber-rich diet, eating foods that aid with gut health, and getting probiotics can help you recover your gut health. More specifically, you can fill your diet with certain foods like coconut milk, kombucha, and other prebiotic-filled items.
Best Mushrooms for Gut Health and Digestion: FAQs
What Mushrooms Help Gut Bacteria?
Thanks to their prebiotic nature, mushrooms like lion’s mane, reishi, shiitake, turkey tail, and chaga can all help with your gut biome.
Are Mushrooms Good for Gut?
Yes, some mushrooms are good for your gut. Just take special care with mushrooms from the Firmicutes family, as they can other prebiotics from your system instead of your “good” bacteria.
Is Reishi Mushroom a Probiotic?
Yes, reishi mushroom can act as a prebiotic. It can also potentially aid with inflammation and even help with the reparation of our intestinal cells.
What Food Heals the Gut?
Some prebiotic and probiotic-rich foods, bitter greens, fatty fish, and coconut milk can help you heal your gut.
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