Mushrooms As Superfoods
Medicinal mushrooms can provide your dog with more nutrients than most plants … making them true superfoods.
Mushrooms are fungi – specifically, cap fungi. Fungi are genetically closer to animals than plants. In the classification of living things, fungi are a separate kingdom. They have cell walls like plants, but the walls contain chitin, like insects.
Chitin is a white, horny substance. It’s in the outer skeleton of insects and crustaceans … and in the internal structures of other invertebrates. Chitin is also what gives mushrooms their meaty texture.
Like animals, fungi absorb nutrients from plant or animal matter around them. They cannot photosynthesize as plants do. The amino acid content of mushrooms is comparable to that of animal proteins … and they contain all the main classes of lipids. Mushrooms are the only non-animal food with vitamin D … and they also contain considerable amounts of vitamins B, C and E.
The chitinous wall protects mushroom nutrients are protected by the chitinous wall … so the nutrients are only released by warming. But it’s important to note that most mushrooms contain monomethyl hydrazine … a compound found in jet fuel. It’s highly carcinogenic … but don’t worry, it’s inactivated by cooking.
This shouldn’t stop you from using mushrooms. They’re packed with immune-regulating properties. Just be sure you cook them first, for both you and your dog.
Balancing The Immune System
What does immune modulation mean? It’s kind of like immune balancing.
Studies show that mushrooms can make components of the immune system more effective. This includes natural killer cells, T cells, and macrophages. They patrol the body for viruses, bacteria and cancer cells.
Mushrooms can also increase other physiological mechanisms that boost immune function. These include complement 3, interleukin and interferon. They’re all part of your dog’s natural defense against viruses.
The beneficial compounds present in mushrooms include:
- Beta 1,3 D-glucan
- Beta 1,6 D-glucan
You’ll commonly see glucans listed as ingredients in immune-modulating supplements. And now you’ll know that they come from mushrooms.
Immune modulation via medicinal mushrooms for dogs can help destroy and clear:
- Harmful fungi
- Cancer cells
It can also help push the reset button on allergies and autoimmune disease.