Health Benefits of Lion’s Mane Mushroom

Health Benefits of Lion’s Mane Mushroom

Detoxifying vegetables and fruits

Lion’s Mane mushroom is known by many names, including the Latin Hericium Erinaceus, along with Bearded Hedgehog mushroom, and Monkey’s Head mushroom. Lion’s Mane mushroom has long been a staple for culinary and medical uses in Asian countries like China, India, Japan and Korea.

Human and animal studies alike have proven Lion’s Mane mushroom boasts countless medicinal and health promoting properties including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immune modulating components. Extracts from Lion’s Mane mushroom have been shown to have antibiotic, neuroprotective, glucose-lowering, and even anti-cancer effects.

Below, we review our Top 4 Health Benefits of Lion’s Mane Mushroom in more detail:

#1. Lions Mane Mushroom is Neuroprotective

Studies have shown that Lion’s Mane mushroom helps to combat Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and cognitive decline.

Two specific compounds have been identified in Lion’s Mane mushrooms that can stimulate the growth of brain cells these are hericenones and erinacines (1).

In fact, Lion’s Mane mushroom and its extracts have been found to reduce symptoms of memory loss in mice, as well as prevent neuronal damage caused by amyloid-beta plaques, which accumulate in the brain during Alzheimer’s disease (2,3,4). Additional animal studies have confirmed that Lion’s Mane mushroom may help protect against Alzheimer’s disease, a degenerative brain disease that causes progressive memory loss.

Older adults with mild cognitive impairment were studied and found that consuming 3 grams of powdered Lion’s Mane mushroom every day for four months improved their mental functioning significantly. It’s important to note that these benefits were transient, and disappeared when supplementation stopped (5).

#2 Lion’s Mane Mushroom May Help Prevent Cancer Growth

In 2012, a study evaluating the medicinal potential of 14 types of mushroom found that Lion’s Mane mushroom had the fourth highest antioxidant activity, which researchers described as “moderate to high.” (6) Antioxidant activity protects the body on a microscopic and cellular level from toxins, those we naturally produce during metabolism, and those we intake as a result of 21st century life.

Various studies have also shown Lion’s Mane mushroom’s ability to support various immune responses in the body. Specifically, it has been shown to increase levels of T cells (the part of our immune system that attacks foreign pathogens ) and macrophages (a type of white blood cell that destroys bacteria and other harmful organisms), and appeared to promote anti-tumor activity of the immune system in mice (16).

#3 Lion’s Mane Mushroom May Reduce Anxiety and Depression

There have been numerous studies showing that consuming Lion’s Mane mushroom can help with reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression. A daily dose of Lion’s Mane mushroom is a good way to help support the health and growth of nerves within the hippocampus, which is the part of our brain that controls emotions.

In a Japanese study, women with a variety of health complaints, including menopausal symptoms and poor sleep quality, ate cookies containing Lion’s Mane extract or placebo cookies for 4 weeks. The participants who ate the extract reported lower levels of irritation and anxiety than those in the placebo group (7).

#4 Lion’s Mane Mushroom Supports Nerve Health

Lion’s Mane mushroom has been shown to be of use in the regeneration of peripheral nerves (that is, those outside of the spinal cord), suggesting it could have a benefit to help the physical recovery of those who have experienced trauma. (11)

Research determined that Lion’s Mane mushrooms extracts may promote the growth of nerve cells and therefore, more rapid repair after injury. (9) One study found that rats with nerve damage receiving a daily extract of Lion’s Mane mushrooms had quicker nerve regeneration than control animals (10).

One of the complications of diabetes is nerve damage resulting from prolonged periods of high blood sugar. In a 2015 study on rats, in which they ingested Lion’s Mane mushroom extract for 6 weeks, showed positive results, including lower blood sugar levels, reduced feelings of nerve pain, and improved antioxidant activity (8).

In fact, Lion’s Mane mushroom extract has been shown to reduce recovery time by 23–41% when given to rats with nervous system injuries (12). Lion’s Mane mushroom extract may also help reduce the severity of brain damage after a stroke. In one study, high doses of Lion’s Mane mushroom extract given to rats immediately after a stroke helped decrease inflammation and reduce the size of stroke-related brain injury by 44% (13).

How Do I Take Lion’s Mane Mushroom?

Lion’s Mane mushrooms can be enjoyed as a food for culinary uses such as being used raw in a salad or smoothie, cooked in stir-fries or soups, dried and used as an herb, or steeped as a tea.

Lion’s Mane mushroom can be prepared and cooked like any other meaty mushroom. It tends to be in season in the late summer through fall. When cooked, it has a flavour and texture has been described as similar to crab or lobster.

Alternatively, Lion’s Mane extracts are often used in natural health products and supplements such as these Host Defence Lion’s Mane capsules.

Many local health food stores also stock Lion’s Many mushroom beverages. Lion’s Mane (and other medicinal mushrooms) can be powdered and used in a tea or as an instant coffee substitute. Because of the brain-boosting properties of Lion’s Mane mushroom, using it as a coffee substitute that can elevate your focus, memory, and creativity is an ideal option for many individuals!


11. Lai P,L., Naidu M., Sabaratnam V., Wong K,H., David R,P., Kuppusamy U,R., Abdullah N., Malek S,N. (2013). Neurotrophic properties of the Lion’s mane medicinal mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia. International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms. 15(6):539-54. Retrieved from


The SuperPowers of the Superfood Jicama

The SuperPowers of the Superfood Jicama

Mental Health Gut Article

What is Jicama?

The Jicama looks similar to a potato. It is a bulbous root vegetable with golden-brown skin and starchy white flesh. Jicama is much healthier and has far fewer carbohydrates than your average potato, however.

The jicama plant grows mainly in Mexico and Central America, but can also be grown in the Philippines and many other regions of Asia. 

The white interior flesh of a jicama is juicy and crunchy, with a slightly sweet and nutty flavor. Some say it tastes like an apple, but not as sweet. Others think of the flavour as a cross between a potato and a pear.

Nutritional Value of Jicama

One cup (130 grams) of jicama contains the following nutrients:

  • Calories: 49
  • Carbs: 12 grams
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Fat: 0.1 gram
  • Fiber: 6.4 grams
  • Vitamin C: 44% of the RDI
  • Folate: 4% of the RDI
  • Iron: 4% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 4% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 6% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 4% of the RDI

Jicama is gaining popularity within western cultures, and there’s good reason for that! 

Below we share  8 health and nutrition benefits of jicama:

1. Jicama Promotes Good Digestion

One cup (130 grams) of jicama contains 6.4 grams of fiber, which can help you meet your daily fiber needs (1). This is the equivalent of 17% of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for fiber for men and 23% of the RDI for women. Dietary fiber helps increase the bulk of stool, allowing food and waste to move more efficiently through your digestive tract (2).

Moreover, icama contains a specific type of fiber called inulin. Studies show that inulin can increase the frequency of bowel movements by up to 31% in those with constipation (3).

2. Jicama Supports Healthy Gut Bacteria

As noted above, jicama is a dense source of a soluble fiber. When this soluble fiber is consumed, it results in something known as a “stagnant carbohydrate”. In the case of jicama, this “stagnant carbohydrate” is the oligofructose inulin that was mentioned above. What’s unique about “stagnant carbohydrates” is that they are not broken down to  sugar while passing through the human digestive system.. These carbohydrates are then able to ferment in the lower digestive system, feeding good bacteria such as bifidobacteria, and aiding in the growth of their probiotic colonies. Over 75 percent of our immune system in the gut. So, by helping  promote healthy gut bacteria growth, and balancing the flora in the digestive system, jicama can support overall health and immunity function.

3. Jicama Can Help Balance Blood Pressure

Jicama contains potassium, a mineral known as a vasodilator, which lowers the pressure in the circulatory system. The high potassium levels in jicama act as an electrolyte promoting hydration and fluid/sodium balance, which in turn may help keep blood pressure at a healthy level.

4. Jicama Is Loaded With Antioxidants

Antioxidants are vital to combat free radical damage within the body. In short, free radicals are molecules with unpaired electrons that bounce around the body and can “steal” electrons from cells, resulting in molecular damage. Free radical damage is implicated in a variety of diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cognitive decline. 

One cup of jicama provides 40%  of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of the antioxidant vitamin C. It also contains the antioxidants vitamin E, selenium and beta-carotene (2). 

5. Jicama Is Rich In Water

Jicama is 85% water. Foods with a high water content can help you meet your daily fluid needs (4). Because jicama is also dense in minerals, which act as electrolytes, it further promotes hydration and fluid balance in the body. Similar to watermelon or cucumber, you can use it to help you stay hydrated, especially when it’s hot outside. 

6. Jicama May Promote Blood Sugar Balance

Jicama is an ideal food for people with diabetes because it does not break down into simple sugars during digestion. If you have diabetes or blood sugar problems, jicama is a safe snack or side dish. So although jicama may have all of the comforting starchy flavour and feel of a potato, and it does contain carbohydrates; unlike potatoes the carbohydrates in jicama have a low glycemic load, which means the carbohydrates don’t affect your blood sugar very much. (5,6)

7. Jicama and Weight Loss

As explained above, this root vegetable is low in calories and high in fiber and water, making it a weight loss-friendly food. Jicama has been found to help regulate metabolic processes, and promote the balance  of hormones.

Unlike many other root veggies, jicama is also keto-friendly! It’s also a natural source of nitrates, which have been shown to amp up your body’s natural ability to burn fat faster. (7) 

8. Jicama Can Strengthen Bones

The inulin produced during the digestion of jicama allows the body to absorb minerals more efficiently. Oligofructose inulin keeps bones healthy by slowing the rate at which you lose bone density while enabling the absorption of calcium and other minerals. Calcium is one of the more difficult-to-absorb minerals, so help boost your absorption by including jicama in your meals or snacks a couple times during the week! 

Jicama Risks

Jicama is a delicious, inexpensive, low calorie, and low-fat food that is high in fiber, water, and minerals.  BUT only the white flesh of the root vegetable is safe to eat. Jicama’s skin, stem, leaves, and seeds are poisonous.

How To Eat Jicama

Traditionally, jicama is eaten raw in slices with salt, lemon or lime juice, and chilli powder sprinkled on top. 

You can also:

  • Pickle jicama
  • Grate it into a slaw with cabbage, carrots, apple and/or onion
  • Use it in place of (or along with) carrots as a crunchy salad topping 
  • Serve it on veggie platters slices like cucumber or celery
  • Add it to stews, soups, or stir-fries
  • Boil and mash it like potatoes
  • Cut into thin strips, coat with oil, and bake or fry it