Consuming mushrooms for fertility comes with lots of benefits, especially for PCOS women who are trying to conceive as it may help them ovulate more. Mushrooms are a nutritious and delicious food with impressive fertility benefits for both men and women.
There is growing evidence from various scientific research and studies suggesting that certain types of mushrooms, such as Maitake, Cordyceps, Reishi, and Lion’s Mane, have compounds that can improve reproductive functions in both males and females.
A closer look at mushroom benefits for testosterone, study shows Cordyceps has the potential to promote steroidogenesis which significantly increases testosterone levels in rat models. Similarly, enokitake mushroom extract also contains a compound known as adenosine which can boost testosterone production.
Mushrooms may also boost pregnancy outcomes in PCOS women, for example, a study on 57 women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) showed an improved ovulation rate in the group treated with maitake extract. This shows maitake extract may be an effective treatment for ovulation issues in women with PCOS .
Like all-natural remedies, the intake of mushrooms for fertility comes with a set of guidelines and precautions to ensure optimal fertility benefits.
This article provides insights into the benefits of eating mushrooms for fertility. It also provides insight into the best type of mushroom to take while trying to conceive.
Mushrooms for Male Fertility
In recent years, various scientific studies have suggested that certain mushrooms can have a positive impact on male reproductive functions. They include:
Insights into evidence-based mushroom fertility benefits for men found that they can potentially improve the function of their reproductive system due to the presence of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which are all beneficial to overall health and well-being.
For male fertility, specific types of mushrooms can directly impact sperm health. Certain mushrooms, such as Cordyceps and Reishi, Lentinus have been studied for their potential role in improving sperm quality and motility [2, 3, 4, 5].
Cordyceps mushroom fertility benefits
For example, Cordycepin, a component found in Cordyceps, has been noted for its ability to protect sperm from oxidative stress, which can negatively affect sperm quality.
A related study on rat models finds that Cordyceps may improve sexual performance in males with erectile issues due to its aphrodisiac properties, This can be achieved possibly by boosting testosterone production, as well as suppressing oxidative stress for improved erectile function .
Also, another notable study on rat models confirmed that Cordyceps has a strong aphrodisiac property, and taking its extract can significantly increase the mounting behavior and mating performance .
It is believed to fortify libido and optimize sexual function, thereby paving the way for successful conception. The positive impacts of cordyceps on fertility may be tied to its capacity to boost testosterone levels, control sperm production, improve blood circulation, and combat fatigue.
The Cordyceps egg quality boosting property has also been noted in a study on poultry birds like hens, Cordyceps extract is found to improve egg production in oviparous animals. However, another study on humans is needed to understand Cordycep’s effect on female egg quality.
Reishi fertility benefits
Similarly, research indicates that the polysaccharides and triterpenes in Reishi mushrooms can also help improve testicular function, enhance sperm activity, and protect them from oxidative damage .
Lentinus mushroom fertility benefits
Lentinus mushroom may also help fight Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections — an infection that is known to lower sperm count [12, 13]. A study on rat models shows that Lentinus may help fight Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections due to its ameliorative effect .
Enokitake mushroom fertility benefits
One of the fertility of Enokitake mushrooms is attributed to its testosterone boosting properties, according to a study Enokitake mushroom extract contains a compound known as adenosine which can increase testosterone production.
Enokitake may also improve sperm quality by alleviating the impact of oxidative stress and boosting the transport of essential nutrients to the liver– for quality sperm production.
Mushrooms for Female Fertility
On the female fertility side, these types of mushrooms are particularly noteworthy and are rich in beta-glucans, a type of dietary fiber that may play an important role in regulating the immune system. They include:
- Lion’s mane
- Turkey tail
Shiitake has strong immunomodulatory properties and may help lower inflammation detrimental to female reproductive functions .
During pregnancy, a well-regulated immune system is vital for a healthy pregnancy, the immunomodulatory properties of shiitake can aid in embryo implantation and prevent early miscarriage.
Shiitake mushrooms, in particular, also contain significant amounts of B vitamins and other important nutrients that can foster a healthy reproductive environment, and by improving blood flow to the uterus and ovaries it may boost pregnancy outcomes.
Maitake mushroom has been shown to balance hormones and improve endometrial thickness which is beneficial for fertility in women. Similarly, research suggests that D-fractions found in Maitake mushrooms may help balance hormones, which is critical for ovulation and regular menstrual cycOtherother supporting studies have equally shown that intake of its extract can improve ovulation in women with PCOS .
Lion’s mane mushroom
Lion’s Mane is also well-known for its positive effects on cognitive health and nerve growth factor (NGF) production , which are significant in fertility as they may enhance overall brain health, mood, and stress levels [23, 24, 25, 26].
Enokitake (Flammulina velutipes) may also improve egg quality by regulating oxidative damage.
According to recent studies on Hens, dietary supplementation of Enokitake can improve reproductive function by alleviating the severity of oxidative stress, as well as promoting adequate transport of essential nutrients along the liver–blood–ovary axis .
Turkey tail mushrooms
This mushroom is rich in antioxidants and several other compounds that may improve fertility and reproductive functions.
For example, it has antioxidant properties that can help prevent cell DNA damage .
May boost immunity and lower the risk of chronic diseases . Inflammation is detrimental to fertility , however, Turkey tail mushrooms have anti-inflammatory properties and help lower inflammation in reproductive organs .
How to Incorporating Mushrooms in Your Diet
Infusing these beneficial mushrooms into your diet can be a creative and flavorful experience. There are numerous methods for preparing mushrooms to maximize their nutritional value and make them a tasteful addition to your meals.
A simple yet delicious way to prepare mushrooms is to sauté them in olive oil or grass-fed butter. This method can preserve their antioxidant properties and enhance their flavor. They can then be sprinkled with herbs and spices or added to pasta, salads, stir-fries, and soups.
Alternatively, they can be incorporated into your diet through mushroom supplements available in the market, but be sure to choose a reputable supplement brand for the highest quality. In addition to this, teas and broths made from mushrooms are increasingly becoming popular, offering a soothing way to consume these fertility-promoting fungi.
How to Prepare Mushrooms to Boost Fertility
Cooking mushrooms properly is crucial as it doesn’t only elevate their flavor but also maximizes their potential nutritional value. To maintain the richness of the nutrients, mushrooms are best cooked under moderate to low heat preventing the risk of burning and nutrient loss.
Complementing mushrooms with antioxidant-packed vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and red bell peppers augments the fertility-boosting benefits of your diet.
Additionally, to amass all the healthful advantages that mushrooms offer, it is recommended to incorporate various types into your meals. This includes Maitake, Reishi, Shiitake, and Cordyceps mushrooms, each with their unique nutritional profile and health-boosting properties.
Existing research indicates a potential link between the consumption of mushrooms and enhanced fertility in both males and females.
Mushrooms are known to be a good source of protein, vitamins, minerals, and strong antioxidant properties, helping to combat free radicals in the body, which can damage cells and cause inflammation. This benefit of mushrooms is not limited to a specific type, as most mushroom types contain substantial amounts of antioxidants.
Free radicals and oxidative stress can contribute to conditions like endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which are known to negatively affect female fertility. Consequently, the antioxidant effects of mushrooms could potentially help to combat these conditions and improve fertility.
JC is passionate about finding the impact of foods (feeding habits) on human fertility and reproductive health and a way to improve fertility.