You've really got to watch yourself in the world of mushrooms. Some have incredible benefits, others can kill you. Thankfully, we're more or less past the day of experimenting with random funguses in the forest to see if its edible or not. Cordyceps are one of the latest mushrooms to pop up in the news about possible nutritional benefits.
These 'shrooms do look a bit different from your standard button top mushrooms, but the plant is just as edible. With all of the talk about these mushrooms in health magazines, knowing if there's anything significant about cordyceps and what the possible health benefits are for men can be helpful. Thankfully we've got you completely covered with that.
Where Do Cordyceps Come From?
Before you pick the random mushrooms that popped up in the back yard, you should stop. Those are not cordyceps. At least, not unless you live in a high mountain region. These are most commonly found in the Himalayas, but variants can be found in other similar regions around the world.
The combination of moisture and thinner oxygen levels help with the development of these mushrooms. The plant only grows at altitudes of 3,800 meters above sea level or better and during certain times of the year, so growth and development is not extensive.
Now, unlike other fungus that grow from spores along the base of trees, cordyceps is a little bit different. Spores actually attach to the back of caterpillars within these high altitude regions. The spores then feed off of the host, killing it in the process. And this is not a quick death. It slowly burros into the body, absorbing nutrients from the host. Once the caterpillar is dead, the mushrooms will spread out on the dead insect and continue to grow.
With the muscle and fatty tissue of the caterpillar (which basically did nothing but eat for its short life, so it's bursting with nutrients), the mushroom is able to grow to a surprising weight of up to 500 milligrams. It's a pretty remarkable process. Of course it also ensures you'll be showering heavily if you ever visit the Himalayas. Don't need any flesh eating mushrooms growing out of your back.
Don't worry though. The cordyceps you eat likely do not come off the back of dead insects. These mushrooms are relatively easy to grow and develop inside of a lab setting.
So while you're still more than welcome to hunt out the direct from the source mushroom (which is going to cost a pretty penny), you can pick up the same exact mushroom grown initially in a lab for far less.
History of Cordyceps
These mushrooms have been around in ancient Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Of course, due to the difficulty in harvesting the mushrooms, utilization of the plant was limited at the time. Outside of appearing in Chinese medicine, there is very little in way of documented usage.
What do Cordyceps Do?
The cordycep mushroom naturally combats free radicals, cuts down on inflammation and can help fight of infections. In ancient Chinese medicine, the plant was used to help with respiratory problems, such as heavy coughing and colds (health issues the plant is still used for today).
With the ability to fight off infections, the cordycep fungus is seen as a super food, thanks to its ability to reduce the signs of aging. On top of it all, it can help boost energy levels as well (always a plus no matter what your age is).
Cordyceps Benefits For Men
Alright, so what kind of health benefits can you as a guy take out of eating these small, pillar looking mushrooms?
For starters, it helps improve your immune system. If you faced any kind of disease or extended sickness, consumption of this plant is ideal (although we always recommend discussing supplement and dietary adjustments to your doctor ahead of time to make sure it doesn't counteract any medication you're placed on).
The fungus helps not only with boosting your immune system, but it assists with bringing down inflammation as well, which in turn improves healing time. So beyond sickness, if you recently had surgery performed (such as a knee replacement), adding this into the diet may just boost your healing time, getting you back on your feet faster.
That's not all the benefits connected with cordyceps though. This is a fungus that can help improve stress and battle fatigue. Combine this with regular exercise (which pushes more oxygen into your blood stream), the anti inflammatory/oxygen boost can do wonders.
Research continues on cordyceps, but the mushroom has been used for centuries to fight off a number of different issues. Outside of ancient Chinese medicine, it was also used in India and throughout the region.
Thanks to the anti inflammatory function and it's ability to boost the immune system, cordyceps have been used to fight the common cold, kidney issues, asthma, hepatitis B, respiratory infections (like bronchitis), reproductive problems, chronic fatigue (such as low energy), weakness in the muscles, heart disease, liver disease, and issues like dizziness and low blood circulation and an irregular heartbeat.
Possible Side Effects
We want to keep you completely informed about cordyceps, so it's important to provide you with the possible side effect information as well. In general, this is a safe food to consume by anyone. While this is an article for men, women who are pregnant ir breast feeding should not consume it. This is simply because there hasn't been much research done in connection with nursing mothers, so it's always better to be safe than sorry.
Also, as mentioned earlier, it's always important to discuss the addition of cordyceps into your diet if you are on any medication. If you have an autoimmune disease and are taking medication for it, adding cordyceps can actually overactivate some immune cells, which may cause blood clotting disorders.
In the battle against aging, it's important to do whatever you can. The cordyceps is a mushroom that grows naturally both in nature and can be replicated in labs. Cordyceps is, in ever sense of the word, a super food. It improves the immune system, fights against inflammation, improves recovery time and can help with everything from the common cold to heart disease. This makes cordyceps an excellent addition into any diet for men.
So whether you pick up a supplement derived from the mushroom or you buy the product as-is and include it in food you prepare, it's a fantastic way to supercharge your diet and really boost the overall health benefits you take from it.