Five Ways Mushrooms Can Boost Your Health

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White foods often get a bad rap when it comes to health – think bread, flour, and bakery treats. But what if there’s a white food that defies the norm?


Despite their classification as fungi, their nutty flavor and impressive nutrient content make them a popular choice on plates. And they aren’t just delicious; they’re a low-calorie option too. 

Mushrooms are packed with protein, vitamins, fiber, minerals, trace elements, and have zero cholesterol. [1] Keep reading to discover how mushrooms can work wonders for your well-being.

Top 5 benefits of eating mushrooms 

Mushrooms offer a variety of nutrients to supplement your diet and enhance your well-being. Read on to learn about the top 5 benefits of eating mushrooms. 

1. Improve bone health 

When we think about strong bones, we usually think of milk and sunlight. But there’s a new contender in town that might surprise you – mushrooms! 

These little fungi are packing a punch when it comes to vitamin D.

The vitamin D keeps your bones strong and healthy, and it’s also a boost for your immune system. So, getting enough of it is pretty important for the overall health.

However, lots of people around the world don’t get enough vitamin D. About 1 billion people worldwide have too little of it, and even in the United States, around 35 percent of adults are running low on vitamin D. [2]

Normally, we get vitamin D from the sun, but research shows that certain mushrooms, like UV-exposed white raw mushrooms, can also provide a good amount of this vitamin. In fact, just half a cup of mushrooms can give you 46 percent of the vitamin D you need in a day. [3]

Moreover, mushrooms are a great option for vegetarians because finding a plant source of vitamin D can be a bit tricky. Most sources of vitamin D are animal-based, like fish and fortified dairy products.

2. Build strong immunity

Medicinal mushrooms are consumed as extracts or powders to address health concerns and offer nutritional support. They have been historically used in Asia for centuries, but are now recognized for their immune boosting effects across the world. 

Medicinal mushrooms are used to prevent and treat conditions like infections, lung diseases, and cancer. These mushrooms contain potent beta-glucans, a type of polysaccharide that plays a crucial role in combating inflammation and maintaining immune balance. [4]

You might be thinking about adding the most powerful of these medicinal mushrooms to your diet? However, choosing one is a challenge due to their collective benefits. You could rather opt for a blend of medicinal mushrooms. 

Note: It’s important to consider that mushrooms might not be suitable for every condition. If you’re dealing with a serious illness, always consult your doctor to determine the most suitable treatment plan.

3. Protect brain health

Up to 18 percent of people over 60 face mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a condition that impacts memory, thinking, skills, and judgment of the person. MCI could also be a warning sign for Alzheimer’s. A healthy diet including brain-protecting foods like mushrooms could play an important role in keeping your brain healthy. 

A research study conducted among people aged 60 and older indicates that individuals who ate more than 2 cups of mushrooms per week had a lower risk of developing cognitive issues as compared to their counterparts. [5] Similarly, a long-term Spanish study suggests that polyphenol-rich foods like mushrooms, cocoa, and coffee, could protect against cognitive decline. [6] Scientists from the Pennsylvania State University believe that eating at least five button mushrooms per day could reduce the risk of cognitive impairment in the future. 

4. Promote healthy gut

Your gut isn’t just a food processor. It’s also a home to trillions of bacteria that impact your health and mood. Foods that are prebiotics and probiotics promote healthy bacteria in your gut. [7]

And guess what? Mushrooms are a great prebiotic food. They contain high levels of polysaccharides that are acid resistant and therefore, reach your intestines unchanged where they help to promote the growth of healthy bacteria. [8]

Unhealthy gut can lead to symptoms like bloating, heartburn, constipation, nausea, abdominal pain, fatigue, loose stools, brain fog, unexplained weight gain or weight loss, and headaches. 

If you’ve been experiencing some of these symptoms and can’t pinpoint the cause, it could be due to an imbalance of gut bacteria.

Here are some medicinal mushroom types for you to try. You can also use a blend of these mushrooms. 

  1. Lion’s Mane
  2. Reishi
  3. Chaga
  4. Shiitake
  5. Turkey Tail

 5. Protect heart health 

Mushrooms are packed with nutrients that could contribute to keeping your cardiovascular system in check. For example, think  potassium, an important element for a healthy heart. Mushrooms, particularly portobellos, offer a generous serving of this essential mineral, with a single mushroom containing about 306 milligrams. [9]

Potassium in the diet encourages the excretion of excess sodium, a mechanism that offers considerable benefits for heart health by keeping blood pressure levels in check. 

Moreover, these fungi have been associated with improvements in cholesterol and triglyceride levels – two key players in the cardiovascular landscape. Mushrooms, when used as replacements for red meat, offer a heart-healthy alternative that trims calories, fat, and cholesterol from recipes. 

Mushroom Safety: Store-Bought vs. Wild Varieties

If you have read anything about mushrooms, you’d also know that some of them could be harmful. About 3% of known mushroom varieties are poisonous to humans. Since you may not know which one’s healthy, it could be risky to use any wild grown variety; it’s best to use the store bought mushrooms. 

Wild Mushrooms in Nature:

  • Significantly riskier to consume.
  • Expertise needed to identify edible varieties.
  • Cooking is required to neutralize toxins in most cases.
  • Many poisonous mushrooms with severe symptoms exist.

Store-Bought Mushrooms:

  • Generally safe for consumption.
  • Allergies to mushrooms or mold can pose risks.
  • Purchased mushrooms undergo quality control.
  • Suitable for various culinary uses.

Incorporating Mushrooms into Your Meals: Tips and Swaps

Here are some simple swaps that work more mushrooms into your daily meals: 

  • Blend chopped mushrooms with ground meat for burgers.
  • Enhance breakfast by adding mushrooms to omelet or scrambled eggs.
  • Make Mushroom Garlic Bread for breakfast or evening snack. Just a Pinch has a quick and nice recipe for this yummy breakfast. Check it out here
  • Elevate pasta sauces and side dishes with sliced mushrooms. (Remember that mushrooms preserve their nutrients best if you grill them.)

Key takeaways:

  • Mushrooms are packed with nutrients like vitamin D and B, proteins, and antioxidants. 
  • They can help protect you against cancer, grant great benefits to your gut, and make your bones strong. 
  • Mushrooms have a positive role in protecting brain health. 

Get Your Groove Back: A Guide to Recovering from Burnout

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Feeling like you’re stuck in a never-ending cycle of exhaustion and low motivation? It’s time to face the possibility that you may be experiencing burnout – a common condition that affects countless individuals. According to an extensive research by Zippia, nearly 90% of workers have experienced some form of burnout in 2022. (1) You’re not alone in your struggles.

Burnout is a state of mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion that can leave you feeling drained, unmotivated, and unable to focus on your goals. 

7 Surprisingly Simple Ways to Bounce Back from Burnout

I know it’s frustrating to feel like you’re not making progress. The good news is that recovery is possible with the right strategies and support. If you’re ready to get back to living your life on your own terms and start feeling like yourself again, here are some simple steps you can take to get started. 

1. Escape the Grind

Taking a vacation is a proven way to tackle burnout and improve your overall well-being. Studies have shown that vacations can reduce emotional exhaustion and burnout, increase work engagement, and even boost life satisfaction and quality of life. (2, 3, 4)

The benefits of taking a break from work routine can be attributed to Attention Restoration Theory, which suggests that mental exhaustion can impair your ability to focus and regulate emotions. You could improve your cognitive functioning and reduce the risk of burnout by recharging in nature. (5

Breaking away from the daily grind and exploring those natural wonders that look amazing on your social media could be a great addition to your burnout recovery plan.

Keep in mind that the benefits of a vacation are often short-lived, with stress and burnout levels returning to pre-vacation levels within just a few weeks. That’s why it is essential to combine your vacation with other burnout prevention strategies.

2. Take a Stand, Draw a Line

Another way to tackle burnout is by setting boundaries. I know it can be tough, but hear me out.

Better boundaries can protect you from fatigue. When you clearly communicate your limits and expectations, you prevent yourself from taking on too much work and getting overwhelmed. 

Check out these 4 tips for setting boundaries that could help prevent burnout:

  • Don’t be afraid to say “no” when something doesn’t align with your values or goals. 
  • Use assertive statements to communicate your needs, limits, and expectations respectfully. For example, instead of saying “I’m sorry, but I don’t think I can do that,” try saying “I appreciate the opportunity, but I won’t be able to take on any additional work right now.” 
  • Establish and reinforce your boundaries consistently, recognizing that like with children, repetition and adaptability are key.
  • Respect other people’s boundaries as well. When you treat others the way you want to be treated, everyone benefits.

3. Let Go of Perfectionism

Research indicates that perfectionism is positively related to stress, burnout, and workaholism. (6) Staring at computer screens all day long and trying to turn your good work into something perfect could lead to burnout. 

Next time you come across such a situation, try turning in your good work (not the perfect version you want), and you’ll see, despite that piece of work not being perfect, it’ll still be acceptable. Sometimes, we just have to finish the to-do-list and be done with our work for the day. It doesn’t always have to be perfect.

4. Practice Meditation

Meditation has a solution to almost any problem, including burnout. (7, 8) Having butterflies in your stomach before your big presentation? Feeling like a cat on hot bricks right before making your speech in front of the team members? These situations get better with simple breathing techniques of meditation. 

You just have to take a deep breath, hold it for a few seconds, and then release your breath slowly. Do it a few times, and you will feel a sudden calm. If meditation yields such instant results, imagine its potential when practiced for just 30 minutes a day. 

You could also try free AI-powered mental health platforms like Earkick that offer meditation sessions based on real time data. The app requires no account, no login, no ads, and it’s completely free. How awesome! Just try it out. You’d simply love it.

5. Unplug at Night 

Our brains need rest at bedtime. It certainly doesn’t need more input (we already do enough of that during the day!). Sleep expert Dr. Michelle Drerup, PsyD, DBSM, explains that checking our phones at night stimulates the brain, making us more awake. The thought of the phone under the pillow or the anticipation of work email notifications triggers mental activity. Even a brief glance can delay sleep by keeping the brain engaged. 

Turn off your wifi at least 1 hour before bedtime and give yourself that much needed break from screen lights. No phones! Use this hour for something you’d enjoy (no, not Netflix!); perhaps, you could try meditation, or playing with the kids, or talking to your partner. 

6. Split Up Big Tasks

Managing big tasks can become overwhelming and contribute to project burnout. Consider dividing these tasks into smaller project milestones, each with its own set date. 

When you have a great and difficult task, something perhaps almost impossible, if you only work a little at a time, every day a little, suddenly the work will finish itself. ~ Isak Dinesen

For any big project, try to establish clear project objectives, delegate tasks to team members, and highlight crucial deadlines. This approach helps you stay organized and prevents the negative impacts of handling extensive tasks all at once. 

Adopting this strategy for larger  tasks could prove super helpful in the long run. Atleast, you wouldn’t be stressed about an upcoming deadline. 

7. Break the Stigma: Talk to a Therapist

Tens and millions of people need a therapist but the fear of judgment holds them back. 

“What will people think if they find out I’m seeing a counselor? What if I’m spotted coming out of the office? The questions linger. 

The fear of judgment and misconceptions about the reasons for seeking therapy often discourages us from reaching out for help that we truly need. But let’s break the stigma and seek therapists just like we’d seek a doctor if we break a bone. 

Know that seeking therapy doesn’t imply weakness or severe illness. Instead, it’s a step towards managing life’s challenges. Speaking to a therapist about your burnout could actually be really helpful. 

Still not sure? 

How about you try some platform that offers online support? You could try Ginger; it offers private mental healthcare through the Ginger Emotional Support app. Users can get behavioral health coaching, video therapy & psychiatry, with evening and weekend hours, and self-guided care resources, recommended for specific needs. 


You’re not alone – countless individuals face burnout. Empower yourself with actionable strategies: embrace breaks, set boundaries, and let go of perfectionism. Meditate for quick relief and seek therapy for long term results.