We all know losing weight is not an easy task. This is why many look to supplements or drugs to speed up the weight loss process. We often get asked if functional mushrooms can support weight loss. While we aren’t claiming mushrooms to be a miracle weight loss drug, there are things functional mushrooms can support you with on your weight loss journey. These include; boosting metabolism, regulating appetite and improving workout performance. Here we will discuss which mushrooms are the best for supporting weight loss and how they support it.
How Mushroom Extracts can boost metabolism
Functional mushrooms, such as Reishi, Cordyceps, and Lion's Mane, are associated with the ability to aid metabolism. These mushrooms contain bioactive compounds, like polysaccharides, triterpenes, and antioxidants, which can positively influence metabolic processes in the body.
For instance, Reishi mushrooms support the liver's function, optimizing its ability to process nutrients and detoxify the body, which can have a positive impact on metabolism.
Cordyceps mushrooms enhance cellular energy production which enhances exercise performance and physical activity. An increase in exercise intensity and frequency contributes to a healthier metabolism.
Additionally, Lion's Mane mushrooms have been linked to improved cognitive function and stress reduction, which can indirectly influence metabolism by promoting better sleep and reducing stress-related eating habits. While functional mushrooms show promise in supporting metabolism, it's essential to complement their consumption with a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle for optimal results.
The role of Mushroom Extracts in regulating appetite
In regards to appetite regulation, Reishi, Cordyceps and Lion’s Mane also have potential benefits. Reishi mushrooms have adaptogenic properties, which can help the body manage stress and reduce emotional eating, leading to better appetite control. It is also linked to lowered cortisol levels which is a stress hormone correlated with belly fat.
Lion's Mane mushroom is known for boosting cognitive function as well as mood. Similar to how Reishi lowers stress, Lion’s Mane has a similar effect which can reduce emotional eating. As mentioned before, cordyceps helps to enhance exercise performance and boosts energy.
Frequent exercise helps to regulate hunger hormones ghrelin and leptin, preventing you from overeating. Exercise also gives you an endorphin boost that reduces stress and anxiety. Though these aren’t giving you the strength of weight loss or appetite suppressing pills, functional mushrooms are a great, natural way to keep your appetite at a healthy level.
Studies and research on Mushroom Extracts and weight management
- Chaga and weight management: A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food in 2015 investigated the anti-obesity effects of Chaga mushrooms in mice fed a high-fat diet. The researchers found that Chaga extract reduced body weight gain, adipose tissue (fat) mass, and improved glucose metabolism in the mice.
- Lion’s Mane and weight management: In another study from 2018, published in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, researchers explored the effects of Lion's Mane mushroom on obesity in mice fed a high-fat diet. They observed that Lion's Mane supplementation resulted in reduced body weight, fat tissue mass, and improved lipid profiles.
- Reishi and weight management: A study published in the Journal of Complementary Integrative Medicine in 2016 investigated the potential anti-obesity effects of Reishi mushroom in rats fed a high-fat diet. The researchers found that Reishi extract reduced body weight gain and fat accumulation in the liver.
Comparison of different types of Mushroom Extracts for weight management
Each functional mushroom comes with its own unique set of benefits. Some have properties that will support you in weight management, and others will still support an overall healthy lifestyle. As you can see, Lion’s Mane, Chaga, Cordyceps and Reishi are our top 4 for weight loss supplementation. Lion’s Mane and Reishi will primarily be for stress reduction, preventing overeating. Chaga helps satiety because of its fiber content. Lastly, cordyceps helps exercise performance and energy metabolism.
You should choose which mushrooms to take based on your needs, since not everyone’s weight loss journey is the same. For example, you don’t find yourself emotional-eating, but struggle with motivation to workout, cordyceps would be the best mushroom for you. If you find yourself constantly hungry, even after eating, Chaga could be a good mushroom to add to your routine.
Incorporating Mushroom Extracts in weight loss diet plans
There’s various ways to take functional mushrooms like tinctures, powders, pills and a plethora of mushroom-enhanced food and beverage products on the market. When taking mushrooms for weight loss you will want to avoid any sugary or calorie-heavy products. For example, there are many mushroom gummies and coffee creamers on the market, but the added calories and sugar may outweigh the benefits of the mushrooms. Instead opt for something without extra calories such as a tincture or powder extract. Mālama Mushrooms creates easy-to-use mushroom powders that can be added to coffee or smoothies with no extra calories or sugar. There’s also potent tinctures for those who don’t want to have to mix their supplements into any beverage.
Potential side effects and precautions when consuming Mushroom Extracts for weight management
Mushroom supplements are generally well-tolerated with little to no side-effects. However there are a few contraindications you should be aware of. One is allergies, if you have a mushroom allergy you may want to avoid taking functional mushrooms as well. People with autoimmune conditions should consult with a doctor before taking functional mushrooms since they are immunomodulatory (stimulates the immune system). If you have issues with low blood sugar or are taking medications for blood sugar, also consult with a doctor since certain mushrooms can lower blood sugar levels.
Tips for choosing the right Mushroom Extract for weight management
When choosing a mushroom extract, the most important thing to look for is that it’s sourced from 100% fruiting-body, meaning no mycelium or filler in the final product. You also want to make sure it is third-party lab tested. The best brand that meets the criteria would be Mālama Mushrooms from the Big Island of Hawaii. We make all our products easy to incorporate into your wellness routine to keep you and your loved ones healthy! We’ve made a discount code so you can save $$$ on your mushies. Use code MALAMABLOG at checkout for 15% off your order!