Simply eating more mushrooms can boost your immunity, here's how

Adding mushrooms to your diet is a simple and easy way to help your immune system out

A cluster of mushrooms for eating bundled together
(Image credit: Getty)

With COVID still lingering into 2022, it is natural to feel concerned about your immune system. However, you don't need to bend over backward to build a better immune system, you can start by looking at your diet.

There are various vitamins recommended for building good immunity in our bodies like vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 and some people prefer to source these via supplements such as the best vitamins for women over 50. This way you can ensure your body is getting important nutrients even if the food you eat doesn't contain them.

But if you are interested in shaping your diet to better support your immunity then consider adding mushrooms to your next grocery list. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that including white mushroom diets in your diet can help boost your immune system.

Following 10 weeks of research, the scientists found that mushroom supplementation enhanced natural killer (NK) cell activity in mice. NK cells are a group of specialized lymphocytes responsible for spontaneously killing pathogen-infected cells and tumor cells. They are a key part of the innate immune system, which is the body's first line of defense against initial infection and disease.

A bowl of mushroom and courgette pasta

(Image credit: Getty)

While other research has already been done in this area, most studies have used more exotic mushrooms and tested in ways that you can't necessarily apply to individuals' everyday diets. Whereas this research looked specifically at the immunological effect of a dietary intake of white button mushrooms.

White button mushrooms represent 90% of mushrooms consumed in the US so you should have difficulty sourcing them next time you are at the supermarket.

If you are one of the many people trying out Veganuary this year then mushrooms will be an excellent versatile food to include in your plant-based meals. Most contain a healthy level of protein and are often used as a meat substitute by vegans. If you need more recipe inspiration why not look into getting one of the best vegan cookbooks.

Also, it is good to note that regular exercise is another effective way of building a healthy immune system. Physical exercise increases your body's resilience assisting it in fighting off infection. 

If you are concerned about picking up any germs at a gym then why not create your own home gym and purchase some weights such as the best kettlebell or a set of best resistance bands.

Jessica Downey

Jessica is an experienced fitness writer with a passion for running. Her career in journalism began in local news and she holds a Masters in journalism. Jessica has previously written for Runners World, penning news and features on fitness, sportswear and nutrition. 

When she isn't writing up news and features for Fit&Well covering topics ranging from muscle building, to yoga, to female health and so on, she will be outdoors somewhere, testing out the latest fitness equipment and accessories to help others find top products for their own fitness journeys. Her testing pairs up nicely with her love for running. She recently branched out to running 10Ks and is trying to improve her time before moving on to larger races. Jessica also enjoys building on her strength in the gym and is a believer in health and wellness beginning in the kitchen. She shares all of this on her running Instagram account @jessrunshere which she uses for accountability and for connecting with like-minded fitness lovers.