Have you experienced the magic of mushrooms?
Although commonly considered a non-starchy vegetable, mushrooms are fibrous, edible fungi that boast many nutritional benefits that support wellbeing. They are a rich source of important nutrients including vitamin Bs and D, selenium, phosphorus and potassium.
In recent years, mushrooms have undergone many different studies to investigate their medicinal properties, with research showing links to boosting brain health such as fighting free radicals that cause cellular damage and reducing the risk of cognitive degeneration, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Among these benefits, mushrooms are very low in calories and are a rich source of dietary fibre - factors which assist in reducing caloric intake and weight management. And did we mention they taste awesome?!
Here are some of our recommendations for mushrooms you can consume to boost your wellbeing!
Prized for their rich, savoury taste and dense nutrient profile, shiitake mushrooms are an excellent source of fibre, B-vitamins and essential minerals.
Native to the mountain regions of Japan, Korea, and China, this species of mushroom has a long history of use throughout East Asia. Cultivation first began around 1000 years ago in China, although it has been gathered from fallen logs for use in food and traditional medicine for much longer.
Various studies have shown that regular consumption of shiitake mushrooms decreases bodily inflammation and boosts immunity, while high concentrations of sterols and beta-glucans may help lower blood sugar levels, and fight high cholesterol.
Containing nearly all of the same amino acids as their meaty counterparts, shiitake mushrooms are a popular choice as a plant-based meat substitute.
With a long history in Eastern medicine, these large, shiny mushrooms have been said to promote long-term health and longevity by strengthening heart function, increasing memory and detoxifying the body.
While not all of these traditional uses are backed by modern science, some studies have shown that the 400 different nutrients contained in reishi mushrooms can have substantial benefits on our health. These include compounds such as beta-glucans and triterpenoids, which benefit heart health by lowering blood pressure levels.
Some studies have also shown that reishi mushrooms can reduce risks associated with chronic disease due to their high antioxidant activity, which protects the body from cell damage. Ongoing research seeks to discover if the mushrooms improve the production and function of white blood cells in the body.
3. Lion’s mane
Found growing on the trunks of dead hardwood trees, it’s suggested that lion’s mane improves the development, function and protection of nerves in its long history of use in Eastern medicine.
Lion’s mane is used as a supplement for improving mood, anxiety, concentration and memory, and it’s also said to be beneficial to the lining of the stomach.
Mushrooms are the only item in the produce aisle that feature immune-supporting vitamin D, and maitakes are loaded with the essential nutrient.
Offering nearly a full day’s recommended vitamin D dosage in a 1 cup diced serving, maitake is a hearty mushroom that has a broad range of benefits, from strengthening bones to boosting immunity. They even contain protein polysaccharides that are documented to have anti-tumour properties!
Referred to as ‘Hen-of-the-Woods’ for its distinctive shape that looks like a fanned hen’s tail, maitake grows at the base of hard and softwood trees, growing up to 3 feet wide, and weighing as much as 20kg!
Cordyceps has long been a traditional treatment in Eastern medicine, having been used for hundreds if not thousands of years by the Tibetan and Bhutan people. Supposedly, ancient farmers began consuming the fungus as a tea after noticing that their Yaks that consumed the Mushrooms could more easily climb to higher altitudes.
In modern times, cordyceps are supplemented by high-performance athletes to delay the onset of fatigue and improve endurance.
BONUS - CMBT Octane
Containing a scientifically proven blend of six adaptogenic mushrooms that boost physical power, oxygen utilisation, work capacity, and decrease lactic build-up, CMBT Octane is the ultimate all-in-one BCAA and hydration formula that helps you train or compete longer and maximise your output.
Used by the world’s best athletes, CMBT Octane can also be used as a means to attain optimal hydration, giving a boost of mental clarity, increasing immunity and overall wellness and helping to bridge any nutritional gaps you might have in your diet.