Mushroom Benefits for Men
If there is one food and wellness trend that's hot right now, it's medicinal mushrooms.
While certain species of edible mushrooms have enjoyed immense popularity in East Asia for hundreds of years, both for their taste, as well as their nutritional and other health benefits, they have only managed to catch on in the West much more recently.
If you consider yourself active and are looking for a way to improve results from your regular exercise while maintaining a healthy weight, then the prospect of adding mushrooms to your diet only becomes more promising.
Let's take a look at some of the many ways in which medicinal and functional mushrooms can benefit you and your health.
Health Benefits of Mushrooms for Men
Compared to traditional supplements, functional mushrooms have many advantages. Not only do they mostly come without any severe side effects, but their benefits can often outclass those of many prescription drugs.
And on top of that, you will be getting plenty of essential nutrients from them as well – quite a nice bonus if you ask us!
Below, you'll find some hard facts about functional mushrooms and their effects on the body.
They're Extremely Nutritious
Mushrooms contain a wealth of micro-and macronutrients, from protein and fiber to many types of vitamins and essential minerals like magnesium, potassium, and zinc.
Despite that, mushrooms are very low in calories and contain zero sodium and fat, making them an excellent option if you're on a diet.
For example, mushrooms are one of the few organic foods containing large amounts of vitamin D and D2 – the so-called "sun vitamins" that our bodies cannot synthesize internally.
Help You Live Longer
Many species of mushrooms are known for their antioxidant benefits. Compounds like beta-glucans that are found in high concentrations in mushrooms – and not in many other foods – are known to improve skin quality, prevent liver and kidney damage, improve the functioning of the cardiovascular system, and slow down aging.
Allow You to Relax
Some types of mushrooms, called adaptogenic mushrooms, act directly on the body's natural stress response. They can be immensely helpful if you find yourself frequently in a stressful environment or suffer from chronic stress or anxiety.
By preventing damage caused by free radicals, adaptogenic mushrooms don't just take a big load off of our organs – they make us literally feel calmer and more at peace.
This ensures a longer, healthier life and prevents damage caused by excess stress over the long term.
They Support the Nervous System
Many mushrooms contain certain compounds that have been linked with better brain functioning and nervous system health. This has vast implications across the body, from a better immune response to better mental focus and memory.
Increase Performance and Gains
Here's one benefit of mushrooms that gym addicts should mainly watch out for.
Many functional mushrooms contain a lot of polysaccharides, which can supercharge your metabolism and increase endurance in medium to high-intensity exercise.
They can also extend the amount of time it takes for physical fatigue to set in, making you feel more awake and focused on your workout.
All this put together means that using functional mushrooms can help you achieve better results faster and without the side effects caused by many traditional supplements and drugs.
Improve Sleep Quality
Then there's the other side of the fitness equation – rest.
We all know that getting proper shut-eye is just as important as the number of sets and reps you put in during the day. Thankfully, functional mushrooms help out here, too.
Research has confirmed that mushrooms can indeed help you sleep better by optimizing the amount of rest you get during non-REM deep sleep. This contributes to faster and more effective muscle growth and a healthier body and mind overall.
They Strengthen the Immune System
By encouraging white cell production in the bloodstream, fighting infections and tumor cells, and countless other tricks, medicinal mushrooms maximize the functioning of your immune system.
This doesn't just help you recover from disease and injuries faster – it also helps prevent future ailments from popping up. In fact, some species of mushrooms, such as the cordyceps, have proven anti-cancer abilities.
Others protect strongly against heart, liver, and brain disease.
Reishi Mushroom Benefits for Men
The reishi mushroom, also known as the lingzhi, is native to China, Japan, and some surrounding regions. It usually grows in the shape of an orange, brown, or red disc on tree trunks, both alive and dead.
Today, the reishi is one of the most widely cultivated mushroom species worldwide, and for a good reason. Their medicinal properties of reishi been known for millennia, and as our scientific knowledge has gotten more advanced, so has our understanding of this mushroom's immense health potential.
The reishi is one of the most potent known adaptogens. This means that it can effectively treat many signs and symptoms of stress, including inflammation, low energy, sleep problems, and cardiovascular damage.
The mushroom's many active ingredients can also help with hormonal imbalances and contribute to a longer, more stress-free life while also slowing down visible signs of aging.
As a powerful antioxidant, reishi also prevents and treats many kinds of infection and assists the immune system in fighting cancer and other types of tumors and cell damage.
Best Reishi Mushroom Supplement
If you want to add some reishi mushroom to your diet to benefit from all the above and more boosts to your health, then you have some great options these days. More reishi supplements are available online than ever before, though quality does vary.
Our favorites are the Nutricost Organic Reishi Capsules, sold in bottles of 120 each. Affordable, high-quality, thanks to a clean extraction process, and dosed at 1,500 mg – a perfect middle-ground for newcomers – these capsules are an extremely convenient way to get into mushroom supplements for just about anybody.
We also enjoyed NusaPure's Veggie Caps. Dosed at a much higher 3,600 mg, these would be great for someone who's already experimented a little with reishi mushrooms and wants to take their supplement experience to the next level.
Like Nutricost's offering, these are harvested from high-quality organic reishi crops and, thanks to a refined extraction process, preserve almost all of the mushroom's unique nutrients.
In exchange for a slightly higher sticker price, you get a whopping 200 caps in a single bottle, making these a cost-effective buy as well, particularly over the long run.
Finally, we recommend the Reishi Mushroom Extract by Double Wood. Harvested from whole fruiting bodies of fresh reishi, these are some of the purest and most nutritious mushroom caps we've tried so far.
They are dosed at a fair 1,000 mg, which should be more than enough for a beginner to experience significant improvements in immune health, energy levels, and more within a short amount of time.
Cordyceps Benefits for Men
The cordyceps is a parasitic mushroom that grows on certain kinds of caterpillars and other insects. In its native China, Nepal, and Korea, it has been used as a medicinal herb for thousands of years and is mentioned in classical poetry as a bringer of good health.
The ancient legends weren't wrong – cordyceps has been shown to boost your health in many ways. Notably, men will benefit from how the cordyceps can support testosterone levels and increase ATP uptake in the blood. This leads to higher endurance levels, alertness, mental and physical stamina, and might even increase libido.
Best Cordyceps Mushroom Supplement
For cordyceps mushroom supplements, the market is as tight and filled with competition as ever. As someone new to the field of mushroom supplements, it can be all too easy to get lost.
Not to worry, though, we sifted through the countless offerings on the market and narrowed it down to three all-time favorites!
First off, we'd like to give a shout-out to the Ultra-Concentrated Cordyceps Sinensis Capsules by Toniq. With their sleek, modern packaging, these caps exude a premium feel. Harvested using top-of-the-line extraction methods and purified extensively, Toniq doesn't just assure the quality of its products – they prove it right there on the bottle.
Each pack of capsules is certified for its cordycepic acid content, a good indicator of the overall presence of beneficial active ingredients.
Stunningly, the Toniq Caps are rated at 20% for this metric, far beyond the industry standard. If you want some of the purest and highest-grade cordyceps mushrooms you can buy, then this is a perfect pick.
A nice alternative is the Cordyceps Extract by Moon Juice. Unlike Toniq's solution, this comes in a powder, which some might find more convenient due to its ease of use. It's also extracted from Cordyceps militaris, a separate cordyceps species that is said to contain slightly more of some of the mushroom's health-beneficial compounds.
Like Toniq, Moon Juice went out of its way to subject all of its extracts to tests of purity and fineness, and what you end up with is a supplement that puts many others on the market to shame with its nutritional content.
Yet, the price is nothing to gawk at either, and the cordyceps extract remains very affordable.
Finally, Double Wood also makes its own line of cordyceps capsules for those who would like something slightly more straightforward and beginner-friendly. Dosed at a safe 1,000 mg, these are perfect for folks just starting out with mushroom supplements.
As a courtesy and a display of their dedication to quality, Double Wood includes a rating for the polysaccharide content of each supplement on the back of the bottle.
This could be a real game-changer for some buyers, considering that polysaccharides are even more important than cordycepin when it comes to some of the fungus' antioxidant and metabolic benefits.