Did you know that cold temperatures can weaken your immune system? According to a study published last month in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, cold exposure can significantly reduce your innate immune response in the nose. 
Your nose is one of the primary sites of entry of pathogens, such as bacteria and cold viruses. Because it is one of the first points of contact between the outside world and the inside of your body, you have an entire defense system ready-built inside your nasal cavities. 
When external threats enter your nose, your nasal cells quickly respond by releasing tiny, fluid-filled sacs called extracellular vesicles (EVs), which go straight into your mucus. EVs contain molecules that can kill pathogens before they can even start to spread inside your body.
But when you breathe in cold winter air continuously, the temperature of your nasal cells drops, impairing their ability to respond to pathogens efficiently. The study found that nasal cells exposed to cold temperatures release fewer EVs that are also of poor quality.
Because of this weakened immune response, viruses are less hampered and could easily stick to and infect nasal cells. This, according to the researchers, is why people often catch a cold during winter. The study further reports that a drop of just 5 ºC in nasal tissue temperature is enough to reduce your nasal immune response by half.
Considering the effect of cold temperatures on your body’s immune defenses, it is important that you double your efforts to maintain a healthy immune system. Some of the ways you can support your immune system is by taking nutritional supplements and eating organic wholesome foods such as mushrooms.
Why Organic Mushrooms are some of the best immune-supporting foods
To support a healthy immune system, you need to consume foods that are rich in the following nutrients: 
These nutrients have been identified by studies as essential for the growth and function of immune cells. Organic mushrooms conveniently contain high amounts of these immune-supporting nutrients, making them one of the best foods for keeping your immune system healthy and functioning optimally.
Mushrooms are excellent prebiotic foods as they are high in soluble fiber, which you need to nourish the good bacteria in your gut. Allowing the good bacteria in your gut to flourish is important for your body’s immune defenses because a large portion of your immune system (about 70%) is located in your gut. 
Research also shows that these good gut microbes interact directly and indirectly with your immune cells via the beneficial chemicals (metabolites) they produce.  Good gut microbes produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) as they break down soluble fiber from prebiotic foods. According to a study published in the journal Cellular & Molecular Immunology, SCFAs support the normal functions of immune cells that serve as your first line of defense against threats. 
Organic mushrooms contain plenty of soluble fiber that can feed the good microbes in your gut. Examples of soluble fiber found in mushrooms include mannans, galactans and a- and B-glucans.  According to studies, B-glucans are biologically active polysaccharides that allow organic mushrooms to support healthy immune system.  Their presence, along with other types of fiber, enable mushrooms to also support a healthy digestive system as well.
Winter is one of the best times to take advantage of the immune-supporting properties of organic mushrooms. Studies show that, apart from your nasal immune system, your gut microflora also plays a crucial role in supporting your body’s immune response in your respiratory system. 
With your nasal immune system significantly weakened by the cold temperature, you’ll need your intestinal immune system to make up for this deficiency. Keeping a healthy gut microflora by nourishing your good gut microbes will go a long to way toward supporting your body’s overall immune defenses.
Being high-protein foods, organic mushrooms can provide plenty of amino acids, particularly the essential amino acid, glutamine.  Glutamine is not only the most important fuel for your intestinal cells, but it is also a vital nutrient for your immune cells. 
Cell culture studies show that glutamine is used by immune cells at a high rate to drive crucial functions such as cell proliferation and the production of immune proteins.  Therefore, including glutamine-rich foods like organic mushrooms in your diet is a great way to support the healthy functions of your immune cells.
Organic mushrooms can also provide you with a healthy dose of immune-supporting, antioxidant vitamins and minerals, such vitamin C and selenium. Studies show that vitamin C can support the healthy functions of your innate and adaptive immune systems by helping maintain your skin’s barrier function.  Because your skin is home to a wide variety of innate and adaptive immune cells, its barrier function is considered an important part of your body’s natural defenses. 
While your skin provides protection from outward threats, the mineral selenium protects your immune cells from internal threats. Like all cells in your body, your immune cells are susceptible to oxidative stress, which is caused by the accumulation of destructive free radicals. Oxidative stress is not only linked to premature skin aging but also to an early decline in immune function. 
Fortunately, selenium and vitamin C have potent antioxidant properties that can help combat free radicals. Thanks to this ability, both antioxidant nutrients can help support healthy immune cells and combat oxidative stress.  This protective benefit is just one of many you can enjoy when you consume selenium-rich foods like organic mushrooms.
In addition to powerful antioxidants, organic mushrooms contain choline, copper and zinc, which are all essential for maintaining healthy immune function. According to a study by researchers at the University of Ottawa, innate immune cells called macrophages, which are part of your body’s second line of defense, require the presence of choline to function optimally. 
Likewise, copper and zinc contribute to the healthy functions of your immune cells. While copper helps with the maintenance of healthy immune cells, zinc plays an important role in the normal development and activity of your innate and adaptive immune cells.  These immune-supporting minerals are also found in abundance in different varieties of mushrooms.
Another immune-supporting mineral you can get from organic mushrooms is iron. According to a review published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology, iron plays a vital role in how your body regulates your adaptive and innate immune responses. Iron is also one of the nutrients required by your immune cells to perform various functions. 
On top of this, organic mushrooms contain a compound called ergosterol, which serves as a precursor to vitamin D2 in the human body.  An important component of fungal cell membranes, ergosterol can help you maintain healthy vitamin D levels. This is particularly important during winter because sunlight doesn’t have enough UVB to trigger your body’s natural production of vitamin D. 
Having sufficient vitamin D levels is a must for maintaining a healthy immune system because this nutrient is essential for maintaining optimal immune function. Your body also needs vitamin D to efficiently absorb minerals like calcium, magnesium and phosphate from food. 
7 Organic Mushrooms that provide outstanding immune support*
In addition to the immune-supporting nutrients listed above, organic mushrooms also boast an abundance of phytonutrients that can further support your immune system. In a study published in Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal, researchers found that five medicinal mushrooms, namely, cordyceps, maitake, reishi, turkey tail and himematsutake, provide invaluable immune support because their bioactive components. 
The researchers explained that the mushrooms’ active compounds support the healthy production of cytokines. Cells naturally release cytokines to communicate with each other when faced with a threat, and this eventually leads to the activation of your innate immune system.
To enjoy the immune benefits of these amazing superfoods, try incorporating these 7 organic mushrooms into your daily routine:
Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) is an excellent source of immune-supporting minerals, such as copper, manganese, selenium and zinc.  It is also packed with potent antioxidants, such as flavans, melanin, polyphenols, bioactive polysaccharides and triterpenoids. Thanks to these, chaga has one of the highest ORAC scores (a measure of antioxidant capacity) of any superfood. 
According to studies, chaga mushroom contains active polysaccharides and a triterpenoid called inotodiol that can support the optimal functions of your innate immune cells. 
Among the hundreds of different species of Cordyceps identified by researchers, C. sinensis and C. militaris are considered the most beneficial to humans. These mushrooms have been used as medicinal herbs for thousands of years, particularly in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
sinensis and C. militaris contain a wide variety of nutrients, such as vitamins B1, B2, B12 and K, and amino acids like lysine, glutamic acid, proline and threonine.  They also owe their ability to support a healthy immune system to antioxidant polysaccharides, ergosterol and cordycepin, a nucleoside that has been found to support normal immune cell activities. 
Lion’s mane mushroom
A mushroom with a unique appearance, lion’s mane (Hericium erinaceus) resembles the shaggy mane of a white lion. This nutritious mushroom is not only a popular ingredient in East Asian cuisine but also in natural supplements, which is a testament to its health-supporting qualities. 
Research has found that lion’s mane benefits the immune system by providing bioactive proteins and polysaccharides that can support a healthy and well-balanced gut microflora.  This means that the benefits of lion’s mane mushroom also extend to your digestive system.
Commonly called hen-of-the-woods or the dancing mushroom, maitake mushroom (Grifola frondosa) is a fungus found at the base of trees, particularly old oak trees. Maitake is native to northeastern Japan, Europe and North America, where it is widely used in cooking and as a food flavoring. 
Eating maitake mushroom is good for your immune system because it contains plenty of immune-supporting nutrients, such as vitamin B6, copper, iron, manganese, selenium and zinc. Maitake also has one of the highest ergosterol levels among edible mushrooms sold in the United States.  According to studies, maitake mushroom’s ability to support optimal immune cell functions is thanks to its abundance of bioactive proteins and polysaccharides like grifolan. 
A prominent herb used in TCM, reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum), or lingzhi in Chinese, is a dark-colored fungi with a glossy exterior and woody texture.  Reishi mushroom is an excellent source of immune-supporting minerals, such as copper, iron, manganese, selenium and zinc.
Like iron, copper and zinc, manganese is an essential nutrient for supporting optimal immune cell functions.  Reishi mushroom is also rich in bioactive polysaccharides that have been shown to support healthy immune responses. 
Shiitake mushroom (Lentinula edodes) is one of the most well-known mushrooms on the planet. This immune-supporting mushroom is harvested from decaying hardwood trees and is known for its earthy, meaty flavor. 
Shiitake mushroom can provide incredible immune support thanks to its abundance of copper, manganese, selenium and vitamins B6 and B9. Both B vitamins are necessary for maintaining the healthy functions of immune cells. 
According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, a healthy diet that includes shiitake mushrooms can support optimal immune cell functions and healthy immune regulation. 
Turkey tail mushroom
Another mushroom with an unusual appearance, turkey tail mushroom (Trametes versicolor) is known for its resemblance to a strikingly colored turkey’s tail.  But this common mushroom contains a wealth of immune-supporting nutrients and phytonutrients, such as B-vitamins, minerals like copper, manganese and zinc, and antioxidant flavonoids and other phenols. 
Studies show that turkey tail mushroom’s immune benefits are due to the presence of protein-bound polysaccharides like krestin (PSK) and polysaccharide peptides (PSP), which are both known to support healthy immune responses. 
Where to get clean, glyphosate-tested Organic Mushrooms
Maintaining a healthy immune system is the best way to protect yourself from external threats. Healthy habits like getting enough sleep every night and exercising regularly can also help keep your body strong, but in order to ensure that your natural defenses are up, you should also supply your body with the right amount of immune-supporting nutrients.
This is where adding superfoods like organic mushrooms brings considerable benefits. Organic mushrooms can not only supply the nutrients your immune system needs, but they also provide potent immune-supporting compounds you won’t find in other foods.
You can provide much-needed support to your immune system by adding Health Ranger Select Organic Seven Treasures Mushroom Powder and Health Ranger Select Seven Treasures Mushroom Capsules to your daily routine. These premium products from the Health Ranger Store are made with high-quality organic mushrooms that are lab verified for purity and potency to help you maintain a healthy immune system.
Health Ranger Select Organic Seven Treasures Mushroom Powder combines all the nutritional benefits and immune-supporting properties of seven organic mushrooms, namely, chaga mushroom, cordyceps mushroom, lion’s mane mushroom, maitake mushroom, reishi mushroom, shiitake mushroom and turkey tail mushroom. You can easily add this mushroom powder to your favorite recipes and beverages to enjoy outstanding immune support.
If you prefer to take supplements, you can try Health Ranger Select Seven Treasures Mushroom Capsules, which are made with the same clean organic mushrooms as our seven treasures mushroom powder. Both products are vegan, non-GMO, certified Kosher and organic, and extensively lab tested for glyphosate as well as common mushroom contaminants like arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury.
For complete immune support this year, combine the immune-supporting properties of Organic Mushrooms and our Colloidal Silver Nasal Spray to help maintain the healthy functions of your nasal immune system!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any diseases.