Top Medicinal Mushrooms For Gut Health With Jeff Chilton_060
The Top Most Effective Medicinal Mushrooms For Gut Health (And More!)
Medicinal mushrooms are SUCH a hot topic. It seems like every wellness company is advertising, “buy this mushroom product it will heal every health issue that you have!” They are really taking the health and wellness industry by storm. But like everything in life, not all products are created equal. Do these mushroom products really have the number of benefits that everyone claims they do?
I had the pleasure of speaking with Jeff Chilton from Nammex Mushroom Extracts. He also has a branch of his company called Real Mushrooms for consumer products. Jeff was raised in the Pacific Northwest and has been working with mushrooms for decades. He is going to give us the lowdown on everything mushroom. We will be diving into some questions such as: Are there certain mushrooms that are good for gut health? How do you find a good quality mushroom product? Do mushrooms have vitamin D? Read along for these answers!
Let's Get to the Basics of Medicinal Mushrooms
Mushrooms and fungi are nature's recyclers. They break down all of the organic matter in the soil and turn it into useful nutrients. Different parts of the mushrooms can be used, but plant parts are very different when it comes to medicinal value. Here is a breakdown of a mushroom:
Spores > Mycelium > Mushroom
What we have traditionally used is the actual mushroom itself. Most medicinal mushrooms grow on wood because they need the wood to create the medicinal compounds. The issue that has been popping up is that companies are using other parts of the mushroom that are not as medicinal! I will explain the ways to look out for these products a little later.
What Is The Difference Between Medicinal Mushrooms And The Mushrooms That We Eat?
In the cell walls of mushrooms, they have a sugar called beta-glucans. This is not your average avoid-at-all-costs sugar. Scientists have found that we have receptors in our small intestines for beta-glucans. Our bodies are set up for these!! All mushrooms have them but each mushroom has a slightly different architecture. And the beta-glucan architecture is the difference between that mushroom being medicinal or just an edible mushroom. But hear me out because certain edible mushrooms are also medicinal. Examples of these are shiitake, maitake, and lions mane. Some mushrooms are medicinal and edible, and others are just medicinal. You can put many different types of mushrooms into your diet and reap the benefits
How Do You Find The Best Medicinal Mushroom Product?
Did you know that mushrooms are still hand-harvested? Every time you get a container of mushrooms from the store, they were picked by hand. Which is amazing when you think of how many pounds of mushrooms there are in every single grocery store. The bottom line is, the mushroom powders that are on the market may not be these mushrooms that you think they are.
If you’ve ever looked at Tempeh, the white stuff on it is mushroom mycelium, that's what ferments it. Companies will start to grow the mycelium on sterile grain and at the end of the process they dry it, grind it into a powder grain and all, and then sell it as a mushroom product. Mushrooms NEED to grow on wood to activate the beta-glucan in them, so with these products you are basically taking a filler with no benefits.
The way that Jeff and Real Mushrooms has unmasked it all is that they have a test for these beta-glucans. It gives them the amount of beta-glucans AND goes a step further and gives the amount of starch. Fungi and mushrooms do not produce starch. Humans, animals, and fungi produce glycogen as our storage carbohydrate, NOT STARCH. Mushrooms have 25-60% beta glucans, that's what makes them medicinal. The other products on the shelves that are being sold as “Mushroom Products” have about 6% beta glucans AND 35%-60% starch!! It's the opposite of what you want to get to help you with your ailments.
What code words should we be looking for on the label?
You may be tricked into thinking that it's a full mushroom product with no fillers….
But look for the following words:
Any grain listed in the other section.
Also, other companies may buy this product wholesale and not realize that what they are getting is mostly grain powder. So what happens to people that are allergic to these grains or are avoiding these grains for health reasons? They buy the mushroom product thinking it's going to help and it is actually full of stuff that they would normally avoid eating. Do as much research as you can on a company. Be wary of companies that “Fairy Dust” as well. This is when a manufacturer includes a tiny amount of a popular nutrient or herb in a product, then they list this product on the label even though with that small of an amount it won't be effective. Try to dig deep when you are looking to buy a mushroom product.
Which Medicinal Mushroom Should You Start With?
There are MANY mushrooms on the market, so where should you begin?
For Gut Health:
Begin with Chaga! Chaga is great for all types of stomach issues. You can buy Chaga chunks that companies have harvested in the forest so you know you're getting the real deal. Or you can buy a different form from a reputable company like Real Mushrooms!
For A Compromised or Weakened Immune System:
It turns out that the two mushrooms that are the highest in beta-glucans are Reishi and Turkey Tail. Start with Reishi because you will get the high amounts of beta-glucans and you'll also be getting triterpenoids. These are important for your liver because they will help to detox it. If your immune system is low, the mushrooms will work with the beta-glucan receptors that we have in our bodies and they will stimulate the immune cells. It will promote the production of the immune system cells. On the flip side of this, if your immune system is overactive it will help to bring it back into balance!
Remember that these mushroom products aren't an instant fix. You will not feel better as soon as you take them, it may take 2 or 3 weeks for you to feel the benefits. Give them a shot for a month and see how you are feeling, and it should be a lot better!
Would you have to eat a lot to get the same medicinal benefits as you would eating the powder or a tincture?
I am sure you are thinking that you would have to enter a mushroom eating contest to get all of the same benefits as if you were to just use a powder or tincture. An example that Jeff shared with me is that he weighed a medium sized button Mushroom and it weighed 40 grams…..
40 Grams X 3 Mushrooms = 120 Grams
Dry out the mushrooms and you will get 12g of mushroom powder!
And they recommend between 1-2 grams per day! Here's the key, when you eat mushrooms they have a compound called chitin. Chitin is what makes up the shell of a crab, so you can imagine it's going to be a little difficult to digest. The chitin binds the benefits of mushrooms together but you should be doing three things to get these benefits:
Chewing them really well
Cooking them property
Cook in a HOT pan on HIGH heat! Brown the mushrooms for 10 minutes
Once you do these things, it breaks down that chitin to make them more digestible. This will reassure you that you are getting all of the benefits out of these mushrooms!
Are Mushrooms A Good Source Of Vitamin D?
I have heard that mushrooms are the only source of Vitamin D outside of animal products. I was surprised to find out that mushrooms on their own do not have a lot of vitamin D, they have a compound that triggers Vitamin D in them. If you expose the mushrooms to UV light, it activates this compound and turns into vitamin D.
You can chop up your mushrooms and take them out in the sun for 15-20 minutes, which would turn the compound into Vitamin D.
Some companies are slicing mushrooms, putting them on a conveyor belt, and selling them as Vitamin D enhanced mushrooms! Real Mushrooms is coming up with a Vitamin D Mushroom capsule that will be on the market soon, so keep a lookout for that!
There you have it, the mushroom craze is validated. Did you realize how much mushrooms could do and that not all products are created equal? I hope this gave you a better understanding of mushrooms and will make you think twice before buying any type of medicinal mushroom product. Another big thank you to Jeff from Nammex for supplying all of this great information. Share this with a friend if you think they would also benefit from hearing about the best medicinal mushroom benefits!
Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Jeff Chilton who is bringing us all of his knowledge about medicinal mushroom, how to choose the right ones, how to look for quality PLUS what the top medicinal mushrooms your should be taking for gut health!
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