mixed wild mushrooms and wild strawberries

9 Functional Mushroom Benefits You Might Be Missing

You probably already know that edible mushrooms are ripe with nutritional value and can contribute to a well-balanced diet packed with functional mushroom benefits.

Functional mushrooms, however, offer something extra. These adaptogenic, medicinal mushrooms have long been used in traditional medicine for their perceived health benefits and the improvements they offer for overall quality of life.

The scientific community has begun to research the health benefits of functional mushrooms and found support for many claims about them. As a result, many health buffs have started including functional mushrooms in their diets, either as mushroom supplements or just part of daily cuisine.

So, what are functional mushrooms good for? Let’s look at functional mushrooms and how you may want to incorporate them into your wellness journey.

9 Functional Mushroom Benefits

Dried mushrooms in brown wooden bowl

1. Stress Relief

Functional mushrooms, particularly adaptogens like Reishi and Cordyceps, are known for their stress-relieving properties. These fungi contain adaptogenic properties that help the body adapt to stressors by regulating the production of stress hormones, reducing the impact of chronic stress.

2. Sleep

Quality sleep is the cornerstone of good health, and specific functional mushrooms may offer a natural remedy for sleep-related issues. Reishi, in particular, is celebrated for its sleep-inducing qualities. By calming the nervous system and reducing anxiety, Reishi can pave the way to a more restful and rejuvenating sleep experience, enhancing overall sleep quality.

3. Energy Levels

Combatting physical fatigue is a goal for many people, and functional mushrooms can play a crucial role in improving energy levels. Through mechanisms like improved oxygen utilization, mitochondrial function, and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production, mushrooms like Cordyceps have been lauded for their potential to boost physical stamina and endurance.

4. Cognitive Function

The cognitive benefits of functional mushrooms extend to brain health and general mental performance. Lion’s Mane, with its unique compounds, supports nerve growth factors, encouraging brain health by promoting memory retention, focus, and overall mental clarity.

5. Immune System

The immune system is the body's defense against infections and illnesses, and functional mushrooms play a crucial role in fortifying its robustness.

Mushroom varieties like Shiitake and Maitake boast high levels of beta-glucan polysaccharides known for their immune-boosting properties. Regular consumption of these mushrooms can support immune function and promote immunity, providing a robust defense against infections and illnesses.

6. Digestive Health

Functional mushrooms can promote digestive health in several ways. Mushrooms such as Chaga and Turkey tail contain prebiotic fibers that nourish beneficial gut bacteria. This nourishment, in turn, supports a healthy gut microbiome and aids digestion.

Additionally, the anti-inflammatory properties of these mushrooms may alleviate digestive discomfort, making them valuable for gastrointestinal well-being.

7. Anti-Inflammatory

Chronic inflammation is implicated in various health issues, from joint pain to chronic diseases. Functional mushrooms such as Reishi and Chaga have potent anti-inflammatory properties, contributing to improved joint health and potentially lowering the risk of inflammatory conditions.

8. Antioxidants

Antioxidants in functional mushrooms add another layer to the mushrooms’ health benefits. These antioxidants are essential for neutralizing free radicals, harmful molecules that can damage cells. Maitake mushrooms, rich in antioxidants, contribute to overall cellular health, reducing oxidative stress and supporting longevity.

9. Improved Mood & Enhanced Sensory Experiences

Functional mushrooms are renowned for their potential mood-boosting effects that can contribute to euphoria and emotional well-being. Users often report introspective thoughts and gain new perspectives. Ingesting functional mushrooms may also promote creativity and foster heightened sensory perception and mindfulness.

Lion’s Mane Mushroom

Lion’s Mane Mushrooms

Lion’s mane is perhaps the best-known and most popular functional mushroom species and is believed to support cognitive health. Emerging scientific research suggests that these mushrooms may be associated with slower cognitive decline in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

The Lion’s mane strain is also rich in beta-glucans, which may support digestive health and lower the risk of heart disease.

Shiitake Mushrooms

Shiitake Mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms, commonly found in grocery stores, are wildly popular for their immune-boosting properties and distinctive smokey flavor. These mushrooms have a meaty texture, making them a versatile ingredient in various dishes and a popular meat substitute.

Beyond their culinary appeal, Shiitake mushrooms contain compounds that may contribute to a healthier immune system, making them a popular choice for both flavor and potential health benefits.

Turkey Tail Mushrooms

Turkey Tail Mushrooms

Turkey tail mushrooms are named for their striking resemblance to a turkey's tail feathers and are valued for their potential health benefits. These mushrooms act as antioxidants, supporting the immune system and potentially reducing inflammation.

Early scientific research even suggests that these mushrooms may play a promising role in fighting cancer cells by promoting apoptotic cell death.

Maitake Mushrooms

Maitake Mushrooms

Maitake mushrooms, also known as the "dancing mushroom," offer potential health benefits related to blood sugar regulation.

With a frilly appearance resembling a dancing figure, Maitake mushrooms are visually distinctive and contain compounds that may reduce insulin resistance. This combination makes them a valuable addition to diets that support healthy blood sugar levels and overall metabolic health.

Chaga Mushrooms

Chaga Mushrooms

Chaga mushrooms, characterized by their distinctive appearance as black masses on birch trees, are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Rich in beta-glucans and vitamin D, Chaga mushrooms have gained attention for their potential to reduce inflammation in the body.

The bitter flavor Chaga mushrooms develop in the wild becomes milder and nuttier when cultivated, broadening its culinary applications. However, be cautious when consuming Chaga mushrooms, as overconsumption may be associated with kidney conditions.

Reishi Mushroom

Sliced Reishi Mushrooms

Reishi mushrooms, known scientifically as Ganoderma lucidum, hold a prominent place in Chinese medicine and are widely available worldwide. Recognized for their extensive medicinal properties, Reishi mushrooms contain essential compounds such as vitamin D and beta-glucans that may increase white blood cell counts.

Often referred to as the "mushroom of immortality," Reishi has long been used in traditional medicine to promote overall well-being, boost the immune system, and support various aspects of health.


Dried Cordyceps

Cordyceps, available as species including Cordyceps sinensis and Cordyceps militaris, is a unique parasitic mushroom known for its potential health benefits. Traditionally used in Tibetan and Chinese medicine, Cordyceps is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to boost energy levels.

These adaptogenic mushrooms are thought to enhance stamina, endurance, and respiratory function. Cordyceps has gained notoriety for its potential medicinal properties, but also for its intriguing life cycle involving a parasitic relationship with caterpillars and ants in the wild, which inspired the popular TV show and video game The Last of Us.

As a supplement, Cordyceps is sought by those looking to support physical performance and overall vitality.


What are functional mushrooms?

Functional mushrooms are a diverse group of fungi that are recognized for their potential health benefits. They are often consumed for medicinal or nutritional purposes and may contribute to overall well-being.

What are the benefits of functional mushrooms?

Functional mushrooms are believed to offer a variety of health benefits. They may support immune function, reduce stress, promote good sleep, boost energy levels, and deliver antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

Additionally, some people claim that these mushrooms enhance cognitive function, improve digestive health, and promote overall well-being.

Which functional mushroom type has the most health benefits?

The mushroom with the most health benefits depends on your particular health goals. Each strain of functional mushroom has its unique properties. For example, Lion's mane is associated with cognitive health, while Reishi is known for its immune-boosting properties.

How long does it take for functional mushrooms to work?

The time it takes for functional mushrooms to exhibit effects can vary. Some people may experience benefits relatively quickly, while others might require more time. Consistent and long-term consumption is often recommended for optimal results.

What is the best way to consume functional mushrooms?

Functional mushrooms can be consumed in various forms, including supplements, teas, and tinctures, as well as simply adding them to regular food recipes. Mushroom products, like Goomz gummies, provide a simple, safe, and convenient way to add functional mushrooms to your life.

What are the side effects of functional mushrooms?

While functional mushrooms are generally considered safe, some individuals may experience mild side effects such as digestive discomfort. Chaga mushrooms, for instance, should be consumed in limited dosages to avoid potential kidney conditions.

Who should not take functional mushrooms?

People on medication to lower blood pressure, pregnant people, and those with known allergies should not take functional mushrooms. Always consult a healthcare professional before incorporating functional mushrooms or any other supplement into your diet, especially if you are on medication, pregnant, or facing an existing health condition.


A smiling woman sitting at a kitchen table and eating while holding her smartphone

Functional mushrooms offer a holistic, natural approach to health and vitality. From stress relief to immune system support, the benefits of these mushrooms are both diverse and significant.

Functional mushroom products like Goomz allow you to reap the health benefits of these fantastic dietary additions without concerns about overconsumption of certain mushroom varieties like the Chaga. They’re convenient and easy to use without determining effective dosages or which combination of mushrooms you should use.

Plus, Goomz gummies are delicious, so you can still incorporate functional mushrooms into your life, even if you aren’t the biggest fungi fan. Now, reap the benefits of functional mushroom gummies with Goomz! Your journey starts here.

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