Mushrooms That Help Your Prostate

Certain mushrooms have been found to help men maintain a healthy prostate.  

Mushrooms are an interesting life form. The come in a vast array of forms and sizes. Out of the 100,000 estimated species of mushrooms, most are edible and quite nutritious.  And now researchers are determining that mushrooms support prostate health and help men avoid prostate problems. Most mushrooms contain substantial amounts of protein, fiber, minerals, B vitamins, and vitamin C. 

Here are some of the benefits of top (3) three varieties of mushrooms:

Shiitake mushrooms
About a millennium ago in China, a farmer named Wu San Kwung cultivated a delicious mushroom now known as hsiang ku, or “fragrant mushroom”. This became one of the first edible fungi in history. Wu San copied nature by cutting notches into logs, then ‘infecting’ the notches with pieces of what we now call Shiitake mushrooms. Whole mushrooms bloomed from these notches. In 1265 a small mountain village near in coastal Zhejiang Province on the Pacific Coast, a statue of the inventor was erected in the Temple of Xiyangdian, or “Temple of the Mushroom God”. Shiitake mushrooms are an excellent source of digestible protein, which contain more than 40 percent essential amino acids. Dried shiitake mushrooms contain large amounts of vitamin D, protein, amino acids, potassium, and as much as 55 percent polysaccharides, which are natural carbohydrates.

Reishi mushrooms
Reishi or lingzhi mushrooms (Ganoderma lucidum), are medicinal mushroom used in traditional Chinese medicine. Many Chinese medical writings, such as the Compendium of Materia Medica written during the 14th to 17th century Ming Dynasty, tell of the medicinal properties of reishi and the different areas of the body it is known to nourish. Chinese healers use the mushroom to treat hypertension, bronchitis, and liver and kidney diseases. A study in the "Journal of Ethnopharmacology" found that reishi significantly reduced prostate growth.  Reishi has anti-androgen effects, meaning it inhibits 5alpha-reductase, which is the enzyme involved in producing dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, the prostatic androgen known to be the cause of prostate enlargement. 

Reishi mushrooms grow wild on decaying tree stumps and logs in Chinese provinces. They grow in six different colors, but the red variety is most commonly used and commercially cultivated in China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea as well as North America.

Maitake mushrooms
For many years, maitake mushrooms, or dancing mushrooms, have been linked to good health in those who consume them. That's because maitake contains an important immune boosting compound called D-fraction. 

Maitake in Japanese means “dancing mushroom”.  Those in earlier civilizations who found the mushroom were described as dancing with joy, as it was worth its weight in silver. The name may also come from the way in which the fan-shaped tops overlap like butterflies performing a wild dance.  In America, they also are known by the name “hen-of-the-woods” because they can look like puffed-up feathers. They are commonly found in eastern North America, Europe, and Asia. Maitake hunters forage alone, never divulging the location of their finds, even to their own families. In Japan, they traditionally mark their collecting areas with hatch marks on trees bordering the area and keep others out of their claimed location. Until modern cultivation techniques were developed in 1979, maitake was harvested from the wild. In 1990, Japanese farmers produced almost 8,000 tons of maitake, and production has increased with expanding exports to the Western cultures. Laboratory studies have demonstrated that maitake extract can stimulate the immune system.  They may also reduce blood sugar levels, aid in lowering blood pressure, and encourage weight loss.

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