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Food & Drink

The Amazing Health Benefits of Mushrooms and What I Personally Consume

Mushrooms have an estimate of 140,000 species on earth, among which there are only 14,000 known species, mushrooms are a type of fungi that I have come to find fascinating and have chosen to incorporate into my daily diet.

Despite their large quantity of species, only 10% of the known species are safe for human consumption. The good news though, is that the mushrooms that we are able to consume contain many nutrients such as B Vitamins, protein, minerals, and a wide range of novel compounds not found in other foods that are beneficial to our health.

Some mushrooms that are safe for human consumption are as follows;

  • Lions Mane
  • Shiitake
  • Enoki
  • Pearl
  • Oyster
  • Turkey Tail
  • Reishi
  • Cordyceps
  • Chaga
  • Maitaki
  • Tremella
  • Porcini
  • Pioppino

Which mushrooms do I consume personally?

1. Lions Mane

Lions mane mushrooms have been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years and have been proven to have beneficial effects on the body, especially the brain, heart, and gut, however it also has many great benefits on our nerve health, immune system, memory, and general organ functions.

I purchase mine in powdered form online and mix this in with my morning smoothie, however there are other alternatives to consuming lions mane and some people even like to make a lions mane tea! 

2. Reishi

Reishi comes in at the top of the list as the number one selling nutraceutical mushroom species worldwide. Tradition Chinese medicine considered reishi to be a spiritual herb due to its ability to enhance the bodies ability to adapt to stress as well as offering many other great supports to our health such as promoting energy and stamina, liver, heart, and kidney health, a good immune system, healthy sleep, cardiovascular functioning, and its ability to reduce inflammation.

I purchase mine in powdered form online and mix this in with my morning smoothie.

3. Shiitake

Along with a delicious savoury taste shiitake mushrooms offer a diverse range of health benefits such as supporting our immune system, cardiovascular system, blood vessels, and optimal liver function.

I am lucky enough to have shiitake mushrooms sold at my local fruits and vegetable market which makes it easy enough for me to consume them my favourite way by sautéing them with a little bit of garlic and onion, however there are many different ways you can consume shiitake mushrooms if you cannot access them fresh, such as capsule form or powdered form which can be purchased online. 

4. Oyster 

Oyster mushrooms have the ability to thrive in most climates and have many amazing benefits to our health such as boosting the immune system, lowering blood sugar and blood pressure, as well as being antiviral and  anti-inflammatory. Recent research has now established that the oyster mushroom is also an effective medicine for its healing capabilities as compared to other medicinal mushrooms.

These are a little bit harder for me to get access to due to them not being available for purchase in my home town, however whenever I am travelling near a big city I stop off past an asian fruit market and can typically get my hands on some. I love sautéing them with a little bit of garlic. 

5. Enoki 

Enoki mushrooms have a very mild taste which makes them easy to consume. They hold many amazing health benefits such as boosting the immune system, lowering cholesterol, reducing body fat, lowering sugar levels, regulating digestion, as well as preventing allergies.

I purchase my enoki mushrooms at my local fruits and vegetable market. They remind me somewhat of noodles when cooked so I love stirring them up into a vegetable dish or some sort. 

What Mushrooms I Do Not Consume

It may come as a shock to some people that the most popular mushroom that goes by the name of portobello is on my list of mushrooms that I do not consume. My reason for this is simple and although I would like to offer you a larger explanation other than what I am about to give, the true reality is that my decision for choosing to not consume portobello mushrooms was influenced by a mushroom expert I truly respect and admire named Paul Stamets whom mentioned on an episode on Joe Rogans podcast that portobello mushrooms were not safe for people to be consuming.

In the interview he then goes on to decline continuing the conversation about portobello mushrooms and explains that continuing the conversation as it would put his life in danger. Personally for me that single statement from a mushroom expert with many years of experience under his belt was enough for me to make my decision to no longer consumer them. Whether his statement is true or not. I stand by my decision.

If you would like to watch this podcast episode you can watch it by clicking here

Tips:

How To Safely Consume Mushrooms

Although I am a big believer in the benefits of consuming raw foods, I do have exceptions to the rule. One of those exceptions being that I only consume mushrooms that have been heated or cooked due to the fact that mushrooms have tough cell walls that make them extremely difficult to digest if not cooked well and by heating them they release the nutrients that they contain.

Many experts believe that raw mushrooms may also pose multiple health hazards such as red blood cell damage, skin rashes, irritations and more, which for me has played a big role in my decision to only consume mushrooms that have been heated as recommended by the experts.

Do Your Research

Not all mushrooms are safe to be consumed by people, so it is very important that you do your research and ensure that you are only consuming mushrooms that are safe for people to ingest and that you personally feel comfortable with consuming.
Further Information:

https://fungi.com/blogs/articles/should-you-consume-raw-mushrooms

https://bebrainfit.com/lions-mane-mushroom-benefits-brain/

https://www.healthbenefitstimes.com/health-benefits-of-enoki-mushroom/

https://fungi.com/blogs/articles/the-nutritional-properties-of-mushrooms

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