Sadly, it’s safe to assume that you or someone close to you has struggled with cancer in one way or another. When considering a diet to support cancer, we automatically think of antioxidants/phytonutrients, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and fiber, alkalinizing foods, dark leafy greens and the list goes on. Although these are excellent suggestions, I bet the word fungi doesn’t come to mind. Yes, fighting the big “c” with fungi.
Medicinal mushrooms have definitely earned the title of being wellness warriors. Although mushrooms have been used as a healing food since the ancient Romans and Egyptians, “new” research has come out proving that mushrooms and mushroom extracts are strong little fighters against cancer, especially in the case of breast and prostate cancers. Many cultures have long considered mushrooms to be tonics which strengthen and invigorate the immune system. Hello!? Awesome.
What makes Mushrooms Movember Warriors?
– One of the most commonly known active components in mushrooms are polysaccharides. After eating these little warriors, immune cells in the intestinal wall engulf the polysaccharide and set off a chain reaction which results in an increased number and activity of natural killer cells. In case you were too busy passing notes in high school biology class, natural killer cells (also known as “NK Cells”) are agents of the immune system which destroys bacteria, viruses and malignant cells.
– Mushrooms contain CLA which is known to slow down the activity of an enzyme needed to make estrogen. Cancers of the sex organs thrive in a high estrogen environment, yes boys..even YOU can have too much estrogen!
– Mushrooms are a great source of selenium. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant. Aside from slowing the rate of tumour progression,studies have shown that men who consume high amounts of selenium in their diet have a decreased risk of developing prostate cancer.
Along with many other beneficial properties, these shrooming soldiers may play a large roll in fighting the battle against cancer. I’ve come to terms that fighting with fungi is not as trendy as growing a “sexy” mustache but keeping this in mind, do me a favour and keep up to date with your research. Be proactive, take control of your own health and remember to turn aaaand cough.