Let's Talk Superfoods: Mesquite, Maca Root, and Reishi & Chaga Mushrooms

Updated: Jan 30

Let's talk superfoods.




Mesquite (Adaptogen)

Mesquite is a legume native to the Southwestern United States and South America.  Its pods can be ground to form a sweet flour and also used as a natural sweetener in baking and various recipes requiring a hint of sweetness to increase the depth of flavor.


POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF MESQUITE


Mesquite powder is a high plant protein (11 to 17 %) powder with a high soluble fiber content and high in calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and zinc.  It is considered a superfood and an adaptogen.  An adaptogen is a food that helps the body adjust to stress and protects the body functions from stress hormones (other examples of adaptogens are maca, lucuma, ashwagandha, schizandra, and ginseng).


REISHI MUSHROOMS

Reishi mushrooms are among several medicinal mushrooms that have been used for hundreds of years, mainly in Asian countries, for treatment of infections. More recently, they have also been used in the treatment of pulmonary diseases and cancer. Medicinal mushrooms have been approved adjuncts to standard cancer treatments in Japan and China for more than 30 years and have an extensive clinical history of safe use as single agents or combined with chemotherapy.

The reishi mushroom is also known as lingzhi.


Why do people take reishi mushroom?


POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF REISHI MUSHROOMS


Reishi mushroom has been used to help enhance the immune system, reduce stress, improve sleep, and lessen fatigue.


People also take reishi mushroom for health conditions such as:

High blood pressure

High cholesterol

Cardiovascular diseaseLiver or kidney disease

Respiratory diseases (such as asthma)

Viral infections (such as the flu)

HIV/AIDS

Cancer and support during chemotherapy

Pain during and after a shingles outbreak

Building strength and stamina

Fatigue


There is some scientific evidence of its effectiveness, including lab research and some small human studies. Researchers are beginning to look at the chemical makeup of this mushroom to better understand how and whether it really works for each of these conditions.


CHAGA MUSHROOMS

Chaga mushrooms have been used for centuries in Siberia and other parts of Asia as a medicine to boost immunity and improve overall health.


POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF CHAGA MUSHROOMS


Boosts Your Immune System and Fights Inflammation

Inflammation is a natural response of your immune system that can protect against disease. However, long-term inflammation is linked to conditions like heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

Animal and test-tube studies suggest that chaga extract can positively impact immunity by reducing long-term inflammation and fighting harmful bacteria and viruses.By promoting the formation of beneficial cytokines — specialized proteins that regulate the immune system — chaga stimulates white blood cells, which are essential for fighting off harmful bacteria or viruses.As a result, this mushroom could help fight infections — from minor colds to serious illnesses.

Additionally, other animal and test-tube studies demonstrate that chaga can prevent the production of harmful cytokines, which trigger inflammation and are associated with disease. For example, in a study in mice, chaga extract reduced inflammation and gut damage by inhibiting inflammatory cytokines.


Prevents and Fights Cancer

Several animal and test-tube studies show that chaga can prevent and slow cancer growth.

In a study in mice with cancer, chaga supplements resulted in a 60% reduction in tumor size.

In a test-tube study, chaga extract prevented the growth of cancer in human liver cells. Similar results were observed with cancer cells of the lung, breast, prostate and colon.It’s thought that the anticancer effect of chaga is partly due to its high content of antioxidants, which protect cells from damage by free radicals. In particular, chaga contains the antioxidant triterpene. Test-tube studies reveal that very concentrated triterpene extract can help kill cancer cells.


Lowers Blood Sugar

Several animal studies link chaga to lower blood sugar levels. Therefore, it may help manage diabetes. A recent study in obese, diabetic mice observed that chaga extract reduced blood sugar levels and insulin resistance compared to diabetic mice who did not receive the supplement. In another study in diabetic mice, chaga supplements led to a 31% decrease in blood sugar levels over three weeks.Similar results have been seen in other studies.However, as human research is unavailable, it’s unclear whether chaga can help manage diabetes in humans.


Lowers Cholesterol

Chaga extract may also benefit cholesterol levels, reducing your risk of heart disease.

In an eight-week study in rats with high cholesterol, chaga extract reduced “bad” LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol and triglycerides while increasing antioxidant levels. Similar studies gave the same results and observed that — in addition to reducing “bad” LDL cholesterol — chaga increases “good” HDL cholesterol. Researchers believe that the antioxidants present in chaga are responsible for its effects on cholesterol.

Again, more research in humans is needed to clearly understand chaga’s cholesterol impact.


MACA ROOT


Maca is a plant that grows in central Peru in the high plateaus of the Andes Mountains. It has been cultivated as a vegetable crop in this area for at least 3000 years. Maca is a relative of the radish and has an odor similar to butterscotch. Its root is used to make medicine.

People take maca by mouth for "tired blood" (anemia), improving fertility, sexual dysfunction, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

In foods, maca is eaten baked or roasted, prepared as a soup, and used for making a fermented drink called maca chicha.

In agriculture, it is used to increase fertility in livestock.

How does it work?

Maca root contains many chemicals, including fatty acids and amino acids. However, there isn't enough information to know exactly how maca might work.


POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF MACA ROOT


Sexual problems caused by antidepressants (antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction). Early research suggests that taking maca twice daily for 12 weeks slightly improves sexual dysfunction in women taking antidepressants.


Health problems after menopause. Early research shows that taking maca powder daily for 6 weeks slightly improves depression and anxiety in postmenopausal women. It might also improve sexual problems. But these benefits are very small.Increasing sexual desire in healthy people. Early research shows that taking a specific maca product daily for 12 weeks can increase sexual desire in healthy men.


"Tired blood" (anemia).

Leukemia.

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).Improving energy and athletic performance.Improving memory.

Depression.

Female hormone imbalance.

Menstrual problems.

Symptoms of menopause.

Osteoporosis.

Stomach cancer.

Tuberculosis.

Boosting the immune system.

HIV/AIDS.


These four incredible superfoods are found in the GROK Enterprises Sipping Chocolates in the Wellness Market under the Shop Well-Being Consumables tab:

https://www.mentalalchemywellness.com/shop-well-being-consumables

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