10 Surprising Health Benefits of Functional Mushrooms You Need to Know

10 Surprising Health Benefits of Functional Mushrooms You Need to Know

When you think of mushrooms, you may envision them as a tasty addition to your pizza or pasta, but the world of fungi is far richer and more diverse than you might imagine.

The category of 'functional mushrooms' refers to a group of mushrooms that have been used for centuries in traditional medicine for their powerful health benefits.

These go beyond just being nutrient-dense and can positively impact your brain, immune system, and overall wellness.

Here are the top 10 surprising health benefits of functional mushrooms you need to know.

  1. Boosted Immunity: Mushrooms like Reishi and Turkey Tail are packed with antioxidants that help to support a healthy immune system.

  2. Cognitive Health: Lion's Mane mushroom has been linked to improved cognitive function and may even help to prevent neurodegenerative diseases.

  3. Energy and Endurance: Cordyceps can increase your energy by improving the way your body uses oxygen, especially during exercise.

  4. Stress Relief: Certain mushrooms, like Reishi, have adaptogenic properties that help the body adapt to stress and restore balance.

  5. Digestive Health: Many functional mushrooms are prebiotic, meaning they nourish the beneficial bacteria in your gut, thereby improving digestion and overall gut health.

  6. Heart Health: Some mushrooms, such as Shiitake and Maitake, can help to reduce cholesterol levels and support heart health.

  7. Blood Sugar Control: Certain types of mushrooms, including Maitake, have been found to help control blood sugar levels, which can be beneficial for people with diabetes.

  8. Antiviral Properties: Several functional mushrooms, including Chaga, have potent antiviral properties.

  9. Anti-Aging Properties: The antioxidants in mushrooms like Reishi and Chaga fight free radicals, protecting your cells from damage and slowing down the aging process.

  10. Improved Mood and Focus: Certain mushrooms, like Lion's Mane, have been linked to improved mood and concentration.

It's important to note that while functional mushrooms have been associated with a wide range of health benefits, they are not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new health regimen. As the research on functional mushrooms continues to expand, it's clear that these potent fungi have more to offer than just taste – they could be a key to better health and well-being.


  1. Borchers, A. T., Krishnamurthy, A., Keen, C. L., Meyers, F. J., & Gershwin, M. E. (2008). The Immunobiology of Mushrooms. Experimental Biology and Medicine, 233(3), 259–276.

  2. Patel, S., & Goyal, A. (2012). Recent developments in mushrooms as anti-cancer therapeutics: a review. 3 Biotech, 2(1), 1-15.

  3. Wasser, S.P. (2017). Medicinal mushrooms as a source of antitumor and immunomodulating polysaccharides. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 60, 258-274.

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