The magic of mushrooms has long been known, but the full nutritional potential of these small but mighty fungi are often underestimated. They have been used as a traditional medicine as well as a food for thousands of years.
Mushroom powders are simply dried mushrooms that have been pulverised into powder form, which still retains the vast majority of the vitamins and nutrients of whole mushrooms. In fact, the concentration of nutrients becomes denser. Here are just some of the amazing health benefits that mushroom powders may have to offer.
- They may have anti-inflammatory effects
Mushrooms are thought to contain compounds which stimulate the growth and activity of immune cells. This helps to protect the body against the formation and spread of malignant diseases including cancer. They also contain beta-glucans and polysaccharides, which may help to fight cancerous cells.
The extra support for the immune system also contributes to overall good health and helps to protect the body against viruses and infections.
- They may help to boost energy levels
Some varieties of mushrooms contain particularly high levels of B vitamins, which helps the body to convert nutrients into energy. Older people in particular tend to benefit from an increased intake of B vitamins because as we age, the body absorbs nutrients less efficiently.
Vegetarians and vegans may also benefit from vitamin B supplements, because milk, fish and dairy products are the main sources of the vitamin in a regular diet. Look out for powder blends that contain shiitake mushrooms, which are particularly rich in B vitamins.
- They may help to support cognitive function
Lion’s mane mushrooms have been used for centuries by ancient medicinal practitioners to improve mental clarity and performance. They are rich in antioxidants, which helps to protect the brain against oxidative stress that can trigger brain neuron loss. They are also considered to be a rich source of nootropic agents.
Nootropics are sometimes referred to as ‘smart drugs’ and they can be natural or synthetic. They are a key ingredient in treatments for mental health disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which causes people to be restless and have difficulty concentrating.
Natural nootropics may help to support short term memory and improve learning capacity. The other excellent advantage of Lion’s mane? It has a subtle malty flavour that blends very well with coffee. It’s even available in a specially formulated coffee blend that means you can enjoy a delicious morning brew while also helping to boost your brain power for the day.
- They may guard against stress and anxiety
Reishi mushrooms are considered to have an antidepressant effect and may help to ease the symptoms of stress and anxiety. This is thought to be because the mushrooms are rich in phenols and flavonoids that are natural stress busters.