When someone says mushroom, you would usually image the white button, or maybe a portobello if you’re being imaginative, but what about Medicinal Mushrooms?
Medicinal Mushrooms are fungi which may produce medically active compounds and contain components which could be beneficial to your health if consumed wisely. Here at the Garden we use Reishi and Chaga mushroom in some of our signature drinks and snacks.
Reishi Mushroom has a red, kidney shaped appearance and grows in various hot and humid locations in Asia. For many years it has been considered a staple in eastern medicine and contains certain molecules which could be responsible for its health benefits.
Chaga Mushroom grows on birch trees in colder climates across the northern hemisphere. It has a resemblance to burnt charcoal; being mostly black on the outside, however has a yellowy orange centre. As well as Reishi, Chaga is too believed to promote good health.
All mushrooms contain beta glucans, which are types of fibre found in the cells of certain foods, including fungi, which could help to fight inflammation and support the immune system.
Chaga mushroom contains antioxidants which may contribute to lowering oxidative stress. It is rich in vitamins and minerals, helping to fuel our body with what it needs to thrive.
Consuming Reishi mushroom could work to support immune function though the effect it has on our white blood cells. It also contains adaptogens which could boost energy levels and support hormonal health too!
The above are just some of the reasons why Medicinal Mushrooms have always had a place on our menu here at The Garden. We add these superfood powders to our Witches Brew latte and I am Well hot tonic, for an extra dose of goodness to these already nutritious drinks!
So what if you want to use them at home?
Medicinal Mushroom powders do not taste pleasant if you were to consume them alone. Using them as an ingredient to make teas, drinks or snacks is an easy way to add some extra nutrients into your day. Although it is perfect being able to get your superfood fix here at the Garden, below are some DIY tips and ideas to explore and use in your own kitchen.
- Put it in a smoothie
Blending 1tsp of Mushroom mix with your smoothie could provide a natural (caffeine free) energy boost as well as the opportunity to reap the nutritional superfood benefits.
- Add it to your pancakes
Add 1tsp of Mushroom powder to your pancake batter before cooking for an extra dose of fibre to your usual morning recipe.
- Stir it into a hot chocolate
Have a break from a stressful day! Add a small amount of Reishi or Chaga mushroom powder to a warming hot chocolate and relax.
- Use it in your protein balls
Protein balls are an easy (and tasty) way to add new, healthy ingredients into your diet. Containing anti-inflammatory properties and with the potential to reduce stress - a portion of mushroom powder could work as a winning addition!
When trying to get your hands on a good quality Medicinal Mushroom powder, it is important to consider a few things.
Check the label to be sure no added sugar, colourings or preservatives are present. The ingredients should read 100% of the superfood mushroom chosen.
Be sure to take the portion advice provided on the packaging. When introducing any new superfood it is best to start with a smaller portion – you don’t need mountains of the stuff to reap the benefits.
Some Medicinal Mushroom powders can be quite expensive, however, it could be worth forking out - the higher the price, generally, the better the quality.
Here at The Garden we find some of our favourite superfoods online. ‘Raw Living’ never let us down with their top quality selection and ‘Hybrid Herbs'' range is worth checking out too; often offering great discounts!
When choosing a superfood it is all about doing your research. ‘Do I need it?’ ‘Is it safe for my body?’ ‘What are the benefits?’ Have a browse; compare prices and check the ingredients. Consider what would be best for you.
Filled with antioxidants and with the potential to help fight stress, Medicinal Mushrooms can be a great addition to a healthy, balanced diet. Why not swing by the Garden this week while the sun is still shining – we have an iced Witches Brew latte with your name on it!
Tune in to next month’s Spotlight on Superfoods focusing on the benefits of Ashwagandha!
As a holistic Health Coach, Anna can support you to feel your best and help to guide you through the diet and lifestyle changes you would like to make. You will work together to create a unique wellness programme which is personalised to your individual needs and area of desired focus.
For further enquires feel free to email Anna firstname.lastname@example.org or message her directly on Instagram @wellnesswithannawhyte