Top 5 Supplements for the Whole Family

When it comes to your family’s health, one of the most important things you can do is ensure they have a healthy diet. Unfortunately, with busy schedules, we can all use some help staying on track. That’s where supplements can be helpful. With Family Day right around the corner, we thought it would be the perfect time to discuss which supplements your family should be taking.

Multivitamins

Taking a multivitamin supplement is a smart way to ensure you and your family are covering your nutritional basics. Multivitamins help fill in the gaps in your diet by providing essential nutrients that might otherwise contribute to health problems.

But with so many different multivitamins on the market, it can be difficult to find one that works for everyone in your family. That’s okay because you can find multis that are designed for a specific age range, activity level, or gender. Menstruating women, for example, may need more iron, while men’s multis might include saw palmetto for the prostate. Of course, children may more easily take chewable or liquid options over a pill they need to swallow.

When you’re choosing a multivitamin, it can be helpful to look at the non-medicinal ingredients, as there are a number you are best to avoid, including titanium dioxide (used to make the colour of the supplement brighter), hydrogenated oil (it’s not healthy in your food, so why take it in your health supplement), and artificial colours (FD&C Red 40, Blue 2, and Yellow 5) and flavours.

Another thing I look for in a quality multi is the type of vitamin E that’s used. Check the brackets next to the listing of vitamin E and put it back on the shelf if there’s a “dl” at the start of the description, e.g., dl-alpha-tocopheryl acetate. This is the synthetic, cheaper, and less effective version of vitamin E. Look instead for d-alpha-tocopherol. If this natural vitamin E were used, perhaps they wouldn’t need to include so many chemical preservatives, as vitamin E is a natural preservative. You might even find some supplements that offer d-alpha, beta, gamma, and delta tocopherols and tocotrienols, a more complete version of vitamin E. Want to go a step further? Look for the calcium and magnesium to be citrate or chelate instead of oxide forms. Fancier versions may use calcium microcrystalline hydroxyapatite and magnesium glycinate or bisglycinate. There are a ton of other signs, but you’ve got a good starting point now.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is known as the “sunshine vitamin.” It’s produced when your skin is exposed to the sun, and is found naturally in fatty fish like salmon, sardines, herring, cod, halibut, and tuna. Some foods like milk and milk alternatives, cheese, and orange juice are sometimes fortified with vitamin D. And, did you know that mushrooms can also be a rich source of vitamin D?

Vitamin D is known to have many health benefits, including reducing the risk of certain cancers, heart disease, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases. Vitamin D has long been recognized for its ability to maintain strong bones and teeth by helping with calcium absorption in the body.

Vitamin D also plays a role in muscle function, immune health, and hormone production. Many people don’t get enough vitamin D from food or sun exposure, so supplements are recommended for many children and adults.

Probiotics

Probiotics are live microorganisms that help support healthy digestive and immune systems. They can be found in fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, and miso. But if you’re not eating enough of those foods (or any at all), then taking a supplement is a good idea.

Getting enough of these beneficial bacteria can help your body defend against bad bacteria, lower the risk and severity of diarrhea, reduce constipation and bloating, lessen the likelihood and severity of skin disorders and allergies, and even support good mental health. Probiotics can be important supplements for the entire family.

Essential Fatty Acids

Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are fats that your body cannot produce, so you need to get them from your diet. The most important EFAs are omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fatty fish like sardines and salmon, nuts like walnuts and hazelnuts, and seeds like chia and flax.

A healthy balance of EFAs is important for everyone. For children, their brains are developing quickly and omega-3s are key. Pregnant women are often also recommended to ensure they have enough omega-3s in their diet to support the developing brain and other organs of their child. Because a foundational issue with many health issues is chronic inflammation, having supplements like omega-3s decrease inflammation is helpful.

If your family doesn’t get enough omega-3 essential fatty acids in their diet, you may want to consider taking a supplement.

Reishi Mushrooms

More than just an immune system booster, reishi mushroom is packed with antioxidants that reduce oxidative damage in the body and compounds called triterpenoids that help reduce inflammation and promote healthy functioning of the liver, kidneys, and cardiovascular system.

It’s main use in Traditional Chinese Medicine is to calm the nervous system. It’s an incredible adaptogen, helping the body to deal with stressors, both physical and emotional. As such, it can help with sleep issues and mood imbalances. And, while it is calming, it is not sedating. It is, in fact, a powerful Qi (energy) tonic, so if you need more energy but don’t want a stimulant, reishi is a great option.

As if that wasn’t enough, though the polysaccharide compounds like beta glucans in reishi can enhance a strong immune system response when needed, they can also moderate an overactive immune system that causes autoimmune disorders and allergies. Plus, reishi is safe for kids and adults of all ages!

If you’re looking for a quality supplement for the entire family, it is hard to go wrong with reishi mushrooms, but some mushroom supplements are better than others. In order to ensure you get both the polysaccharides as well as the triterpenoids, make sure you get the fruiting body of reishi, and that the powder inside tastes bitter (that’s the triterpenoids). For ease of taking, you’ll also want to find one that is a high concentration extract.

The best supplements are those that deliver benefits in the areas your family needs it most. Whether you are looking to maintain optimal health or provide an added level of support in an area where your diet is lacking, you can find a supplement out there that will fit the bill.

9 Simple Ways to Improve Your Quality of Life

January is International Quality of Life Month, so now is the perfect time to start the year off on the right foot. Quality of life is a subjective concept—it’s different for everyone. But we all have our own idea of what good quality of life means to us, and that’s what matters most.

It might sound like a simple thing, but it can be hard to figure out how to improve your quality of life on your own. No one else can tell you what your unique needs are, but check out these steps you can take to improve your quality of life.

Find your ikigai.

The Japanese concept of ikigai means “a reason for being.” It’s the reason you get up in the morning, your purpose, and what drives you. It’s what gives your life meaning. So how can you find your ikigai?

Ask yourself these questions: What do I want out of my life? How can I achieve that? What is my ultimate goal? And most importantly, why am I doing this? Why does it matter to me?

Think about the things you’re good at, the things you love to do, what you find most rewarding, and what the world, your community, or your friends and family need. This will help you determine your ikigai. You may have more than one purpose and your purpose might change, depending on where you are in your life.

With this in mind, you can think about how your answers relate to each other—how one thing leads to another and how everything fits together as part of a bigger picture. Once you have a clearer vision of where you’re going and why, then you can start taking steps toward making it happen.

Set and work toward goals.

When you know your ikigai, it’s easier to make goals, and having clear, achievable goals can enhance your sense of direction and purpose. Take the time to reflect on what you want to accomplish and create a plan to make it happen. Remember that big goals will need to be broken down into smaller goals and steps to keep you motivated. And be sure to stay flexible in your plans, as life’s road is full of potholes and obstacles, so it’s good to know there are a usually a multitude of ways to reach a destination.

Practice gratitude.

While having goals is key, it’s important to practice gratitude for where we are now. Even when life is difficult, there may be some things you can note to be grateful for. Focusing on the things you are thankful for can help you appreciate the good in your life and improve your overall wellbeing. Consider keeping a gratitude journal or sharing your gratitude with others, but even just spending a few minutes each day to reflect on the things you’re grateful for can make a big difference in your quality of life.

Prioritize your physical health.

Taking care of your body is essential for overall wellbeing. Make sure to get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet, and stay active through regular exercise. I often hear from patients that they feel they don’t have enough time to do these things. But when you do, you’ll usually find you have more energy and you’ll become efficient and productive with the things you’re already doing. You might also discover that taking out or reducing time devoted toward less healthy habits like scrolling social media, binge watching tv, and getting enmeshed in the drama of others frees up time.

Cultivate positive relationships.

Surrounding yourself with supportive people can have a big impact on your happiness and sense of purpose. Try to strengthen your relationships with loved ones and consider reaching out to new friends and communities. It has been said that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, so think about who you want to be and seek out people who can help you cultivate that.

Take breaks and prioritize self care.

It’s important to take breaks from work and other responsibilities to relax and recharge. Make sure to carve out time for activities that nourish your mind, body, and spirit. These can include playing music, making crafts, taking a bath, or spending time in nature.

Practice mindfulness.

Being present in the moment and paying attention to your thoughts and feelings can help you better manage stress and improve your overall wellness. Consider incorporating mindfulness practices such as meditation or breathwork into your daily routine.

Seek professional help if needed.

If you’re struggling with a physical or mental health issue or other problem that is impacting your quality of life, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. A healthcare professional can provide support and guidance to help you work through your challenges and improve your quality of life.

Take reishi mushrooms.

Reishi are a superfood that has been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine. We’ve mentioned many times before that reishi are nicknamed the “mushroom of immortality.” While they can’t actually make you live forever, they may help improve both the quantity and the quality of your life. The main use for reishi mushrooms in Traditional Chinese Medicine is to calm the nervous system. As adaptogens, they help you to deal better with stressors, both mental and physical. They are packed with antioxidants and compounds that support a healthy immune system, heart, liver, and kidneys. And if that wasn’t enough, they also have anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve the pain and discomfort caused by chronic conditions.

By taking small steps to prioritize your physical and mental health, cultivate positive relationships, and find meaning and purpose in your life, you can improve your quality of life so you can live a more fulfilling life.

October 10 is World Mental Health Day

Though it’s important every day, World Mental Health Day is marked annually on October 10. It was established in 1992 by the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH), an organization representing over 100 mental health associations in over 120 countries. Their goal is to educate the public about mental health and mobilize efforts to improve it.

To mark the day, we’ve rounded up some ways you can support your own mental health.

What Is Mental Health?

Mental health is a state of emotional well-being in which an individual can realize their own potential, cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively and fruitfully, and contribute to their community. Mental health is an important part of overall health and wellness as it includes the ability to enjoy life and to develop a wide range of skills and interests. It affects all aspects of our lives, including our physical health, work performance, and connection with others.

Mental health can be impacted by many different factors, including:

  • Stressors
  • Trauma
  • Depression or anxiety disorders
  • Substance use disorders (including alcohol and drugs)
  • Chronic conditions like pain, fatigue, hormonal imbalance, autoimmune diseases, and anything that affects one’s ability to enjoy life

Our mental health affects what we think about ourselves, how we relate to others, and what choices we make.

What Are Some Ways to Improve Mental Health?

Mental health conditions can affect anyone. So, if you’re struggling with your mental health, or know someone who is, it’s important that you know you’re not alone. Here are some ways to take care of yourself:

  • Reach out for help, whether that be by talking to a friend or family member or going to see a therapist or health practitioner.
  • Practice self-care by taking time for yourself each day. This could mean taking a walk outside on your lunch break, practicing ten minutes or more of breath work or meditation, or doing some stretches or taking a soothing bath at the end of your day instead of immediately turning to the TV.
  • Eat healthy, brain-supportive foods like omega-3-rich nuts (walnuts are shaped like brains!), seeds, and fatty fish, as well as leafy greens, brightly coloured vegetables, and berries.
  • Keep your gut healthy by including fermented foods like sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, miso, and kimchi, as they provide good bacteria (probiotics) that are key to our emotions. The digestive system provides more feel-good serotonin than the brain.
  • Include movement activities. This might be going to the gym or playing a sport, but it can also be stretching, going for a hike in nature, walking your dog (or cat—getting to be more common!), doing some yoga or tai chi, and even just taking the stairs or parking your car a little further from where you need to be.
  • Get enough restorative sleep. Create a wind-down routine and shut off backlit screens a few hours before bedtime, address sleep disorders like sleep apnea, and make sure your bedroom is geared for a restful environment.
  • Seek joy. That doesn’t mean always being joyful, of course, but find activities, places, people, and animals where you can feel pleasure, awe, flow, peace, and comfort.
  • Express yourself. While we may not enjoy feeling angry, frustrated, sad, hurt, lonely, fearful, anxious, or worried, suppressing our emotions and pretending they aren’t happening doesn’t necessarily make them better. Of course, there’s a time and place for strong emotions, but stoicism isn’t always the best approach. What we feel is valid and important.
  • Practice gratitude. Some days this can be particularly difficult, but seeking and expressing gratitude for even the tiniest of things can help shine a bit of light.

Mental health concerns affect everyone, whether we realize it or not. The good news is that there are many ways we can help ourselves stay mentally healthy—not just during this special day, but every day of the year.

How Can Reishi Improve Mental Health?

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), reishi mushroom is one of the top herbs for calming the nervous system. It is also recognized as a powerful adaptogen, meaning it helps the body adapt to stressors and can support the body’s natural defences against physical, chemical, and biological stressors. This makes reishi an excellent choice for people looking to improve their mental health as well as their physical health.

Reishi is known to have a very positive effect on the mind, and many people use it for mental health issues, including:

Depression: Reishi can help reduce depressive symptoms by balancing hormones and supporting neurotransmitters. The anti-inflammatory properties of reishi also help reduce the risk of developing depression in the first place.

Anxiety: Reishi can help reduce anxiety by regulating neurotransmitters, balancing hormones, and reducing inflammation.

Stress: Reishi has been shown to reduce stress levels by increasing serotonin production while decreasing cortisol production (the stress hormone).

Reishi may be a strong tool for improving mental health and stabilizing mood swings. It’s a great option for anyone suffering from depression or anxiety. And the best part is, you can use reishi to complement your existing treatment plan, not replace it. So, what are you waiting for?

The more we talk about mental health, the more others will realize they aren’t alone. And hopefully, they’ll feel comfortable reaching out to get help if they need it. Knowledge is power, after all.

Reishi’s Fighting Effects Against Cervical Cancer

Did you know that at least 80% of women will have been infected by the human papillomavirus (HPV) by age 50? It is estimated that more than 100 types of HPV exist and at least 14 of these are cancer-causing. While certain strains of HPV cause genital warts, others produce abnormal cells on the cervix (detected by Pap tests) that can result in cervical cancer. If it is not treated or detected in time, this disease can be fatal.

How can HPV infections lead to cancer?

About 70% of cervical cancers and pre-cancerous cervical lesions are caused by two strains of HPV. If the body’s immune system cannot effectively fight off an HPV infection, the virus can remain for years and, over time, cause normal cells to become cancerous. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women around the world, with 570,000 women newly diagnosed with it in 2018.

Fortunately, most cervical cancers can be prevented. With routine screenings, health care providers are better able to detect and remove precancerous cells before they progress. HPV vaccines are also available, but they cannot treat existing infection.

How can reishi help prevent and fight cervical cancer?

Known as the “mushroom of immortality,” while it cannot keep us alive forever, reishi has many general health benefits. It has been used for thousands of years in China and Japan to promote health and longevity. Researchers have found that reishi contains powerful adaptogens and compounds, including polysaccharides and triterpenoids like ganoderic acid, that support immune function and antibody production.

Our immune systems can become weakened by poor diet, insufficient restorative sleep, stress, age, chronic infections, and other diseases. When this happens, viral infections like HPV are able to take greater hold, multiply, and increase our risk for certain kinds of cancer.

As a result, the health community is paying more attention to medicinal mushrooms, especially their immune-supporting and antiviral benefits. In addition, scientists are studying these fantastic fungi to learn more about their cancer-fighting therapeutic potential. Research has demonstrated, for example, that fungal polysaccharides can modulate immune function. That means that these compounds help to strengthen the body’s immune response when needed, combating the growth of infection and decreasing the likelihood that it will form cancer cells. Through reishi’s ability to enhance our immune surveillance system, it can help the body identify and eliminate abnormal molecular patterns, thereby improving its protection from cancer-causing viruses, including HPV.

Further to this, reishi’s antioxidant capacity helps reduce free radical damage that could result in cancer. Additionally, studies suggest that the ganoderic acids—unique to reishi mushroom—have antitumour properties by being toxic to cancer cells (cytotoxic) and causing cancer cells to undergo their own programmed cell death (aptosis). And, because reishi supports healthy liver and kidney function, it can also help with the detoxification of carcinogens and strengthen the body if chemotherapy or radiation therapies are used.

Prevention is Key

While reishi mushroom, alongside conventional medical therapies like surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy can be employed to fight an existing cervical cancer, prevention is the best approach. This means getting regular Pap tests, but can also mean considering the HPV vaccine and practicing safe sex. In addition to all of its other health benefits, taking Japanese red reishi mushroom offers another layer of protection against getting cervical cancer.

Ushering In Movember with Reishi Mushrooms

Ushering Into Movember

Did you know that one in nine Canadian men will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime? Each year, more than 1.4 million men are diagnosed with prostate cancer worldwide, with more than 205,000 men living with this common disease in Canada. This month, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to usher in Movember and discuss how reishi mushrooms can benefit prostate health.

About Prostate Cancer

The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that plays a significant role in the reproductive system and urinary system in men. It lies just below the bladder and in front of the rectum. As with most cancers, prostate cancer occurs when cells cease to act normally in the body.

As men age, they are more likely to develop prostate cancer. The risk of prostate cancer increases after age 50, and it is most common among men over 60. The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test is sometimes employed to screen for prostate cancer. Because PSA is a protein is produced by both cancerous and non-cancerous prostate tissue, a small amount of PSA does enter the bloodstream. However, cancerous prostate cells produce more PSA, so a physician will consider the age of the person, the size of the prostate, whether the person is taking certain medications that can affect PSA levels, and how quickly those PSA numbers change from test to test (if they do more than one test).

Despite this, there is some good news to be found. Caught early, prostate cancer is largely treatable. Additionally, some types of prostate cancer are extremely slow growing, so not all prostate cancers are treated. Regardless, most of us would rather try to prevent prostate cancer and safely treat even low risk cancers. This is where reishi mushrooms can help.

Reishi Mushrooms and Prostate Health

Studies (1, 2, 3, 4) have shown that compounds, including the polysaccharide beta-glucans, found in reishi mushrooms prevent cancer cell growth. The Journal of Oncology published an article that discusses three cases where tumours shrank in cancer patients who started taking reishi mushrooms.

Researchers in Israel found that reishi mushrooms contain molecules that block male hormones (androgens) from acting on cancerous cells. Unless treated, these hormones can cause cells to multiply uncontrollably into cancer tissue, particularly at the early stages of the disease.

Prostate cancer drugs, such as Flutamide, also interfere with androgen reception. According to the Israeli study, reishi extracts, on the other hand, achieve the same results at a fraction of the cost and without any significant side effects. What’s more, the study showed that reishi was even more efficient than Flutamide.

Keep in mind that current studies on reishi mushrooms and prostate cancer are still in their early stages. So, it is important follow specialist recommendations and to wait until further studies have been conducted before hailing the reishi mushroom as a cure. But they can certainly be considered for preventative use and as a supportive addition to conventional treatments. Especially as reishi mushrooms can also help alleviate chemotherapy-related and radiation-related side effects.

The Other Health Benefits of Reishi Mushrooms

Reishi mushrooms aren’t just good for your prostate – they can benefit your entire body. There are several active healing ingredients found in these medicinal mushrooms that can boost your overall health.

Triterpenes, for instance, are acidic molecules that have the ability to turn off allergic reactions in your body. Polysaccharides can prevent cancer cell growth. Phytosterols can inhibit cholesterol absorption from your intestines, thereby reducing levels of LDL cholesterol.

Numerous studies around the world have shown that reishi mushrooms can be used as treatment or prevention for an array of diseases and illnesses, including diabetes, liver disease, inflammation, flu, autoimmune disorders, cancer, stomach ulcers, sleep disorders, fatigue, heart disease, hypertension, and high cholesterol.

This Movember, whether you have struggled with prostate cancer or not, grow a mustache or not, and have a prostate or not, consider that reishi’s powerful anti-inflammatory and immune balancing properties can help to keep disease at bay.

What is Red Reishi?

As we continue the conversation on immune boosting, I’d like to also introduce an prestigious adaptogenic herb that has been used for centuries in TCM as a tonic, the Reishi mushroom. Due to its scarcity in the wild, it is traditionally referred to as the “divine herb”, and folktales of its immortality were widespread. According to classical texts, Reishi is divided into five different types, each colour resembling one of the five elements. I will cover Red Reishi in this post as it is most commonly used today:

Red reishi tastes bitter and is neutral in property, with the following functions:

Releases chest stagnation & benefits heart Qi – It’s red colour and bitter taste determines its benefits in the heart, and replenishing the emperor organ’s Qi will improve circulation in the cardiopulmonary system, hence unblocking any stagnation. Studies have also shown reishi’s benefits in treating respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses.

Tonifies middle & benefits essence – By tonifying Qi in the middle jiao and replenishing the body’s essence, this allows the herb to replenish all the vital organs responsible for our immunity. This function is also reflected in the fact that the beta glucans in reishi act as a prime immunostimulant to prevent infections, and that its adaptogenic qualities aid in battling fatigue.

Calms mind & increases wisdom – Last but not least, reishi is well known for its stress alleviating properties, which is illustrated in this function. Moreover, the herb is shown to be effective in preventing memory loss in Alzheimer’s as well as treating depression.

How does your Immune System work?

In the unprecedented times of the pandemic, immunity has been the talk of town across the globe. From professional advice to casual topics amongst friends and family, everyone is trying to find ways to strengthen their immune system in hopes of not becoming a victim of the virus. However, as I always say, understand what you are dealing with before blindly following advice, so let’s first look at how our immune system functions from a TCM standpoint.

In TCM, immunity is translated into the theory of the battle between righteous and pathogenic Qi. Righteous Qi is the energy that runs in our organs and meridians, which is what keeps our defenses up, while pathogenic Qi is any type of energy that throws our body out of balance. Hence, when our righteous Qi is strong, we have a strong enough army to fend off any type of pathogens that are trying to invade. On the contrary, when our righteous Qi is weak, practically any pathogen can launch a successful siege on our body.

In terms of organs, our immunity is dependent on the lungs, spleen & stomach, and kidneys. If our immune system is like an army, the lungs’ respiratory components make up the frontline general and fortress walls, the spleen and stomach’s digestive function becomes the supply base, and the kidneys’ storage of original Qi is the country’s treasury. In order for the army to be strong, these organs must be functioning in optimal condition, so it is pertinent to supplement them when boosting immunity.

Six Amazing Health Benefits of Red Reishi

For centuries, medical practitioners in East Asia have used reishi mushroom because of this its long list of therapeutic pluses. But only recently has awareness about this highly revered superfood reached the shores of the western world. So, why is red reishi gaining so much popularity around the globe? Today, we want to dive a little deeper into the amazing health benefits of this miraculous medicinal mushroom.

Increase calm and reduce anxiety

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), reishi is known as ling zhi, or the “herb of spiritual potency.” When a person feels anxious, depressed, manic, or agitated, or suffers from a mental illness, TCM practitioners may describe this as the spirit or “Shen” being out of balance.

Reishi is categorized in its materia medica of herbal medicines as an herb that helps “calm the Shen.” As such, it can help calm the nervous system during times of stress, without causing sleepiness. So, you can still go ahead with operating large machinery (e.g. driving) when you take reishi, unlike some sedative herbs. In fact, reishi mushrooms are also considered “Qi tonics,” loosely meaning they can improve energy.

Stress comes in a number of forms. It includes physical stressors like extremes in temperature, lack of nutrients, insufficient restorative sleep, infection, or disease. Stressors can also be mental and emotional ones like loss of a loved one, loneliness, fear, worry, anger, frustration, being overwhelmed, depression, and more. It is no wonder why this medical mushroom is the go-to tonic in TCM.

Boost the immune system

No matter the time of year, colds and flus are always a concern. One of the most beneficial effects of consuming reishi mushroom is its ability to support the immune system. The beta glucans, compounds found in this holistic herb, have been shown to promote a healthy immune response to fend off diseases and infections.

Fight off cancer

While so much surrounding the cause of cancer remains a mystery, fortunately, great strides have been made in treatment options, including reishi mushrooms. Studies have shown that including reishi mushroom supplementation renders conventional chemotherapy and radiation therapy treatments more effective at killing cancer cells. 3 Furthermore, the study groups who received reishi reported that their quality of life after these powerful conventional cancer treatments was higher than the control group who did not receive reishi during their treatments.

Further studies have shown promise with inhibiting the growth of cancer cell lines, potentially preventing cancer from developing. 2,6 Thus, reishi mushroom may be helpful as both a supportive therapy and also a preventative one for cancer.

Promote liver health

The liver plays a crucial role in eliminating toxins. So, if you want to ensure your liver is working in peak performance, consider giving reishi a try. Studies have demonstrated that triterpenes found in reishi has been shown to prevent free radical damage and support healthy liver function. 6

Keep allergies at bay

If you are looking for a more natural way to manage allergies, take reishi. Studies have revealed that the compounds found in Japanese red reishi are an effective treatment for allergies 5 and other respiratory ailments. Researchers also detected that the ganoderic acids found in this herb act as a natural antihistamine.

Reduce cardiovascular risks

Did you know that reishi mushrooms can help lower blood pressure? The ganoderic acid in reishi is responsible for a variety of heart health benefits, from decreasing high blood pressure 4 and reducing excessive cholesterol levels to lowering the risk of dangerous blood clotting. There is also evidence to suggest that this mushroom can improve blood flow and reduce plaque build-up on artery walls. 1

Choosing Reishi Supplements

When it comes to reishi mushrooms, the advantages of using this natural medicinal wonder are far too many to ignore. But it’s equally important to make sure you are getting a quality product with the medicinal compounds that your body can use.

  1. Firstly, if you are only getting the mycelium (root-like structure) found in some reishi supplements, you are missing out on the ganoderic acids and other useful compounds found in the fruiting body (cap and stem).
  2. Second, if you are getting a supplement that has only ground up the mushroom and is not an extraction, then you are unlikely to be able to absorb many of the important compounds, and those compounds are also not going to be in sufficient quantities to have true medicinal value.
  3. Third, a quality reishi mushroom is one that is grown cleanly in a high-nutrition foundation and allowed to sufficiently mature.

Summer Colds and Reishi

No one wants to think about viruses and infections in the middle of summer, but you should. After all, the last thing anyone wants to do is to spend their vacation suffering indoors.

It might not be cold and flu season just yet, but it’s never too early (or too late for that matter) to start thinking about reducing the risk of getting sick. Without further ado, here are some healthy living tips that will help keep your body, mind, and spirit humming all year long.

Eat Healthy
Yes, we know. You’ve heard this one a million times before—so, what’s one more time. How well you eat has a huge impact on how your body can handle pathogens. You don’t need to get fancy here either. Stick with the basics. Consume natural (organic if you can) foods, make sure you get a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as good sources of protein and healthy fats.

Wash Your Hands Often
Hey, we’re humans—and as humans, we touch. It’s how we interact, learn, and communicate with the world around us. The problem, however, is that it is also how we come into contact with a host of nasty germs.

If you could manage to keep your hands away from your face, those germs you picked up from touching the elevator button, the change in your wallet, or handle of that door would not have entry to your body. Problem is that the average person touches his or her face about 16 times per hour. Your nose itches, you brush your hair out of your face, you rest your chin on your hand, or worse yet, you chew your nails. Germs, welcome to your body. It’s a hard habit to break, but do your best not to manhandle your face too much.

At the very least, if you want to stay cold and flu-free year-round, do yourself one simple favour by keeping your hands clean.

Sleep Well
Missing out on the occasional good night’s sleep isn’t going to do much harm, but making it a habit sure will. Yes, summer months mean longer days for many of us who are wanting to take full advantage of the sun, the festivals, the barbeques, and the outdoor activities. But irregular sleep patterns wreak havoc on your immune system, opening doors to infection and sickness.

Getting seven to eight hours of good quality downtime helps the body restore itself and stave off harmful bacteria and viruses.

Think Positive
Did you know there is direct correlation between your health and how you think? The mind-body connection is well established, making it an important part of your overall well-being. Practicing yoga, meditation, and visual techniques are all great ways to refocus your mind and release stress.

Take Japanese Red Reishi
Japanese red reishi isn’t known as “The Great Protector” for nothing. This marvelous mushroom has been used for thousands of years for its virus busting abilities. It has powerful adaptogenic and immune-boosting properties that regulate your body’s antibody production, helping protect you from harmful bacteria and viruses the full year round.

Viruses and bacteria don’t take a summer vacation, so taking just one capsule daily of Mikei Japanese red reishi helps keep the immune system supported. Because, as you know, summer colds suck.