5 Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Mushrooms for Mental Health


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Medicinal mushrooms have been appreciated in traditional medicines for centuries due to their wide array of potential health benefits, from enhanced immunity to improved mood. Modern science is catching up, and consumers are reaching for functional mushroom supplements to address physical and mental health issues. We’ll discuss five things to consider when shopping for the best mushrooms for mental health.

Mushrooms have been a popular dietary staple cross-culturally throughout time. Their nutritional and medical benefits are well-known, from their savory “umami” flavor to their metabolic and antibacterial properties. However, these benefits only scratch the surface. As a 2021 review explains, “mushrooms are well-known for their bioactive compounds,” whose benefits may be both physical and mental. Indeed, mushrooms’ mental health benefits are especially promising, with recent research pointing to fungi’s ability to improve mood while reducing anxiety and depression. Read on to discover five things to consider when shopping for the best mushrooms to improve your mental health.

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5 Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Mushrooms for Mental Health is an original (NootropicsPlanet) article.

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Best mushrooms for mental health:

The best types for mental health

Because of the profound biodiversity of mushrooms, you have a wealth of options for choosing which mushroom supplementation can help address your mental health issues. Lion’s Mane mushroom, which is especially renowned for its promising neurotrophic effects, also has promise when it comes to treating depression; a 2020 study found it may help reduce nerve growth decay and inflammation caused by anxiety and depression.

Reishi mushrooms are promising for mood, with animal research showing their polysaccharides’ ability to aid relaxation and regulate stress hormones. Additionally, the Chaga mushroom is full of antioxidants. This mushroom is considered an adaptogen, which can help the body lower the risk of oxidative stress while reducing stress, anxiety, and depression.


Best mushrooms for mental health:

Extraction process and third-party testing

The extraction process is vital to ensuring a mushroom’s potency and effectiveness. Many mushroom products use a myceliated grain alternative (taken from the root system) as their extract as opposed to the fruiting body. This results in few active health benefits, as research shows the cap and fruiting body contain significantly more nutrients (including beta-glucans) than the mycelium.

When treating mental health with mushroom supplements, looking for pure and organic extracts is essential. With that in mind, third-party testing should also be considered, as it ensures safety, potency, and purity. Third-party testing is crucial in light of the difference in effectiveness between a pure mushroom extract and one taken from myceliated grain. Proper third-party testing can help you determine a mushroom’s bioavailability.

Mushroom supplements.

Best mushrooms for mental health:


As mentioned, mushrooms contain several bioactive compounds. When it comes to antidepressant activities, this is especially relevant. In general, mushrooms have antioxidant properties and are good sources of vitamin B12, which plays a central role in cell metabolism, nerve function, and even DNA production. Both antioxidants and B12 have a significant inverse relationship with depression: low levels of antioxidants and B12 are associated with higher odds of depression, so increased mushroom intake is vital to maintaining lower odds of depression. It’s crucial to consider mushroom supplements with rich bioactivity in their formulation and to look for supplements with high levels of antioxidants, Vitamin B12, or neurotrophic and anti-inflammatory properties. 

Vitamin B12 supplements.

Best mushrooms for mental health:


Beta-glucans are polysaccharides that are found abundantly in mushroom cell walls. They have many promising health benefits, such as stimulating the immune system, improving metabolic and cardiovascular function, and lowering blood pressure. These are essential factors in maintaining good mental health, as research suggests a correlation between proper immuno-functioning and maintaining and improving mental health. Mushroom supplementation aimed at improving mental health should be done with a consideration of beta-glucan levels. Those processed and extracted with pure extracts (rather than mycelium) are usually more effective in utilizing beta-glucans’ manifold benefits.

Best mushrooms for mental health:

Real Mushrooms is a premier mushroom supplement brand

You have countless options if you’d like to address your mental health issues through mushroom supplementation. Real Mushrooms offers a premier product that gives you “the best possibility to experience the unique benefits that medicinal mushrooms have to offer.” Their diverse product line is made from “100 Pure + Organic Mushroom Extract,” which uses nomycelium grains or starch fillers. It includes mental health-boosting mushroom extracts such as Lion’s Mane, Reishi, Chaga, and their 5 Defenders Organic Blend (made from Reishi, Shiitake, Maitake, Turkey Tail, and Chaga mushroom extracts).

Because Real Mushrooms is made from pure extract, it helps increase “the bioavailability of the beneficial compounds like beta-glucans.” Their products contain an immense concentration of beta-glucans, with the Lion’s Mane and 5 Defenders Blend each containing greater than 30% beta-glucan concentrations. Moreover, their beta-glucan levels are third-party tested, with each batch of extracts rigorously tested for quality control. These extraction and testing processes ensure that Real Mushrooms’ extracts contain greater potency and effectiveness in supporting mushrooms’ ability to induce positive cognitive growth and function, improved mood, and reduced stress, anxiety, and depression.

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A lady doing yoga.

Best mushrooms for mental health:

Mushrooms contain multitudes

Whatever area of mental health you’re looking to address, mushrooms offer dynamic and holistic effects. Their holistic impact is vital, as physical and mental health are bidirectionally related, meaning one affects the other. Including mushrooms in your diet, whether eating them or taking some form of mushroom supplementation, allows you to address many potential ailments — from metabolic function to managing stress, anxiety, or depression. The holistic benefits of mushrooms enable you to address your mental and physical health, allowing you to make the most of your day.

Further reading for additional reference:

New York Times: There Is a Lot of Fungus Among Us

U.S. News and World Report: Can Lion’s Mane Mushroom Improve Brain Function?

The Conversation: Brain-altering fungi could lead the next frontier in mental health care

Good Housekeeping: 7 Surprising Mushroom Health Benefits for Your Skin, Brain and Bones 

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Important Note: The information contained in this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be construed as health or medical advice, nor is it intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any disease or health condition. Before embarking on any diet, fitness regimen, or program of nutritional supplementation, it is advisable to consult your healthcare professional in order to determine its safety and probable efficacy in terms of your individual state of health.

Regarding Nutritional Supplements Or Other Non-Prescription Health Products: If any nutritional supplements or other non-prescription health products are mentioned in the foregoing article, any claims or statements made about them have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and such nutritional supplements or other health products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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