Lion’s Mane Mushrooms Provide Several Health Benefits

By Heide Kennedy, Arizona Farm Bureau Communications Intern

Growing up, one of the foods that my brothers and I hated passionately was mushrooms. To us, they were weird looking, smelled funny, were slimy, and tasted like dirt. Despite our hatred of them, my mom loved to use them in several different dishes that she would make for dinner. So, we often had to toughen up and choke them down or else go without dinner. But she had a legitimate reason for using them in her cooking. Mushrooms are chock full of nutritional benefits, and the lion’s mane variety has been shown to potentially be exceptionally healthful.

Lion’s mane mushrooms are a large, white, and shaggy variety of mushrooms that have long been used as a natural medicine and in foods. According to registered dietician-nutritionist Lindsay Delk, lion’s mane mushrooms are full of beneficial compounds including polysaccharides, erinacines, hericerins, steroids, alkaloids, and lactones. She notes that these are probably the reason that these mushrooms appear to be so good for our health.

Some of the health benefits that these mushrooms have been shown to provide include:

  • Improved brain function
  • Support for digestive health
  • Aids in relieving anxiety and depression
  • Boosts immune health
  • Prevents cancer
  • Aids in managing diabetes
  • Reduces heart disease risk

It is important to note however, while research has been done which shows that these mushrooms provide these health benefits, much more research needs to be done to completely confirm the health benefits. Regardless, mushrooms provide more than 12 different vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants, so they are still a good food to include in our diets.

Now that I am older, I’ve come to actually love mushrooms, not only for the nutrients that they provide but also for their flavor and texture that I once hated. So, go ahead and try incorporating mushrooms into your diet!

For recipe ideas or more health-related articles, check out the Fill Your Plate blog!


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