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Immune Booster Mushroom Chickpea Stew

This yummy dish features shiitake, cremini, and white mushrooms. We cram our savory stew with three types of mushrooms because they improve the immune system’s ability to fight off infectious invaders.

Mushrooms are medicinal superstars of the plant-eating world, even though scientifically they belong to the kingdom of fungi, not plants. Mushrooms are known to improve our immune defenses through modulating effects on the respiratory and gastrointestinal (or GI) tracts. These tracts are the human body’s interfaces with the outside world and allow us to have access to materials such as oxygen, fuel, and nutrients all necessary to sustain life.

However, these interfaces potentially leave the body open to invasion by disease-causing infections. Research has demonstrated that when eaten regularly, mushrooms are particularly effective in boosting levels of IgA antibodies, weapons our immune system produces on the surface linings of our gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts (1, 2). These IGA antibodies attack and destroy foreign invaders such as viruses and bacteria when they attempt to infiltrate our bodies.

Boosting IgA levels is just one powerful way we have discovered that mushrooms help us. Every edible plant contains many natural compounds that are likely to benefit our health in a multitude of ways. That's why our dishes are designed to contain as large a variety of whole plant ingredients as possible.

Imagine if you were to combine many different whole plants into a complete diet… You would access a powerful nutritional symphony with many players, capable of preventing and reversing disease. So strive to eat a large variety of whole plant foods daily, because they all work in concert and in so many wonderful ways, to bring us good health.

- Ron Weiss, M.D.