The King of the Medicinal Mushroom Kingdom: Lion’s Mane

There are thousands of mushrooms species that exist on the planet. And mushrooms are a peculiar form of life. They pop up out of seemingly nowhere, in the strangest places. And unlike plants, they’re not green, they don’t have leaves, and they never flower.

Believe it or not, from an evolutionary standpoint, mushrooms are more like humans than plants. And this fact could be the reason why some of the elements that help mushrooms defend themselves also help boost your body’s defenses.

Scientists, doctors, and health experts have all taken note and are increasingly looking to mushrooms as a way to enhance human health and well-being.

Using mushrooms as therapy is not a new idea. Ancient Egyptians believed eating mushrooms led to a longer life. And mushrooms have been used as medicine for over five thousand years in Asian cultures.

Today, more than a hundred species of mushrooms are presently under research for their potential health benefits. These shrooms are real health heroes. And none has shown more healing power than the king of the mushroom domain – Lion’s Mane.

What is Lion’s Mane?

Lion’s Mane, also known as Hericium Erinaceus, is named for its white, fluffy, cascading spines resembling a lion’s tresses. Lion’s Mane mushrooms grow in the southern regions of the United States, China, Japan, and Europe.

Lion’s Mane mushrooms are a safe and edible mushroom that appears to have remarkable nootropic brain-boosting power. Nootropics are compounds that help improve cognitive and executive function, memory, motivation, focus, and creativity.

Lion’s Mane is also known to help boost your energy and immune system function.

All-Around Better Brain Function

The biggest draw to Lion’s Mane for most people is for its nootropic effects. In thousands of studies, supplementing with Lion’s Mane has been shown to boost mental cognition, including enhanced memory, verbal recall, focus, and attention – something practically everyone can benefit from having.

One study published in Phytotherapy Research Journal, using a 1,000 mg Lion’s Mane over four months, showed significant improvement in the battery of cognitive skills tests. As world-renowned mycologist Paul Stamets says, “Lion’s mane may be our first ‘smart’ mushroom. It is a safe, edible fungus that appears to confer cognitive benefits on our aging population.”

Healthy Brain and Nervous System

Lion’s Mane is possibly the most potent natural source known to stimulate your Nerve Growth Factor (NGF). NGF promotes the regeneration of brain neurons and their outgrowths called dendrites and axons. These outgrowths are responsible for cell to cell communication. A study published in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms showed the interaction between Lion’s Mane and NGF encourages new dendrites and axons; the effect is quicker communication between your brain cells.

Relieves Depression and Anxiety

With things the way they are today, we are all under a tremendous amount of stress. Unaddressed and compounded stress levels can easily develop into anxiety, depression, or worse.

Research done in Japan showed that people who took a Lion’s Mane supplement reported less irritation, reduced anxiety, and greater concentration levels than a group of people given a placebo over the course of a month. It seems that Lion’s Mane’s ability to relieve anxiety and depression is linked to stimulating NGF.

Reduces Fatigue

Studies show that a polysaccharide (a type of long-chain carbohydrate) found in Lion’s Mane extract helps improve your energy levels and drastically reduces fatigue. Another way Lion’s Mane has been shown to reduce fatigue is by increasing the amount of energy reserves your body stores in your muscles. Due to its fatigue-reducing ability, Lion’s Mane is often used in sports nutrition.

Enhances Immune System

Lion’s Mane is loaded with antioxidants and beta-glucans, which will help strengthen your immune system. These compounds exhibit immune-modulating qualities, which help reduce inflammation and harmful prevent oxidation.

Supplementing with Mushrooms

Lion’s Mane is not the type of mushroom you’d find in the produce section at your local grocery store. It’s in the class of medicinal mushrooms, those that confer proven health and therapeutic benefits. Lion’s Main mushrooms are much more valuable and harder to find than the standard varieties.

The easiest way to enjoy the numerous health benefits of Lion’s Mane is through a supplement. Stonehenge Health’s newly launched Dynamic Mushrooms is an expertly crafted blend of Lion’s Mane 4:1 extract of mushroom fruiting bodies along with four other powerful medicinal mushrooms – Chaga, Reishi, Maitake, and Shiitake.

Dynamic Mushrooms contains 1,000 mg of Lion’s Mane extract per serving, which is the amount studies show helps elevate your cognitive function and boost energy. Take Dynamic Mushrooms daily as part of an overall healthy lifestyle – for better memory and focus, increased mental strength and physical endurance, improved ability to adapt to physical and mental stressors, and support for your immune system’s health.

Sources:
1. Mori, Koichiro, Satoshi Inatomi, Kenzi Ouchi, Yoshihito Azumi, and Takashi Tuchida. 2009. “Improving Effects Of The Mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium Erinaceus) On Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial”. Phytotherapy Research 23 (3): 367-372. doi:10.1002/ptr.2634.

2. Nagano, Mayumi, Kuniyoshi Shimizu, Ryuichiro Kondo, Chickako Hayashi, Daigo Sato, Katsuyuki Kitagawa, and Koichiro Ohnuki. 2010. “Reduction Of Depression And Anxiety By 4 Weeks Hericium Erinaceus Intake”. Biomedical Research 31 (4): 231-237. doi:10.2220/biomedres.31.231.

3. HM, Xu, Xie ZH, and Zhang WY. 1994. “[Immunomodulatory Function Of Polysaccharide Of Hericium Erinaceus]”. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi Zhongguo Zhongxiyi Jiehe Zazhi = Chinese Journal Of Integrated Traditional And Western Medicine 14 (7). pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7950232/.

4. pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20834180/
5. pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18844328/

The 10 Worst Foods for IBS

For many people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), symptoms may be triggered by specific foods. What triggers your symptoms may be different from what triggers the symptoms of fellow sufferers, but these 10 foods are likely culprits for anyone with IBS.

1. Gluten

Although gluten is often unfairly demonized, it’s fair to say that gluten can be a major trigger for IBS. Gluten is a type of protein found in certain grains, including rye, wheat, and barley. Many people who have IBS are also gluten intolerant and may experience symptoms like bloating, cramps, and diarrhea.

2. Fried Foods

Fried foods are high in fat and can be particularly hard on the digestive systems of people who have IBS. Frying food makes it more difficult to digest, so other cooking methods are recommended for people with IBS and other gastrointestinal problems.

3. Caffeine

Coffee and other drinks containing caffeine stimulate the intestines and can cause diarrhea. Instead of consuming drinks with caffeine when you need a little boost, go for a brisk walk.

4. Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are found in sugarless gum, candy, and diet drinks. Commonly used artificial sweeteners include acesulfame potassium, aspartame, and sucralose, and since these and other sugar substitutes are difficult for the body to absorb, they can easily trigger IBS symptoms.

5. Alcohol

Many people with IBS have trouble drinking alcohol because of how their body digests it. The dehydrating effects of alcohol are also problematic for people with IBS. If you enjoy drinking alcohol, stick with gluten-free beer, or enjoy a cocktail mixed with soda water.

6. Broccoli and Cauliflower

While broccoli and cauliflower are healthy vegetables, they’re not always ideal for people with IBS. These vegetables are among the hardest for people to digest, and when they’re broken down in the intestines, they produce gas and may cause constipation.

7. Insoluble Fiber

Insoluble fiber is that which can’t be digested. Although it adds healthy bulk to your diet, insoluble fiber can make diarrhea worse for people with IBS. Soluble fiber, which is found in grains, root vegetables, legumes, and berries, is a better choice if you have digestive woes.

8. Dairy

Dairy products contain fat, which can worsen diarrhea. They also contain lactose, and since many people with IBS are also lactose intolerant, dairy products may need to be restricted. Suitable dairy substitutes include rice, soy, or nut milks and cheeses.

9. Beans and Legumes

For some people, beans and legumes can help reduce constipation by increasing the bulk in the stool. But they’re also notorious for causing gas, cramping, and bloating, especially in people with IBS. Different varieties can produce different results, so trial and error may help you find which types you can safely eat.

10. Processed Foods

Highly processed foods like bread, crackers, sweets, and chips contain high levels of fat, sugar, preservatives, and other additives that can cause problems with digestion. Choosing mostly fresh, whole foods is the healthiest way to eat whether or not you have IBS.

Everyone’s IBS triggers are different, and once you know what yours are, staying away from those foods will help you remain as symptom-free as possible. Regardless of what you eat, a daily probiotic like Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Biotics can help you maintain optimal gut flora balance for better digestion and fewer IBS symptoms.



Sources:
https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/irritable-bowel-syndrome/eating-diet-nutrition
https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/irritable-bowel-syndrome-ibs-a-to-z

Signs You May Have Candida and What You Can Do About It

Candida board

Candidiasis is a fungal infection that can affect the mouth, intestinal tract, skin, genitals, and other mucous membranes. Caused by an overgrowth of Candida, a fungus, candidiasis (more commonly known as a yeast infection) isn’t generally serious. However, if you have weakened immunity, it can lead to invasive candidiasis, a serious condition that may affect the blood, heart, or brain. Continue reading “Signs You May Have Candida and What You Can Do About It”

5 Easy Steps to Improve Your Liver Function

liver graphic

Your liver works hard to remove toxins from your body and plays a key role in your metabolism, circulation, hormonal balance, and healthy digestion. It detects the presence of toxic substances like heavy metals and by-products from the breakdown of medications and either converts them into harmless substances or releases them into the bowels so they can be expelled from the body. Continue reading “5 Easy Steps to Improve Your Liver Function”

The Mysteries of Your Digestive System Revealed

human digestive system

If you often feel cramping, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, or pain in your gut, you must know that digestive woes are extremely common. In America 60 to 70 million people live with a digestive disease, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

From chronic constipation to Crohn’s disease and from gallstones to gastroesophageal reflux disease, digestive problems can dramatically lower your quality of life. Understanding how Continue reading “The Mysteries of Your Digestive System Revealed”

Revealed: Your Body’s “Hidden” Organ and How to Take Care of It

I hope you’re ready to have an amazing season ahead!

Maybe you’re excited about checking things off a long to-do list…

Or you’re ready for some fun to put a smile on your face…

Well, I want to help make sure you’re at ease on the inside, too…

You see, one of the keys to feeling relaxed on the inside is to maintain a healthy gut microbiome.

Your gut microbiome refers to all of the microbes that live in your intestines. Together, they act as another organ that’s crucial for maintaining your overall health. (1)

And just like any organ, when your gut microbiome is out of whack…it can lead to all sorts of problems.

That’s why today, I’m wanted to share with you 3 things you’ll need to avoid and 3 things you should start doing right away (if you aren’t already) to ensure your gut microbiome is an ally in your journey to optimized health.

3 Things to Avoid:

#1 Artificial sweeteners
In an Israeli study, researchers found those who consumed the maximum amount of artificial sweetener allowed by the FDA had higher levels of Bacteroides and fewer Clostridiales — a combo associated with type 2 diabetes. (2)

#2 Stress
Not only can stress disturb your gut microbiome, it can lead directly to various other disorders and diseases.

In a study looking at mice, the mice ended up having increased intestinal permeability, making them more likely to suffer gut injuries from medicine when extra stress was present. (3)

#3 Lack of sleep
On top of robbing you of energy the following day, a lack of sleep also wreaks havoc on your gut microbiome.

Recently, Swedish researchers revealed how stress can negatively change a person’s gut microbiome. They found that just two days of partial sleep deprivation was enough to cause a shift in a person’s gut bacteria. (4)

3 Things to Start Doing (Right Away!):

#1 Exercise
Exercise has the ability to boost your “good” bacteria and enrich the diversity of your gut microbiome. (5)

One study showed how elite rugby players had a richer gut microbiome when compared to a random selection of people with no athletic history. (6)

#2 Eat cocoa
All-natural cocoa is one of the more versatile foods around. Consuming it not only reduces fatigue, it has the added benefits of stimulating your nervous system, improving your digestive function and reducing weight gain. (7)

#3 Take Probiotics
A diet high in probiotics is certainly the best way to ensure a rich, diverse, healthy gut microbiome.

A probiotic like Dynamic Biotics increases the amount of ‘good bacteria’, while simultaneously decreasing the levels of potentially harmful microbes in your gut. An incredible 1-2 punch.

Of course, I don’t expect you to implement all of these changes into your routine right away — after all, it takes time to turn new lessons into old habits.

So, whether you start with one, three or even all six of these changes, just know…

You’re doing everything you can to improve your digestive health and improve your quality of life.

SOURCES:

(1) Shreiner, Andrew B., John Y. Kao, and Vincent B. Young. 2015. “The Gut Microbiome In Health And In Disease”. Current Opinion In Gastroenterology 31 (1): 69-75. Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health). doi:10.1097/mog.0000000000000139.

(2) Abbott, Alison. 2014. “Sugar Substitutes Linked To Obesity”. Nature 513 (7518): 290-290. Springer Nature. doi:10.1038/513290a.

(3) Benedict, Christian, Heike Vogel, Wenke Jonas, Anni Woting, Michael Blaut, Annette Schürmann, and Jonathan Cedernaes. 2016. “Gut Microbiota And Glucometabolic Alterations In Response To Recurrent Partial Sleep Deprivation In Normal-Weight Young Individuals”. Molecular Metabolism 5 (12): 1175-1186. Elsevier BV. doi:10.1016/j.molmet.2016.10.003.

(4) Yoshikawa K, et al. 2018. “Psychological Stress Exacerbates NSAID-Induced Small Bowel Injury By Inducing Changes In Intestinal Microbiota And Permeability Via Glucocorticoid … – Pubmed – NCBI “. Ncbi.Nlm.Nih.Gov. Accessed October 2 2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27075753.

(5) Monda, Vincenzo, Ines Villano, Antonietta Messina, Anna Valenzano, Teresa Esposito, Fiorenzo Moscatelli, and Andrea Viggiano et al. 2017. “Exercise Modifies The Gut Microbiota With Positive Health Effects”. Oxidative Medicine And Cellular Longevity 2017: 1-8. Hindawi Limited. doi:10.1155/2017/3831972.

(6) Clarke SF, et al. 2018. “Exercise And Associated Dietary Extremes Impact On Gut Microbial Diversity. – Pubmed – NCBI “. Ncbi.Nlm.Nih.Gov. Accessed October 2 2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25021423/.

(7) Tzounis X, et al. 2018. “Prebiotic Evaluation Of Cocoa-Derived Flavanols In Healthy Humans By Using A Randomized, Controlled, Double-Blind, Crossover Intervention Study. – Pubmed – NCBI “. Ncbi.Nlm.Nih.Gov. Accessed October 2 2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21068351.

(8) van Zanten GC, et al. 2018. “Synbiotic Lactobacillus Acidophilus NCFM And Cellobiose Does Not Affect Human Gut Bacterial Diversity But Increases Abundance Of Lactobacilli, Bifi… – Pubmed – NCBI “. Ncbi.Nlm.Nih.Gov. Accessed October 2 2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25098489.

Easy Tips To Be Stress Free

The other day, I noticed something that made me think of you.

You see, I was in line waiting to order breakfast, and the cashier behind the counter let out the biggest sigh, he looked so frustrated.

The kitchen was backed up and there were hungry customers asking for their orders left and right.
But there was nothing he could do.

I could tell he was stressed out. I felt so bad for him…but I can certainly relate.

And that’s why I thought of you because I’m sure you can relate, too. Sometimes no matter how hard you try, there’s always something, right?

And it doesn’t just have to be stress from work, you could be late running an errand, or just stuck in traffic…

ALL stress affects you.

And according to new research from Georgia State University, all that stress can lead to drastic changes in your gut health. (1)

But here’s the good news…It doesn’t have to be that way.

Because if you can manage and deal with the stress, not only will your gut health remain optimal, your overall well-being will increase, too.

So today, I want to share some quick things you can do right now to have a major effect on your health going forward.

Here are two key tips for “Stress-Free Living”:


Tip #1- Build something!

According to researchers at Cal Berkeley, the way your brain responds to rhythmic, repetitive movements is the same way it responds to meditation. (2)

This calming effect helps “distract” you from whatever stressed you out in the first place.
And once you’ve successfully built something you’ll get an additional bonus — a newfound sense of accomplishment!

When I feel like zoning out and getting rid of some stress, I like to spend time building model airplanes — I just make sure I read ALL of the instructions first.

So, take a trip to your local hobby shop and find a project that’s ideal for you!


Tip #2: Simply Simplify

Think of simplifying your life like this: instead of asking yourself “What can I add?” ask yourself “What can I subtract?”

I know firsthand how hard this one can seem, but once you get the ball rolling and start giving away your old books or donating those clothes you no longer wear…

…your cleaner and brighter looking home will have you feeling like a weight was lifted off your shoulders.

It’s hard enough as it is to keep your digestive health in order.

So, I hope you give these tips a try, you’ll be doing yourself and your digestion a huge favor!

 

 

Sources:
1. Social Stress Leads To Changes In Gut Bacteria, Georgia State Study Finds. (2018). News Hub. Retrieved 31 May 2018, from https://news.gsu.edu/2018/03/08/social-stress-leads-changes-gut-bacteria-study-finds/
2. Frank C. The Unexpected Benefits of Crafting. @berkeleywellness. 2017. Available at: http://www.berkeleywellness.com/healthy-mind/stress/article/unexpected-benefits-crafting. Accessed December 9, 2017