What is Shroom Powder and Why the Hype?

 

I saw a lot of adverts popping up, influencers on social media who seem to be drinking this magical potion that you can put into your morning coffee or lunch smoothie. I heard they come with many health benefits including anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-tumour, and even anti-cancerous properties. 

 

I decided to also venture onto the shroom journey and check it out. I recently tried my first shroom powder and along the way I did some research into the ingredients, what the powders are made of and what health benefits they bring… 

 

I was quite impressed with how much mushrooms and these newly invented shroom powders are a total hype. Here’s why…

 

What is Shroom Powder?

 

Shroom powder is a mixture or one single medicinal mushroom, pulverised and blended into a powder form. 

 

That’s it. Now, there are a lot of different brands and many different medical mushrooms that are mixed into a combination drink powder. There are 9 most common types of these mushrooms, and each one looks and smells different, with different health benefits to them:

 

Lion’s Mane – supports healthy brain function and can even aid with reducing tumours.

Reishi – strengthens the immune system and improves sleep. It’s been part of Eastern medicine and diet for centuries and is one of the most popular medicinal mushrooms. They can also help balance your body and mind by taking the edge off and enhancing your mood. They can also aid during menopause by controlling hot flushes.

Cordyceps – improves lung capacity and increases energy.

Chaga – boosts digestion and clears the skin. It is high in antioxidants, and supports immune function, liver and brain health.

Turkey Tail – supports mainly the function of your immune system.

Shiitake – supports immunity, liver function and the cardiovascular system.

Maidy – helps to regulate blood pressure and supports the immune system. 

Maitake – helps to fight tumors, stimulates the immune system and lowers blood sugars.

Poria – helps to fight anxiety, insomnia, cancer and even Alzheimer’s disease.

Another great ingredient that’s often found in some coffee mixes, is Ashwaganda – a root herb that helps with stress, anxiety and naturally balances hormones. So if you see this ingredient on any shroom coffees advertised, don’t be alarmed it’s perfectly safe and more importantly natural – therefore good for you mind, body + soul. 

 

Hoorah!

 

Why Should We Be Eating Medicinal Mushrooms?

 

The main benefit and I think the most appealing one to using mushrooms, is the fact that it has very few side effects associated with them. Therefore it’s no wonder why they were so widely used in Eastern Medicine to cure and prevent diseases. 

 

Of course nowadays the first port of call for most of us are drugs and antibiotics. Drugs can do amazing things to a human body that no herb ever could and they are often potent depending on their strength what they are used to cure.

 

However and a BIG BUT, very often, drugs will come with quite serious side effects – depending on the drug and its strength of course. 

 

For example, one of the more severe side effects of prednisone (treated for asthma, cancer and inflammatory bowel disease) includes: weight gain, headaches, fluid retention, muscle weakness, glaucoma, cataracts, moon face and growth retardation in children. 

 

These are just the physical side effects of the drug. They can also be psychiatric including: depression, insomnia, mood swings, personality changes and psychotic behaviour. 

 

Quite a list… And not a very appealing one.

 

I used the above drug prednisone just as an example to show side effects of drugs and how mushroom consumption compares as safe to taking prescribed drugs. Of course I am not suggesting you drop your drugs or prescription or any treatment to start eating mushrooms. 

 

I am simply demonstrating that mushrooms, if used in recommended doses, can prevent and support your immune system and come with no side effects. It’s pretty amazing…

 

Effects of Eating/Drinking Medicinal Mushrooms

 

The main thing to know with mushrooms, is that they work over time and if you consume them systematically. For example, if you are eating plant-based foods, juices and fruit and veg for 2-3 weeks, you’re likely to feel results and receive the nutritional benefits of the vitamins and nutrients of the diet. 

 

Whereas if you were to eat a healthy dinner once every fortnight, although your body would still get the nutrients from the veg, you wouldn’t get the whole benefit of the healthy diet because there might still be toxins from the fast foods your body is used to eating regularly.

 

Of course you do you (we’re not by any means discouraging you from any eating habits you have), but this would be the same with the medicinal mushrooms – a small dose in your smoothie, coffee, tea or milk each day, and your immune system would get stronger with each day you drink it.

 

If you took that dosage each day for a lifetime? You’re more likely to see the health benefits of it, and even stay clear of diseases. 

 

What is Mushroom Coffee? 

Mushroom coffee is essentially regular coffee (can be decaf too) mixed with mushroom powders such as Lion’s Mane, Chaga and any other type of medicinal mushroom. They add more nutrition to your coffee, each one with different minerals, vitamins and benefits for your body. 

Why are People Drinking Mushroom Coffee? 

 

If you’re one of those people that feel slightly jittery or if your digestion and acidity feels a little disrupted after drinking coffee, mushroom powder is awesome at neutralising that effect.

 

Your body still absorbs the caffeine so you feel energised, while through the mushroom powder you receive more nutrient benefits, without a mushroomy taste! 

 

People mainly drink mushroom coffee to boost their immune system, regain clarity in the mind and feel fully energised without feeling on the edge especially while under stress.

 

Does Mushroom Coffee Break a Fast? 

It depends whether your fast evolves around calorie intake, or anything that might be more filling than water. I have done my share of fasting, it can be great for the mind as well as for the body. Mainly for religious purposes however, I understand that some people might be concerned with whether this mushroom coffee is some form of cheating on your fasting… 

 

Let’s break it down by the amount of calories mushroom coffee and normal coffee have.

 

A homemade mushroom coffee will contain the following amount of calories: 

 

Chaga (5g / 1tsp) – 10.5 kcal

Lion’s mane (5g / 1tsp) – 1.2 kcal

Maca powder (5g / 1tsp) – 16.3 kcal

Coffee powder (5g / 1tsp) – 0 kcal

Coconut oil (if using) 2.5g / 1/2 tsp) – 22kcal 

Mushroom coffee with coconut oil – 50 kcal 

Mushroom coffee without coconut oil – 28 kcal 

As you can see, coffee powder itself, doesn’t have any calories. 

 

Whether mushroom coffee is acceptable on a fast or not, depends on whether your fast concentrates on nutritional value and intake of calories. If it does, you might want to stick to coffee granules alone. 

 

If your fast is strictly no food but you allow yourself tea, hot drinks and still want to get vitamins and nutritions into your day (great energy boost too) then mushroom coffee would be suitable while fasting. 

 

The above is a factual breakdown and in no way does it mean I am allowing you or telling you to drink mushroom coffee while fasting. Fasting might mean something else to everybody depending on your own beliefs and reasons behind your fast. 

 

Hopefully this helps with your decision-making process.

 

For example, as a Roman Catholic myself, I fast on certain days of the year including Christmas Eve. It’s a day of pretty strict fasting, but I would allow myself a mushroom coffee as the day is a long and tiring one in our family, and it would give me a great energy boost to keep me going for the hustle and festivities. 

 

Are Supermarket Mushrooms Nutritious?

 

They are super good for you! Most common mushrooms found in supermarkets which you may have bought recently are white closed cup, portobello, large flat mushroom and chestnut mushrooms. 

 

They’re full of the good stuff , vitamins such as B, D, Choline, Selenium, Fiber and packed with antioxidants, while low in calories.

 

If you’re a big fan of mushrooms, great! You can now be sure to include them in your diet even more often. 

 

If you’re not so keen (like Ben wasn’t for ages and now he loves them!) you can start by adding shroom powders – the taste disappears in the food while you get the nutritional benefits of this magic food. 

 

In Our Humble Conclusion

 

In conclusion, you should seriously eat more mushrooms. If you don’t like the taste, no problemo. Blend any of the above mushroom powders into your soup, coffee, hot chocolate or smoothie (or even cake mixture!) to receive the nutrients and health benefits of these magical fungi’s. 

 

Just remember to use it systematically and regularly to receive the full benefit!

 

Peace + love 

Aggie

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