What Mushroom To Eat For Better Immunity?

Here’s my guide for what mushroom to eat to boost your immune system. First, we’ll look at some of them, then look at some products that are great sources of immunity boosting mushrooms.

Why mushrooms?

If eating mushrooms for the immune system sounds strange, you need to get used to the idea quickly. It’s unfortunate they don’t teach us to eat our mushrooms in school, because mushrooms are rich in polysaccharides, which nourish the immune system.

Each mushroom contains different polysaccharides, and each polysaccharide has unique properties that are beneficial to the immune system, helping you to fight diseases. Let’s check out some of them!

Lion’s Mane Mushroom

For more antibodies

Lion’s mane mushroom helps your body in producing nerve growth factor (NGF).

You’d be surprised by how important NGF is to the immune system. The name says it has to do with growing nerves, but NGF also encourages your body to produce antibodies and assign immune cells to fight specific enemies.

In a study conducted in Japan, volunteers who ate lion’s mane mushroom for 4 weeks felt less depressed and anxious. Feeling more positive also benefits your immunity!

Shiitake Mushroom

For less inflammation

Inflammation causes many diseases, and shiitake mushroom might just help you to reduce inflammation so that your immunity improves.

Healthy people experienced improved immunity after eating dried, whole shiitake mushroom for 4 weeks. Their bodies produced more immune substances and immune cells. Their immune cells were also more responsive.

Maitake mushroom (Grifola frondosa)

Research published in Nature showed that Maitake extract brings down inflammation in the intestines, making it very useful for irritable bowel syndrome. Another Maitake extract increased the activity of natural killer cells in people with cancer.

In this day and age when carcinogens are everywhere, including our food, personal care products, roads, workplaces, and more, we need to reduce the cancer burden on the immune system with polysaccharides from mushrooms like Maitake.

Can you spot a good mushroom product?

Too many mushroom products contain only a single type of mushroom. Common examples include cordyceps and lingzhi. Unless you have specific health concerns, it’s best to get a wide variety of polysaccharides from more mushrooms.

Here are three products you can start with. They’re all suitable for vegetarians, who will especially benefit from the iron that mushrooms also provide.

Nutriact (E. Excel)

nutriact

This product comes in three variants:

  • Nutriact (powder beverage)
  • Nutriact-II (fruit-flavored powder beverage–Personally, I don’t fancy the taste at all!)
  • Nutriact Capsules

Great for

  • Busy people
  • Kids
  • Adding to meals for taste and nutrition
  • For the powder beverage: those who don’t mind, or even like, the taste of mushrooms
  • Those who want to be assured of product quality, nutrition, and safety
  • Those in urgent need of building up their immunity
  • People who want to use mushroom products in cooking
  • People who are taking other E. Excel products, especially Millennium

Not so great

  • The most expensive of the three
  • Not so easily available as you have to get to an E. Excel distributor

Ingredients

Shiitake mushroom, Maitake mushroom, reishi mushroom, ABM mushroom, lingzhi

MycoProtec (Brand’s)

Brand's mycoprotec

A bottled drink that you take once a day. It’s widely available in Asian markets so if you’re in Asia, this may be easier to get.

Great for

  • Those who want to try out a mushroom product but don’t want to commit to buying so many servings yet
  • Those who prefer ready-to-drink products
  • Those who don’t like capsules or making drinks

Not so great

  • A lot of packaging so it’s not so eco-friendly.
  • Bulky to bring home the glass bottles.
  • Not for kids (I called them up to confirm this.)
  • A few additives in the ingredient list (see below)

Ingredients

Shiitake mushroom, Maitake mushroom, lingzhi, cordyceps mycelium, lion’s mane mushroom, vitamin C, cargeegan, maltodextrin, pectin, yeast extract, flavorings

Click here for more product details

Immune Renew (Now Foods)

immune renew

A capsule product that contains a blend of 8 mushrooms, more than the products above!

Great for

  • Busy people
  • Those who dislike the taste of mushrooms
  • People who tend to have only a few types of mushrooms in their diets

Not so great

Not for people who don’t like swallowing capsules, but I guess you could smash it before consuming!

Ingredients

Lion’s mane mushroom, shiitake mushroom, sun mushroom, reishi mushroom, maitake mushroom, Cordyceps, Turkey tails, Phellinus linteus, Astragalus root extract

Buy it at Iherb.com: First-time customers enter WELCOME5 at checkout to get $5 off purchases.

References
Neurotrophic properties of the Lion’s mane medicinal mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia.

The Immune-Neuroendocrine Circuitry:History and Progress, P 40.

Reduction of depression and anxiety by 4 weeks Hericium erinaceus intake.

Consuming Lentinula edodes (Shiitake) Mushrooms Daily Improves Human Immunity: A Randomized Dietary Intervention in Healthy Young Adults.

Grifola frondosa water extract alleviates intestinal inflammation by suppressing TNF-α production and its signaling.

Effect of Maitake (Grifola frondosa) D-Fraction on the Activation of NK Cells in Cancer Patients

20 Comments on "What Mushroom To Eat For Better Immunity?"


  1. Wow this is so interesting! I had no idea and I have some immune system issues. How about regular mushrooms? Any benefits to those? I tend to eat a lot of mushrooms and would love to know I am getting a health benefit and not just enjoying something this I find very tasty!

    Reply

    1. Hi Ilyssa! Regular mushrooms have nutrients too! So don’t stop eating them. Just add more varieties of mushrooms for greater variety of nutrients.

      We don’t always have access to all mushrooms fresh in the supermarket so it helps to have some products on hand to help us eat them.

      Reply

  2. Oh wow, I had no idea that there are some mushrooms that have so many benefits. I have never really been a big fan of them alone, but I am open to mixing them into my foods. Though I usually only come across regular portobello mushrooms. Are these still fairly beneficial?

    Reply

    1. Hi Stephanie, yes, definitely! You do get nutrition from every different plant food you include in your diet. Your immune system needs a variety of nutrients so besides the portobello mushrooms, see how you can include some more types of mushrooms.

      If different mushrooms are harder to get in their whole forms, and you need to boost your immunity, do try out these products. You may be surprised by what they can do for you.

      Reply

  3. I have always been a mushroom eater. I’ve liked them since I was a kid, I would have them with any meal. I don’t know I just love them.

    Thanks for sharing those different mushrooms and what they can do for me. I will have to check them out next time I do my local shop.

    Reply

    1. Awesome! Have fun discovering the different tastes. Some of these mushrooms are easier to find in health food stores than supermarkets.

      Reply

  4. This is really interesting, I always had issues with my immune system and it was apparently very visible because of falling sick frequently. I think I would try this out since it sounds like the perfect supplement for all my health issues.
    How soon can you see the supplement’s effects??

    Reply

    1. Hi Shrey! It really depends. Every person responds to a particular supplement differently. But if you complement it with a balanced plant based diet, you may be able to see results faster.

      Reply

  5. Oh wow that was really interesting to read! I LOVE mushrooms but I never realised that they were so good for you, besides the fact that they are low in calories. I love the idea that we can now buy a powdered down version of the mushroom, cause that way I can definitely get more mushrooms into my diet. Thank you so much!

    Reply

    1. Hi Hannah! I love a good mushroom dish. I also love how convenient these products are, especially since many of the mushrooms they contain are not easily available fresh in the supermarket.

      Reply

  6. Woah! I didn’t realize all these mushrooms had so many good qualities (I just like the way they taste if we are being honest, haha)! Is it better to take them in the capsule/beverage/powder form or can you still get the benefits from just including these mushrooms in your diet? I bet a delicious Many Mushroom Soup would be delicious and helpful!

    Reply

  7. Great article you have here! This is such a wonderful food to have with your daily diet. I like that you included tips and suggestions to help us understand more about mushrooms and how to eat it the right way. It’s interesting to read your personal experience with it as well. Thanks for sharing this!

    Reply

    1. You are welcome! It’s part of my effort to help more people eat better for the sake of their immune system. We can greatly reduce our risk of many diseases by eating right.

      Reply

  8. This is a very interesting blog with some great tips. I had no idea that mushrooms had so many health benefits. I love eating mushrooms, I eat it with basically everything.

    Are there specific types of mushrooms I should be eating for more health benefits or are the ones mentioned more beneficial?

    Reply

    1. Hi! Basically, eat as many different types as you can. Every mushroom has different polysaccharides. Each nourishes your immune system differently. Getting many different types gives you more comprehensive nourishment.

      Reply

  9. Hi Regina. I like your post about mushrooms. I also like medicinal mushrooms as I think they are a godsend for almost any ailment one might have, especially immune related. My favourite mushrooms are reishi and maitake. And I believe they are the healthies too. What do you think about Chaga mushroom?

    Reply

  10. I love your website, it’s full of useful health information.

    I didn’t know mushrooms are good for the immune system. It’s good information that you are providing Regina. I love Shiitake mushrooms, I can’t believe they actually reduce inflammation. Have you tried MycoProtec before?

    Maitake mushroom sounds like a good mushroom for people which kills cells in people with cancer.

    Reply

    1. Mycoprotec was actually one of the first few mushroom products I took. I was first introduced to Nutriact in the course of my work, but I found it extremely expensive at the time.

      Sometime after that, Mycoprotec was launched. I bought a box to try. Serving by serving, Mycoprotec is cheaper, and now and then I still buy it for myself when it’s on offer.

      Reply

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