The latest superfood to arrive on the cool LA cafe scene is, unexpectedly, the humble mushroom. Following in the footsteps of chai, matcha, and turmeric, mushroom lattes are the latest fungi phenomenon you should be ordering to keep your Instagram feed on-trend, and health supercharged.
Unsure about the ‘shroom? With their immune-boosting, brain-bolstering, mood-enhancing benefits, along with their antioxidant-rich properties, medicinal mushrooms could be the turbo-shot you need to pep you up, make you laser-focused, and help to protect against compromising health concerns like inflammation, stress, and cancer.
As we all explore a more holistic approach to healing and wellbeing, it wasn’t long before the fungi family, used for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine, would make its way into our coffees. Taken in powder or supplement form (they’re not meant to be eaten raw, or whole), you can sprinkle some in your smoothie, coffee, or morning oatmeal for an immunity boost. To harness their healing power, you need to know what you’re looking for. Here we’ve dug into the six medicinal mushrooms you should know to supercharge your health.
Uplift your mood with Reishi. If there was a mushroom that all of the other mushrooms were jealous of, it would be this one. As well as aiding weight loss, fighting cancer cells and keeping your immune system in check, Reishi is known for its zen-inducing effects to help you relax and stay calm. It contains a key compound, triterpene, that alleviates anxiety, eases depression, and encourages a better night’s sleep. Pair with a rich dark chocolate dessert or hot cocoa for an instant mood-lifter!
If you need to fire up your energy, ideal for pre-workout or as a libido-booster, turn tofatigue-fightingcordyceps. It stimulates blood flow to push oxygen around the body more effectively,revvingyouupin all the right places, ideal for those with a low sex drive. As well as enhancing athletic performance and exercise to keep you going for longer, it can also aid muscle recovery afterwards.This is one to turn to if you’re struggling to get going, or didn’t get enough sleep!
To protect your body and skin against aging and getting sick, Chaga should be your new sidekick. As an antioxidant powerhouse, Chaga reduces inflammation and fights harmful free radicals. Many serious health conditions like depression, heart disease, and cancer, come from inflammation in the body, hence why it’s key to keep it to a minimum. Oxidative stress is another reaction that happens inside our body that we can’t see until we develop illness or disease. Free radicals, that are exasperated by pollution, blue lightfrom digital screens, alcohol, smoking, and chemical exposure, cause the physical signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles, and sagging and dull skin. Studies showthat Chagacould prevent or slow the growth of cancer cells, and reduce cholesterol too.
Power-up and feel like a gladiator taking Lion’s Mane, not least for its cool name – coined for its wild, shaggy look that resembles one – but the mental clarity it offers. In the short term, it can alleviate brain fog, but it also protects your long-term brain health – its ability to balance compounds NFG and myelin can work wonders to protect from neurological brain disorders like multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s. Feel sharper and more switched on with improved concentration, laser-focus, and reduced irritability.
You might be adding this tasty ingredient to your favorite recipes already, and its heart-healthy properties make it one you want to hold on to. Shiitake inhibits the absorption and production of harmful cholesterol in the liver, contains phytonutrients that prevent plaque build-up (that can block your arteries and restrict blood flow to your heart), and boost circulation and blood flow around your body to ensure it's getting the right nutrients, vitamins, and minerals it needs to be working at its best!
As adaptogens, maitake mushrooms are said to increase your health, vitality, and longevity.It can boost overall immunity and has been shown to fight cancer cells and other serious health conditions.Maitake has earned itself a few nicknames including ‘hen-of-the-woods', andits name means ‘dancing mushroom’.Feel better for longer with a little bit of maitake every day!
To ‘shroom or not to ‘shroom...
While they’ve been used for centuries in natural healing as adaptogens to reduce stress on the body, medicinal mushrooms are still beingstudiedand are considered alternativehealing. With a little research and exploration, you can find the best fungi partner for your nutrition and wellness rituals to give your mind and body amushroom boost!