A fungal infection on the skin can be quite debilitating. But on the other hand, eating fungi like mushrooms can prove to be a game changer for skin health. Ever wondered what supports this strange paradox? But the truth remains that the mushroom benefits the body in several ways. Let’s delve deeper into the mushroom benefits for skin.
Mushrooms – The Adaptogens
Mushrooms are umbrella-like growths that grow above the ground. Damp and marshy soil offers the best environment for its growth. While it appears to be a vegetable, it is a fungal growth. It is typically the reproductive part of the fungi that helps in production and dispersal of spores. But unlike regular fungal growths, mushrooms are ‘adaptogens’. These are non-toxic growths that help the body resist or adapt to stress. This makes mushrooms a superfood for good health.
The Science Behind Mushroom Benefits for Skin
The nutritional value of mushrooms is high. From proteins, carbohydrates to essential nutrients, they pack all. But five amazing bio compounds, namely antioxidants, beta-glucans, l-ergothioneine, fatty acids, and melanin are the ones helpful in supporting skin health. Here are some of the skin benefits of eating mushrooms:
1. Acne Management
Beta-glucans is a type of soluble fiber present in mushrooms. The fibrous content bolsters the immune system by promoting macrophage production. These compounds fight harmful bacteria and skin infections. They also accelerate the wound-healing process by activating the cytokines and immune cells in the body. This contributes to acne management and helps minimize pimple scars.
2. Enhanced UV Protection
Ergothioneine is a potent amino acid that boasts antioxidant properties. It reduces the oxidative stress and prolongs the life of healthy skin cells. It also repairs DNA and sun-damaged cells. The mushroom benefits for skin also extend to protection against environmental pollutants.
3. Improved Skin Hydration
Some varieties of edible mushrooms are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids such as omega-3s. These are vital to improve skin barrier function. These fats contain polysaccharides that can hold up to 500 times their weight in water. These help the skin cells lock moisture inside, making the skin supple, soft, and well-hydrated.
4. Anti-Aging Benefits
One of the most sought-after benefits of skincare is anti-aging. Mushrooms are rich in antioxidants. These compounds fight oxidative stress in the body, bringing about a significant improvement to the cell structure. An improved cell character helps slow down skin’s natural aging process.
5. Aids Skin Glow
Mushrooms contain melanin, a pigment responsible for skin protection and health. Melanin of mushroom acts as an antioxidant that helps absorb UV rays, thus shielding the skin cells from sun damage. Also, kojic acid, a natural compound present in mushrooms, inhibits excessive melanin synthesis. This leads to skin brightening by correcting dark spots and uneven skin tone.
Best Mushrooms For Skin Care Benefits
There are 13 varieties of edible mushrooms. But not all can boast of skincare properties. Listed below are the proven varieties for reaping the benefits of mushroom for skin. These are:
- Shiitake and Oyster – These mushroom varieties are exceptionally rich in L-ergothioneine. They also contain oleic acid, a polyunsaturated fatty acid, making them the perfect choice for enhanced skin resilience and anti-ageing benefits.
- Reishi Mushroom – Reishi mushroom contains over 400 different bioactive compounds. Its rich content of polyunsaturated fatty acids has high water-binding properties. Thus, they are typically helpful for increasing skin hydration.
- Chaga Mushroom – This mushroom variety helps encourage melanin production. It aids in skin repair caused due to sun damage. It also helps correct skin issues like dullness, wrinkles, and loss of skin elasticity.
- Tremella Mushroom – Tremella mushroom packs unique water-retaining properties. The mushroom’s gelatinous molecules are smaller than hyaluronic acid molecules, but work the same way to lock water inside skin cells. This makes it a good choice for skin hydration and moisturization.
Mushroom benefits the skin in several ways. Thanks to the high nutritional value of mushrooms, they are a superfood for skin health. Rich in bioactive compounds, they are a miracle food for skin aging. Add them to your daily diet or use mushroom-infused supplements to reap desired skin benefits. But remember to include the right variant if you plan to address specific skin concerns.
Word Of Caution
Some varieties of wild mushrooms can be toxic. Be sure of the mushroom variety before consuming.