Are mushrooms better than health insurance? The outstanding benefits of three best-loved fungi.
Date Posted:3 July 2020
Mushrooms are pretty weird, when you think about it.
Neither plants nor animals, these in-betweener organisms display some mighty strange characteristics.
Over 75 species glow in the dark, others taste like fried chicken, the largest covers up to 3.4 square miles and is 2400 years old. Mushrooms can synthesise vitamin D, help break down plastics, alter our consciousness, or kill us in an instant.
But as weird as they are, mushrooms are equally as wonderful.
More and more health benefits (the same benefits as described in Chinese Medicine as early as 206BC) are being supported by scientific research, getting people around the world excited about the therapeutic potential of fungi.
Better than health insurance?
From destroying cancer cells to curbing ageing, supporting the cardiovascular system and reducing stress, revitalising the liver to healing damage to our very DNA, we see a daily dose of mushrooms kind of like health insurance (only tastier).
We have so many newbies (and newly returned) in the house that we wanted to share their key benefits - for every mushroom is a little different, but all work beautifully together. Gotta love that herbal synergy.
Meet these heavy-hitting health-bringing beauties.
Wondering where to start on your mushroom journey? Try Reishi - the Queen of Mushrooms.
Used in China and Japan for over 2000 years, it's awesome for:
✔ Reducing stress (a classic adaptogen)
✔ Improving sleep (small, regular doses may regulate sleep cycles)
✔ Building immunity (thanks to beta-glucans and unique polysaccharides)
✔ Promoting longevity (filled with powerful antioxidants)
TIP: It's slightly bitter flavour pairs well with coffee, cacao, bliss balls or in rich, slow-cooked dishes.
You might hear it referred to as 'Hen of the Woods', but this mushroom is no ordinary bird. Its delicious earthy flavour comes with extraordinary health benefits, including:
✔ Balanced blood sugar levels
✔ The potential to kill cancer cells
✔ Reduced cholesterol levels
✔ Enhanced immune function
✔ Cardiovascular support
TIP: With an earthy, savoury flavour, maitake is great steeped as a tea, added to all kinds of savoury dishes and incorporated into burger patties.
Shiitake is the second most popular mushroom in the world for a reason. Its texture is moreish, its flavour is meaty, and its whole-body health benefits have been recognised in Asia forever.
✔ Protects DNA (and may even heal damaged chromosomes)
✔ Reduces cholesterol and supports cardiovascular health
✔ Fights obesity
✔ Enhances immunity and may kill cancer cells
✔ Boosts energy and brain function
✔ Displays antimicrobial activity
TIP: Add powder to miso soup or broth, steep slices as a tea, and use liberally as a kitchen spice and flavour enhancer.
Even if mushrooms in stir-fry aren't your favourite thing, adding dried, powdered or sliced mushies discreetly to meals might be one of the smartest 'food hacks' out there. With their impressive spread of benefits for immunity, energy, longevity, and the omnipotent health challenges we modern humans face, mushrooms are a gift from the ancients to us. Get into them!