Author Core Culture™ / Category: Health & Wellness / Published: April 4, 2022
You may be well aware of the importance of fiber for health, but it's not quite as simple as stocking up on high-fiber cereals or powders. From a nutritional standpoint, fiber isn't actually a singular nutrient. Rather, all fibers are types of carbohydrates, and there are several different varieties. Each of these can play a distinct role in your wellness, including one essential variety known as beta-glucans.
What Is Beta-Glucan?
Beta-glucan is a type of polysaccharide (carbohydrate) that is made up of a string of glucose (sugar) molecules that are linked together. They are naturally found in many plants, bacteria, and certain foods, including cereal grains, mushrooms, and baker's yeast.
Grain-based beta-glucans tend to be soluble fibers, whereas beta-glucans from mushrooms, yeast, and bacteria are usually insoluble fibers.
What Do Beta-Glucans Do and How Does Beta-Glucan Work?
In Eastern medicine, beta-glucans in mushrooms have long been used for their healing and immunostimulating properties. Like many of the herbal and plant-based remedies that are staples of natural practitioners, beta-glucans are now gaining significant traction in modern-day science.
A 2019 scientific review noted that beta-glucans are part of a special group of fibers that are biologically active, which is a key characteristic that contributes to their potent health benefits. Even more exciting, researchers have suggested that beta-glucan may provide valuable support to the human immune system, and may also be able to help kill cancer cells. At present, beta-glucan is being explored as a possible component of effective cancer treatment.
Beta-glucans are considered biological response modifiers (BRM), or immunomodulators. BRMs are a class of substances that are able to target the various mechanisms that cause disease.
So, how do beta-glucans work? Ultimately, the answer to that question largely depends on which of the health benefits of beta-glucan you're discussing. Let's take a closer look at those beneficial effects and how beta-glucans work to support wellness.
What are the Benefits of Beta-Glucans?
A rapidly growing variety of studies are highlighting beta-glucan benefits and positive effects, discovering ways in which beta-glucan can support many different aspects of physical wellness, including serving as a safeguard against chronic disease. The array of health benefits that are available via beta-glucans makes them an essential nutritional element, regardless of your age, health, or goals.
Support the Immune System
Beta-glucans are antioxidant immunomodulators that boost immunity by activating important cellular responses of immune cells. Researchers believe that how beta-glucans work to support immune functions is directly related to the ways in which they interact with receptors located on the cell wall and surfaces.
Beta-glucans have also shown signs of being anticarcinogenic, helping to prevent the development of cancer by protecting the body from dangerous carcinogens. Furthermore, beta-glucan can help slow the growth of tumors.
Lower Cholesterol and Enhance Heart Health
Hypertension (high blood pressure) and high cholesterol are among the biggest contributors to serious illness and death. With elevated blood pressure, you are at a higher risk of developing many life-changing conditions, including the risk of stroke, cardiovascular disease, or renal diseases. Beta-glucans, and other soluble dietary fibers, have been found to safely reduce blood pressure and have a cholesterol-lowering effect. Also, because beta-glucans can reduce insulin sensitivity and combat obesity, they can be an excellent way to support better overall heart health.
Improve Gut Health
Beta-glucans are fermentable, meaning that they can help support the growth of healthy gut bacteria, or microflora in the gastrointestinal tract. Compared to other oat-sourced fibers, oat b-glucan actually produced the maximum growth rate of good bacteria in the gut.
Chronic inflammation is connected to a long list of health conditions, ranging from rheumatoid arthritis to stroke. However, beta-glucans may be an effective means for decreasing the body's inflammatory response. This could mean that beta-glucans may be able to help restore the body's natural balance after a period of extended inflammation.
Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
Insulin responses and sensitivity can occur in both individuals with diabetes and those without the condition, making it highly beneficial to have a reliable way to help regulate blood sugar and blood glucose levels. Beta-glucan is part of a group of soluble fibers that have been shown to be effective in regulating these responses. For healthy individuals, those with type-2 diabetes, and individuals with high cholesterol alike, beta-glucans helped regulate blood sugar levels. In other words, it eliminated the dreaded sugar rush and "crash" that so many people experience on a daily basis.
Lower Risk of Obesity
There is a considerable amount of published evidence that shows that dietary fibers play a valuable role in reducing the risk of obesity and metabolic syndromes. Beta-glucans in particular have been noted as a readily available soluble fiber that serves a beneficial role in insulin resistance, obesity, and hypertension.
What Are the Best Sources of Beta-Glucans?
Now, the next question is: how do you make sure you're getting enough beta-glucans?
First, make sure your daily diet includes a variety of high-fiber foods. Foods that are high in beta-glucans include:
- Oats (Oat Beta-Glucans)
- Whole grains
- Barley (Barley Beta-Glucans)
- Baker's yeast
- Mushrooms (shiitake, reishi, and maitake in particular)
How to Add More Beta-Glucans to Your Diet
In addition to enriching your diet with foods such as mushrooms, oats, and whole grains, you can look for ways to combine multiple sources of beta-glucans for optimal effects (hint: we've formulated the perfect option!).
For many people, the best way to add beta-glucans to a daily diet is to turn to a high-quality beta-glucan supplement.
Support Your Wellness Goals with a Top-Quality Beta-Glucan Supplement
When you look at the ample evidence supporting the benefits of beta-glucan, it's easy to see why many wellness experts consider it a foundational component of their supplements regimen. Even though there are several natural sources of beta-glucans, there's no question that easting enough beta-glucan-rich foods can be a challenge. Instead, simplify your routine with our advanced, nutrient-packed supplement, Shroom Boom.
Made with a 100% organic combination of six powerhouse mushroom variants, Shroom Boom delivers a generous amount of beta-glucans in a single service – plus tons of antioxidants and phytonutrients as well. All-natural, made in the U.S., and tested by trusted, third-party experts, this mushroom supplement makes it easy to get more beta-glucans on an daily basis.
Check out Shroom Boom and more Core Culture supplements and products to see all the ways we can help you kick your wellness into high gear today!
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