Functional mushrooms offer multiple benefits, among which include providing a balance for the immune system, a boost in energy, and enhancing sleep. However, all mushrooms are not equally beneficial for calming the mind and body, which brings the question of what the best mushrooms for anxiety are. These days, people are exposed to different stressful factors, and this can only trigger anxiety.

Leaving anxiety untreated increases the risks of chronic medical conditions due to its effect on the autonomic nervous system. The amazing thing is that there are many things to do to your anxiety. Today, there are different research suggesting the role of adaptogens like functional mushrooms in managing anxiety.

In this article, we’ll take you through some functional mushrooms and how they can help you manage anxiety. Continue reading to find out more.

How Do Mushrooms Help Anxiety?

Before we go into the different types of functional mushrooms for anxiety, let us look at how these mushrooms work.

Mushrooms and Neurogenesis

The general assumption among many is that the brain stops developing when you reach your mid-20s. This assumption generally supported the idea that people are stuck with the neurons they had at birth for life. However, during the 1960s, scientists started to challenge these claims. Today, there is new evidence showing that the brain continuously generates new neurons.

Neurogenesis is the process involved in generating new neurons, and this is limited to the hippocampus in an adult’s brain. This is the part of the brain that mediates emotions, memory, and learning. Research also shows that about 700 new neurons are generated in the hippocampus daily. Also, this process of generating new neurons daily is linked with neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity describes the ability of the brain to adapt, reshape, and make neural connections.

According to a neurobiological concept, “neurons that fire together, wire together.” Therefore, whenever a person experiences anxiety due to a new event, the connection between the triggering factor and the anxiety becomes stronger. Since neuroplasticity makes it possible for neurons to create unwanted patterns, it may be possible to utilize this potential for improvements.

However, there are different factors that could impact neurogenesis, among which include opioid addiction, lack of exercise, stress, oxidative stress, brain inflammation, brain injury, aging, and diet. Also, most neurological conditions are linked with impaired neurogenesis.

Animal and laboratory studies show that adaptogens can provide support for neurogenesis. Therefore, a healthy lifestyle with adaptogens can help reduce anxiety and uplift our mood.

Mushrooms and Neurotransmitters

Mental disorders are mostly a result of chemical imbalances in the brain. There are many types of neurotransmitters in the brain. Previous studies only focused on gamma-aminobutyric acid. However, there are other neurotransmitters that play a role, among which include corticotropin-releasing hormone, acetylcholine, oxytocin, neuropeptide Y, endocannabinoids, opioid peptides, dopamine, and serotonin.

Anxiety occurs as a result of overabundance or deficit in chemical messengers that mediate emotional responses. Mushrooms help to increase stress resistance by acting like these neurotransmitters. Even though their exact mechanism is not fully understood, it is assumed that adaptogens act through pathways that mediate stress responses.

Mushrooms and Inflammation

One of the protective mechanisms that mushrooms offer is immune system regulation. This allows the body to stay optimal and balanced, and it helps in maintaining healthy inflammatory responses. The immune system uses inflammation to respond to damaging factors like harmful chemicals and injuries. This response also triggers swelling, pain, and fever.

There are research findings suggesting a link between anxiety disorders and chronic inflammation. Mushrooms contain compounds that can mediate inflammatory responses. Examples of these compounds include ergothioneine, indolic and phenolic compounds, mycosteroids, minerals, vitamins, carotenoids, fatty acids, and polysaccharides.

Best Mushrooms for Anxiety

Mushroom consumption is mostly linked with different mood disorders, including depression and anxiety. There are different types of mushrooms people take for different medical conditions, and here are the three best options to consider.

Reishi for Anxiety

This mushroom is a member of the genus Ganoderma, which has a great reputation and has been widely applied in Asian cultures for many years. The most common Reishi on the market today is Ganoderma lucidum, and it’s also known as lignzhi. Its application in traditional Chinese medicine includes the following:

  • Decrease chest discomfort and cough.
  • Calm the mind.
  • Influence the heart, kidney, liver, and lungs.
  • Replenish Qi

Reishi also offers other benefits, and in traditional Chinese medicine, it’s also called the mushroom of immortality. The mushroom is rich in different healthy compounds, including alkaloids, nucleosides, proteins, amino acids, fatty acids, steroids, triterpenoids, and polysaccharides. Research shows that these compounds are vital for relieving stress and improving anxiety symptoms.

Reishi and Chronic Illness Fatigue

Chronic illness is a factor that can trigger anxiety and depression. In most cases, anxiety is a secondary symptom of other conditions, including fatigue. This situation is common with breast cancer patients, as they mostly experience cancer-related fatigue. In many cases, this leads to anxiety and emotional distress. A study of 48 patients showed that Reishi promotes the overall quality of life of affected patients and helps in reducing their anxiety symptoms.

Reishi and Better Sleep

Anxiety and sleep and interrelated. Most of the time, you feel anxious, and getting some sleep becomes difficult. Also, lack of sleep leaves negative impacts on the body and emotions. Reishi mushroom helps in increasing sleep time and reducing the time taken to fall asleep. Study also shows that Reishi has GABAergic activity, which is the system that regulates sleep.

Reishi and Balanced Blood Sugar Levels

Nutrition and mental health also have a connection to each other, and there are many studies that support this claim. These studies also highlight that the consumption of food that has a high glycemic index is correlated with higher odds of anxiety and different mental disorders. Therefore, maintaining balanced blood sugar levels can help to relieve stress and anxiety.

Research also shows that beta-glucans present in mushrooms play a key role in keeping blood sugar levels balanced. These glucans are present in Reishi, which makes it a great option for maintaining blood sugar levels.

Lion’s Mane for Anxiety

The next functional mushroom we’ll look at is the Lion’s Mane, which is scientifically known as Hericium erinaceus. There are two popular compounds found in this mushroom, which are erinacines and hericenones. Studies show that both compounds help to improve brain function and confer protection against cognitive decline linked with aging.

Lion’s Mane for Dopamine and Serotonin

Dopamine and serotonin are happy hormones, and they are vital for appetite and mood. Research mostly suggests that low levels of dopamine and serotonin are linked with mood disorders, including anxiety. Studies also suggest that Lion’s Mane impacts the levels of dopamine and serotonin. Lion’s Mane also affects the gut microbiome involved in the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, both of which play a role in depression and anxiety.

Lion’s Mane and Neurogenesis

Brain-derived neurotrophic factors and nerve growth factors are vital for neurogenesis. Animal studies show that changes in their levels are linked with psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. They are also involved in brain plasticity, especially at developmental phases.

Lion’s Mane contains erinacines and hericenones, as mentioned above. Both compounds cross the blood-brain barrier with ease, and research shows that they also protect nerves and neurons. In addition, they are also involved in enhancing the activity of nerve growth factors.

Cordyceps for Anxiety

Cordyceps are a mushroom group with more than 400 species; the two most common are Cordyceps militaris and Cordyceps sinensis. These mushrooms are used to enhance the strength of the kidneys and lungs. They are also widely applied in enhancing libido and sexual function. Cordyceps are also linked with being able to boost mood. Studies show that they provide support to inflammatory responses and are vital for relieving stress and anxiety. Another interesting thing is that Cordyceps can counter oxidative stress, which is caused by stress and anxiety.

How to Use Mushrooms for Anxiety

Taking functional mushrooms for the benefits they provide, and over a long period of time, is a great idea. However, the minimum recommended time to take for you to allow it to work is three months. Another thing to ensure is that the supplements you consume are of high quality.

When you buy shrooms supplements, it’s important to ensure that it was manufactured from the fruiting body because it contains a high amount of beneficial compounds like beta-glucans. Regardless of the type of mushroom you buy, always ensure that it’s of good quality so that you can get the best of its benefit.

At Microdose Bros, we take pride in our sourcing and extraction methods for the functional mushroom products we provide. Our products are safe and of high quality. They don’t contain fillers, grains, or starch. This is to ensure that you get the best benefits from our functional mushrooms.

Ease Anxiety with Mushrooms

The feeling of anxiety can make one to feel out of control of their body. However, maintain a healthy lifestyle and taking functional mushrooms is a great way to reduce the symptoms of anxiety, especially occasional anxiety. If you’re battling with severe anxiety, we recommend seeking help from a professional medical practitioner.

If you’re looking for the best functional mushrooms for anxiety, we recommend Cordyceps, Lion’s Mane, and Reishi. Microdose Bros is confident in the efficacy and safety of the products we offer.