What Are Medicinal Mushrooms?
Mushrooms have long been used for medicinal and food purposes and have recently come back into the spotlight. The nutritional content of mushrooms is very impressive. They have a high protein content (up to 45%) and contain fibre, vitamins, minerals and trace elements. Mushrooms are one of the best food sources to include in vegetarian and vegan diets for their protein content and B vitamins. They’re super easy to incorporate into your diet tasting delicious with almost anything (mushroom risotto anyone?!)
Now that we’ve covered the macronutrients, the functional and medicinal benefits of mushrooms are pretty astounding. To name a few, mushrooms have immune-stimulating b-glucans, they possess antioxidant activity, liver protection as well as anti-inflammatory activity, anti-diabetic activity, anti-viral activity and anti-microbial activity.
Would you believe it if we told you there are around 11,000 named species of mushrooms!? Of course not all of them are edible and some hold more beneficial properties than others. Before formulating our Shroom Brew we carried out extensive research to ensure we selected the best mushrooms for our brew. Some of the mushrooms we’ve included in our delicious Shroom Brew are; Chaga, Reishi and Lion’s Mane. Curious to find out why these amazing mushrooms made the cut? We’ve made it easy for you and condensed all the benefits and research in just 1 blog!
Chaga (Inonotus obliquus)
Chaga has traditionally been used to make tea, which was drunk to treat a range of conditions including viral and bacterial infections as well as gastro-intestinal disorders. It possesses strong antioxidant benefits, protecting against oxidative stress in the body due to the high phenolic compounds in the mushroom. Research has also shown that a polysaccharide (IOP) in Chaga induces changes in the gut microbiota promoting a healthy bacterial profile.
Reishi is known for its strong anti-inflammatory function and is tied to longevity, better immune function and mental clarity. Studies have shown Reishi acts as an immunomodulator (modifies the immune response and function) in inflammation induced by a high-cholesterol diet. It’s also been shown that the constituents of Reishi make it one of the important prebiotics used to increase the bacterial flora.
Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus)
Lion’s Mane is often called ‘smart mushroom’ as it provides support specifically for cognitive function, to improve memory, attention and creativity. In fact, it’s been reported that Buddhist monks have consumed Lion’s Mane tea for centuries before meditation to enhance their concentration. Lion’s Mane has the ability to stimulate synthesis of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF). This is a protein that plays a major role in the maintenance, survival and regeneration of neurons in both the central and peripheral nervous system. It’s the unique types of compounds in Lion’s Mane; hericenones and erinacines that are able to cross the blood-brain barrier and stimulate production of new neurons within the brain itself.
It’s no wonder that these ‘magical’ superfoods are taking the world by storm, and makes you look at mushrooms in a whole new light!
If you’re familiar with our enchanting functional latte range, you would have seen our most exciting new addition to our collection and most popular one; Shroom Brew.
Shroom Brew, as its name suggests contains a combination of medicinal mushrooms which work together synergistically. (We’ve also added in other beneficial goodies too, so be sure to check it out).
The greatest part about our Shroom Brew is that your body can reap all the benefits without the come down like you would get from caffeinated beverages.
Now that we’ve wowed you about all the amazing benefits this common pantry staple possesses, it is no wonder why nutritionists around the world can’t get enough of medicinal mushrooms.
Jayachandran 1, M, Xiao, J, Xu, B, ‘A critical Review on Health Promoting Benefits of Edible Mushrooms through Gut Microbiota’ 2017, International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Jiao-Jiao Z, et al, ‘Bioactivities and Health Benefitsof Mushrooms Mainly from China’, 2016, Molecules, 21(7), 938
Mori K, Inatomi S, Ouchi K, Azumi Y, Tuchida T. ‘Improving effects of the mushroom yamabushitake (hericium erinaceus) on mild cognitive impairment: A double blind placebo-controlled clinical trial’, 2009, Phytotherapy Research,23(3):367-72.