A new report aims to show the history and positive impact mushrooms can have on human health and the environment.

Trade body The UK and Ireland Mushroom Producers has released '‘Mushrooming’ the future of Mushrooms for Immunity: People and Planet', which reveals that what we know as mushrooms today is just a small part of organisms that are working behind the scenes to perform invaluable tasks for humans and the planet.

The report sets out the ancient history of the mushroom to recent discoveries during Covid-19 times of the benefits of fungi and their role in delivering immunity for people and the planet. It includes five predictions for how mushrooms will be used for the immunity of humans, to help save the planet, and how human mushroom consumption could look in five years.

Spokesman Noel Hegarty explained: “Although mushrooms can be traced back 500 million years, now more than ever, they have a key role to play in helping people live healthier lives and to protect our immunity.

“Mycelium is Earth’s natural regenerator. We believe a deeper understanding of this natural material has the potential to profoundly impact the future of our health and our planet's.”

The report reveals how some people believe we owe our past and future existence on Earth to fungi, and scientist Paul Stamets even suggests humans are derived from mycelium.

Mushrooms can help with everything from weight management and oral health to reducing the risk of developing cancer, managing cholesterol levels, and ensuring immune systems are in the best possible shape, the trade body said.

The full report is due to be published