A few days back I happened upon an advertisement for a food supplement, aimed at women of a certain age. My age, in fact. This wondrous ad, catching my attention completely, promised a delight of magical ingredients in whatever the product was (I forget the product but I remember the ad).
” …… blends harmonizing herbs, key nutraceuticals and a proprietary immune supporting combination of nine different mushrooms, each prized in traditional Asian health systems for thousands of years.. “.
Mushrooms! Naturally I sat up very late for three nights in a row reading what I could find on mushrooms. I like mushrooms at any time and, if they’re of some benefit in these decrepit years, all the better.
So here’s what I came up with. While I may not agree with the ancient Egyptians in the strong magical powers of mushrooms, their health benefits are undeniable.
Mushrooms and Cancer
Four varieties of mushroom have cancer-fighting attributes.
- Maitake- cuts cholesterol levels and may protect you from cancer
- Shiitake – have been researched for their medicinal benefits, most notably their anti-tumour properties in laboratory mice
- Agaricus – has been a big hit in the past few years with its recognition as an alternative treatment support for many diseases including cancer
- Reishi – useful as a supplement during radiotherapy or chemotherapy and reduces various side effects such as bone marrow suppression and fatigue.
That’s all very heartening, but I don’t have cancer (touch wood) I have plain old-fashioned fatigue, insomnia and grumpiness.
I’m going to stock up on Shiitakes. They contain high levels of protein, potassium, niacin and B vitamins, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. They also have natural antiviral and immunity-boosting properties. They can fight viruses, help with liver ailments, lower cholesterol and regulate blood pressure. That sounds like what I’m looking for.
Portobello Mushrooms in a Garlicky Sauce
Here’s a lot more about mushrooms and features my hero, Utzi, the Iceman, who died crossing the Alps about 5,000 years ago, with a bag of mushrooms.
What to do with Mushrooms
Claudius, the Emperor of Rome, was poisoned by mushrooms, as was Pope Clement VII. The Normans praised their aphrodisiac qualities and the ancient Egyptians decreed them to be food for royalty alone….
I’ll buy some mushies first thing next pension day!