Could Mushrooms Protect You this Flu Season?

Mushrooms Increase Immunity of Mucosal Membranes

The flu is nasty this year, and the flu vaccine is offering little protection against oneflu-1679104_1920 strain in particular, which comes with heavy congestion, cough, fever, and fatigue that lasts for a week or more.

Many people close to me (both near and far) have already been infected this year. In fact, my in-laws had their entire California Christmas Vacation hijacked by the Influenza Virus. Three adults traveled from Eastern Canada to spend their holiday with us, and every one of them caught the flu. We were all sharing such a small space that I thought the rest of us catching this sickness was inevitable. But we didn’t.

I’ve been boggled by the fact that we didn’t get sick. And then, I saw a clip of Dr. Michael Greger talking about foods you should add to your diet, and in it he mentions that mushrooms protect against respiratory infections.


Dr. Michael Greger is referring to a study in which an experimental group of people added 100g of cooked white button mushrooms to their regular diet every day for one week, and experienced a 53% increase in their Immunoglobulin A antibodies. These are the antibodies secreted into the mucous membranes of your body, your first line of defense against the flu.

mushrooms-1400622_1280We strive to eat a mostly plant-based diet, and mushrooms have become a regular part of that since they add the umami earthy flavor that we sometimes crave. Mushroom burgers. Plant-based cream of mushroom soups. Mushroom broth. Mushroom fried rice. and seasonings made from dried mushrooms. My husband even got mushroom jerky in his stocking this year.

Better immunity is not the only thing mushrooms have to offer. Mushrooms provide us with antioxidants, reduce inflammation, and reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. So even if mushrooms can’t prevent you from catching the flu, there are plenty of reasons to eat them. Just be sure to cook them.

I was hesitant to write this article, since flu season isn’t over, and I may yet eat my words. Regardless, I will eat my mushrooms. And I thought you may want to too.

Check out some of Dr. Greger’s videos on the health benefits of mushrooms.

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