In defense of the mushroom: here's why all your fungi fears are actually wrong

Mushrooms may be among the most misunderstood living organisms on planet Earth. That's partially due to their exotic, almost alien-like look. It's also partially due to their age-old connection to mysticism and folklore from centuries past. Yet another reason is much more firmly grounded in today, as some mushrooms can be poisonous, while others have pharmacological and hallucinogenic properties that could freak a lot of people out.

Unfortunately, all 10,000-plus varieties of mushrooms have never gotten together and hired a public relations pro – there's a lot of misinformation and fear about mushrooms out there.

So in the interest of rumor control, there are some things you should know about mushrooms. First of all, of those 10,000 different mushroom types, only about 1 to 2 percent are harmful to humans, with only about a dozen that could prove fatal if ingested. 

As it turns out, that's about the same percentage of mushroom varieties that would fall under the hallucinogenic "magic mushroom" category. There are only about 144 species of mushroom that contain the psychoactive ingredient psilocybin.  Psilocybin is the compound that causes hallucinations, euphoria and other mind-altering side effects.

The strange lore around those trippy mushrooms may go back over 9,000 years, so it isn't hard to understand why the humble fungi may have garnered some bad press over the centuries. But the other myth about mushrooms worth dispelling is that mushrooms have no real nutritional or medicinal value. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

Mushrooms: The Benefits

There's a general sense that "beige food" doesn't really have much to offer nutritionally. However, science disproves that myth, showing mushrooms are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber, amino acids, and more that can all contribute to an individual's health.

For the appearance-driven among us, mushrooms can help you look better, thanks to high concentrations of ergothioneine and glutathione. These antioxidants actually safeguard the body from stressors that lead to visible signs of aging, a.k.a., those pesky wrinkles.

For the smart-conscious, those same antioxidants may also be helping you think better too, with researchers finding ergothioneine and glutathione could be staving off degenerative conditions like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. That conclusion may have been backed up by a study in 2019, which found eating servings of cooked mushrooms each week could be helping to slow or stop any cognitive decline. 

Finally, there are also a host of ways mushrooms have now been shown to help you feel better as well. Of course, mushrooms are a long-time dietary stand-in for meat, helping those who make the switch cut fat, calories, and cholesterol. Some Vitamin D-infused mushrooms can also be a direct asset in strengthening your bones, too. 

And mushrooms are also chock-full of B vitamins, covering everything from riboflavin and folate to niacin and pantothenic acid. All of these minerals help the body better conserve and use energy to increase red blood cell production and speed the spread of oxygen through your body.

With more science weighing in on the positive benefits of mushrooms, the tide of public opinion has started to turn, with millions coming around to the overwhelming health benefits of what are now called adaptogenic mushrooms in recent years.

WonderDay Mushroom Gummies

So, outside of carting home buckets of mushrooms from the grocery store each week, how do you get more of these uber-positive fungi into your life and your health?

WonderDay Mushroom Gummies, which have been called the world's first mushroom multi-supplement make it easy and tasty to get your daily dose of mushrooms. Rather than worrying about all the components of mushroom-based health, these gummies do it through a gathering of 10 functional, adaptogenic mushrooms that help bring balance to your mood, gut health, stress, energy levels: everything you need for homeostasis.

How does it work? Lion's Mane and Chaga mushrooms help level out mood. Chaga and Reishi help modulate cortisol levels, reducing stress. Cordyceps and Maitake lift ATP production, which boosts energy. Lion's Mane and Cordyceps support memory and cognition. And Turkey Tail and Reishi mushrooms serve up triterpenoids, which improves gut flora and overall immune response.

Bring 'em all together and they're the Justice League of mushroom heroes, combining with a uniform, pre-measured dose of positive elements for an all-around body and mental health balance users can feel after just a few days of use. In keeping with the natural benefits of these fungi, WonderDay Gummies don't contain gelatin or high fructose corn syrup and are made only with non-GMO ingredients. 

And in case you're one of those kids (big kids included) who turn up your nose at a mushroom, these gummies are actually chef-crafted to taste exactly like a delicious wild raspberry. 

For those ready to sleep better, feel better, and combat stress, anxiety, physical pain, and more, you can feel the effects for yourself. Any first-time purchaser of $30 or more can take 15 percent off their total (excluding trials, subscriptions, and bundles) just by entering the code SUMMER15 during checkout.