Natural Remedies

Flu Fighting Food: Mushrooms

Do you like mushrooms? This is a good thing from what I’ve been reading lately. Mushrooms are just full of beta-glucans. What’s that when it’s at home? Well, it’s a soluble polysaccharide, if you must know, and they’re some of the best immune-system boosters you can find.

They support your immune system by ramping up the macrophages, the white blood cells that search out and destroy invading viruses and bacteria. The quicker the macrophages get to the source of the infection, the sooner they destroy the germs that are causing your cough, sniffles or sore throat.

Although there are other foods like oats and barley and such that contain polysaccharides, they’re just not as effective as the beta-glucans in mushrooms, especially the more exotic – to us – mushrooms. That doesn’t mean that eating white button mushrooms isn’t good for you, it is. So if they’re your favorites, by all means add them to salads and sandwiches and your favorite recipes.

Most mushrooms contain a good amount of beta-glucans, but Shitake and Reishi contain the most. This is why they’ve been popular in both Ayurveda and Traditonal Chinese Medicine for centuries. Whether you get them from an extract or in your stir-fried noodles or in a Bella burger, it’s all good.

So, with flu season upon us, what better time than now to order in pizza with ‘shrooms, add mushroom soup to the menu or dine on pasta with mushroom sauce. And don’t forget the onions and garlic which are also good for fending off the flu and colds.