The environment is something that we hear a lot about, particularly the negative impacts on our world and on our health. We all need clean air and water, uncontaminated food, and a safe place to live. However, pollution, overuse or improper use of chemicals, climate change, and poor agricultural practices have led to disease and poorer health outcomes. In this blog post, we will explore some of the key ways in which the environment can affect our health on what you can do to help protect yourself.
The Environment Problem
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 99% of the global population breathes air that exceeds WHO guideline limits for air pollutants. Sometimes air pollution is so bad that it is visible as a grey or yellow smog or haze, but it can also be invisible to the naked eye. Causes of air pollution include exhaust from motor vehicles, industrial facilities, household combustion devices (gas or coal-burning devices like heaters and stoves), and fires.
Both indoor and outdoor air pollution can have serious consequences for our health, causing respiratory problems like asthma and lung cancer. It can also lead to cardiovascular disease, stroke, allergies, and environmental illness.
If you’ve ever had an iced drink on vacation that resulted in a prolonged stay in your hotel’s bathroom, you know that contaminated water can have negative health consequences. However, water pollution from chemicals is another major environmental issue. While we recognize the importance of clean water to our survival, we pollute our waters with agricultural, industrial, and municipal wastes, including with toxic chemicals that cannot be broken down.
Water pollution can result in the transmission of diseases such as cholera, hepatitis A, typhoid, polio, and dysentery. Water contaminated by high levels of lead, fluoride, arsenic, or other chemicals can also lead to skin issues, neurological disorders, and an increased risk of cancer.
Climate change is causing a wide range of environmental problems, including more frequent and severe weather events and rising sea levels. These changes can have a significant impact on our health, including an increased risk of heat stroke, respiratory problems, and the spread of infectious diseases.
Pesticides and Chemicals
Pesticides and other chemicals used in agriculture and industry can also have a negative impact on our health. Exposure to these substances can cause a range of health problems, including cancer, reproductive problems, and neurological disorders.
Mushrooms as an Environmental Solution to the Earth
Mushrooms, including reishi mushrooms, are not only beneficial for human health but also for the health of the planet. Mycoremediation is a process by which the enzymes in mushrooms can help break down and decompose contaminants, resulting in cleaner soil and water.
Reishi mushrooms are also an important part of the ecosystem and can help to with biodiversity. By promoting the growth of healthy trees and plants, reishi mushrooms can also help to support other species that depend on them for survival.
Reishi Mushrooms Can Help Protect Us from the Harmful Effects on Our Health
Used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for thousands of years, reishi mushrooms are called ling zhi—translated as “divine mushroom”—because of their ability to help restore health for a wide range of health issues.
Support the Immune System
One of the primary ways in which reishi mushrooms can protect us from the harmful effects of the environment is by supporting our immune system. Reishi mushrooms contain beta-glucans, which are complex sugars that signal an appropriate response of the immune system. By causing our immune system to jump up its response, reishi mushrooms can help us fight off diseases that may be caused by exposure to pathogens, pollutants, and toxins in the environment.
Because the immune system can also overreact, such as is the case with allergies and autoimmune disorders, we also want something that can help calm or “modulate” an immune response. Luckily, reishi mushroom’s beta-glucans can also do this because these compounds are “immunomodulators.”
Reishi mushrooms also have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help protect us from the harmful effects of inflammation caused by exposure to environmental toxins. Chronic inflammation is linked to a number of health problems, including cancer, heart disease, and autoimmune disorders. By reducing inflammation, reishi mushrooms can help protect us from these health problems.
Protect the Liver
The liver is responsible for hundreds of activities, including detoxifying the body and removing harmful substances from our system. However, exposure to environmental toxins can overload the liver and cause damage. Reishi mushrooms have been shown to help protect the liver from damage caused by toxins, which can help us stay healthy in a polluted world.
Reishi mushrooms contain compounds called triterpenes, which have been shown to have anti-cancer properties. These compounds can help protect us from some of the harmful effects of environmental pollutants that can increase our risk of developing cancer.
By supporting your immune system, reducing inflammation, protecting the liver, and fighting cancer, reishi mushrooms can help you stay healthy. Incorporating reishi mushrooms into your supplement routine may be a great way to support your overall health and help protect yourself from the harmful effects of the environment.