If you’re not aware of the increasingly popular medicinal and adaptogenic mushrooms that have exploded on the wellness scene, a roster of healing mushrooms can be found in the form of coffee alternatives, gummies, tonic, elixir and smoothie supplements, chocolate, granola bars, and even jerky.
A Brief Rundown of the Most Vital Mushrooms and Their Health Benefits
Lion’s Mane – enhances memory, concentration and focus by supporting healthy tissue growth in the nervous system, with high neurotrophic properties that protect against cognitive decline.
Cordyceps – a rarer fungi that promotes sustained natural energy and endurance by increasing blood flow (dubbed the Viagra of the Himalayas).
Reishi – a great stress regulator that aids in balancing mood, improving sleep, and stimulating white blood cells’ activity to fight infection.
Shiitake – supports the cardiovascular and immune systems, protects against inflammation, and is a source of antiviral and antibacterial properties.
Turkey Tail – an adaptogenic, antimicrobial mushroom that is incredibly supportive of our gut microbiomes, containing prebiotics that nourish helpful gut bacteria for optimum digestion.
Chaga – a powerful antioxidant with high zinc levels that supports the liver and kidneys, clearing toxins and restoring white-blood cell production to boost immunity.
It’s been recommended when choosing your supplement, to look for “fruiting body” in the ingredients, signifying the actual mushroom cap and stem containing the highest amount of beta-glucans, as opposed to mycelium (the root). But that is debatable because it’s the root system that collects nutrients and releases enzymes. Here are three recommended products that do use the mushroom fruiting body:
Oh My Fungi Gummies come in three whole-fruit flavors for brain health, immunity, and sleep. $28 for a month supply. Available on omfg-gummies.com.
RYZE Mushroom Coffee is low in caffeine, high in six mushroom extracts, with a smooth nutty flavor. $30 for 30 servings. Available on ryzesuperfoods.com.
APOTHÉCARY You Dew You is a skin-restoring, anti-inflammatory supplement with chaga, cordyceps, and hibiscus to add to smoothies or tonics. apothekary.co
Take a deep dive into the world of beautiful fungi on fantasticfungi.com and watch the stunning, critically acclaimed documentary of the same name. Then link to the shopping page for everything mushrooms, including food, more adaptogenic products, gifts, and books, such as the Fantastic Fungi Community Cookbook, which has over one hundred mushroom-centric recipes, from appetizers and mains to desserts and drinks. Foraging in Springtime is an extensive blog post on the site that shines light on the origins and health benefits of mushrooms.