The humble mushroom is fast becoming a wellness trend after years of hiding from the spotlight. In years gone by, mushrooms weren’t considered, in the western world, to be particularly “healthy” as such, although many cooks and chefs have long harnessed the great flavours they can add to dishes. Treated more of an “extra” rather than the star of the show, mushrooms are without a doubt one of the most underrated, medicinal superfoods.
If you look at Traditional Chinese Medicine, mushrooms and other fungi have been utilised for their medicinal properties for thousands of years. In Eastern culture, mushrooms (the non-poisonous variety) have long been thought to provide cleansing, detoxifying and healing benefits to the body. It is believed that the colour of a mushroom indicates which body part it is beneficial for, with red being the heart, black being the kidneys and green being the liver and gallbladder. An ingredient featured in many dishes, mushrooms are an important component of a typical eastern diet and are praised for boosting overall wellbeing and longevity.
Not just a buffer for vegan recipes, we’re now realising the amazing health benefits the mighty shroom has to offer. From warding off illness to managing stress, we’re taking a look at some different varieties of mushrooms and why you should eat more of them!
High in antioxidants and Vitamins B and C, Maitake is highly regarded for regulating and supporting the immune system, making it a perfect choice as we enter the colder months of the year.
If you suffer from a sluggish digestive system, it could be worth incorporating Chaga into your diet. It helps to stimulate bile flow, which is important for breaking down fat and it can also reduce inflammation in the digestive tract.
Reishi is a powerful adaptogen which makes it an ideal choice for helping your body adapt to stress. As well as supporting immunity, Reishi is often used to help promote sleep and relaxation.
If the increasingly darker days are zapping your energy, try supplementing Cordyceps to help boost your energy levels. A study where participants were given 3 grams of Cordyceps a day for 6 weeks showed an overall improvement on VO2 max levels, making this a great shroom for fitness lovers.
Inflammation is often thought to be the route cause of many illnesses and chronic health conditions and a mushroom that could aid in reducing inflammation is Lion’s Mane due to its powerful antioxidant compounds.