Mushroom powder: the benefits and our top recommendations.
Psilocybin mushrooms are no longer the most important mushroom in town. A new(ish) wellness product has arrived: medical mushroom powders. However, the world of remedial fungus, like other holistic cures and supplements, might be a vague one, genuine claims are sometimes mixed in with ambiguous health claims such as “superfood,” “adaptogen,” and “nootropic.”
Is it really possible to live a healthy lifestyle without taking supplements? We took a look at the science of mycology and microbiology to verify some of the wild health claims made by these functional mushroom powders. The conclusions we reached are… nuanced.
Functional mushroom powders are widely available, and companies that sell them will gladly take your money, but they won’t give you any assurances about actual outcomes. The mushroom powder market is expected to rise from $42 billion in 2016 to $62 billion by 2023, according to one report. Google searches for “mushroom powder” have risen steadily in recent years.
The best part about this growing trend is that it’s to the benefit of anyone that’s curious and willing to give these functional mushroom powder’s a try. These mushrooms and their benefits are backed by science, which as most people know if you’ve been into health and nutrition, not many supplements are backed by much of anything nowadays.
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What Is Mushroom Powder?
The most popular forms of mushroom powder can be capsuled, in teas or mushroom coffees. There are a few methods for making mushroom powder. They’re frequently “hot water extracted,” which means they’ve been dried, soaked in hot water or alcohol, and then sprayed onto a surface to dry into powder.
Mushroom supplements often contain various mushrooms for purportedly different uses:
Reishi: This mushroom is inedible unless dried and powdered. It’s native to Asia, but it can also be found in Europe and the northeastern United States. Reishi has a dull, dark red sheen to it and an earthy, bitter flavor.
Lion’s mane: In its natural state, this mushroom is edible. It can be found in the United States, Europe, and Asia. It has shaggy white fur-like characteristics and a crab meat flavor.
Turkey tail: This mushroom is edible in its natural state, but it’s best powdered and dried. It can be found all over the world and resembles layered, crenellated oyster shells. Color-wise, it may be brown or darker on the interior with a light-brown edge. It has a leathery texture and a mild earthiness to it
Chaga: The taste of this fungus is only palatable when dried and powdered. It can be found in Canada, Alaska, northern United States, and Europe. Chaga resembles a log that has been burned and scorched. It smells earthy with hints of vanilla.
Cordyceps: The cordyceps fungus is edible in its raw, powdered, or extract form. It’s found in Nepal, China, Japan, Bhutan, Korea, Vietnam, and Thailand. Cordyceps resembles thin orange tentacle-like fingers and has a nutty flavor with a hint of mildness.
Mushroom powder can be taken in capsule form or combined into various beverages and meals, which taste great. You may spoon some into a blender with smoothie or protein shake ingredients, for example, or add it to a latte. Some individuals go even further by using it in their recipes. Anyone for a Cream of Mushroom Supplement Soup? There are online recipes for “paleo bites” using mushrooms, mushroom powder broths, and medicinal mushroom granola.
Why not simply prepare and consume these mushrooms in a meal or eating them raw? The majority of the mushroom strains advertised as “curative” won’t be available on your typical grocery store, and they don’t taste good on their own. Remember, too, that even mushrooms you commonly buy in the store, like white button mushrooms offer a variety of nutritional advantages, such as fiber, B-vitamins, and vitamin D (but only if they are produced under sunlight or U.V. light). But these functional mushrooms go far beyond nutritional benefits.
Mushroom Powder Benefits:
Here are some of the health benefits claimed by users, and some studies, from functional mushroom powder supplements:
1. Improved Digestion
2. Boosted Immunity
3. Increased Energy Levels
4. Enhanced Brain Function
5. Decreased Inflammation
6. Reduced stress and anxiety levels
7. better sleep quality
8. improved joint health
There’s some evidence that mushrooms have an impact on animals. Polysaccharides are a kind of compound obtained from the fungus Ganoderma lucidum (reishi). Mushrooms have been shown to possess antineoplastic properties in mice and tumor cells in a laboratory setting. Fermented cordyceps have been proved to be anti-diabetic in rats. Chaga has anti-allergic and cognitive-enhancing effects in animal tests, although the evidence is preliminary. Lion’s mane mushroom chemicals have also been found to impact immune response processes in the body.
However, lab animals are not humans, and petri dish cells are not necessarily something you should make decisions based off of. So what does the data suggest about people who take these mushrooms? If you’re considering mushroom powder supplements, be sure to do your research and talk to your doctor first. Mushroom powder supplements are not for everyone, and there are potential side effects to be aware of. As with any supplement, it’s always best to err on the side of caution.
However, there are a few human studies that suggest the health advantages of compounds found in some mushrooms – enough to merit their usage in cancer therapy. For example, in Japan, shiitake extracts are used to treat certain cancers because of their ability to modulate the immune system. Polysaccharide K, a polysaccharide produced by Trametes versicolor mushrooms (also known as turkey tail), is used as part of a treatment for gastric cancer after chemotherapy.
Mushroom Powder Benefits For Your Skin
Mushroom powder is rich in antioxidants, which can help fight the signs of aging by protecting the skin from free radical damage. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause cell damage, leading to wrinkles, fine lines, and other age-related skin concerns. Antioxidants work to neutralize free radicals, preventing them from causing cellular damage.
Mushroom powder also contains selenium, a mineral that is essential for healthy skin. Selenium helps to protect the skin from sun damage and can also help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Mushroom powder is also a good source of copper, another mineral that is essential for healthy skin.
Mushroom Powder Uses
It can be added to smoothies, soups, and sauces for an extra nutritional boost. It can also be used as a natural flavoring agent in recipes.
Mushroom powder can also be taken as a dietary supplement. Mushroom supplements are available in capsules, tablets, and powders. Mushroom powder can also be purchased in bulk from online retailers.
When purchasing mushroom powder, be sure to purchase from a reputable source. Powders should be stored in a cool, dark place. They can last up to two years when stored properly.
Where to Buy Mushroom Powder
Here are a few of the best companies making the highest quality organic mushroom powders on the market today.
Real Mushrooms Organic Mushroom Powders
Real Mushrooms is a Canadian company that offers a wide variety of organic mushroom powders. All of their products are certified organic, non-GMO, and gluten-free. Their powders are also third-party lab tested for quality and purity. Click the banner to checkout their selection.
FreshCap Organic Mushroom Powder
FreshCap is an American company that specializes in organic mushroom powder supplements. Their powders are certified organic, non-GMO, and gluten-free. FreshCap products are also third-party lab tested for quality and purity. Click the banner to checkout their selection.
Potential Side Effects
Mushroom powder is generally considered safe for most people. However, the powders can cause some side effects in some people. These side effects can include digestive upset, headaches, and allergic reactions.
It can also interfere with certain medications. If you are taking any medication, be sure to talk to your doctor before taking any new supplement. These functional fungi powders can also interact with certain medical conditions. If you have a medical condition, be sure to talk to your doctor before taking mushroom powder.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid taking mushroom powder until you have discussed this with your doctor.