One of the hottest wellness trends of 2021 has been adaptogen mushrooms, or “functional mushrooms.” These mighty mycelia have been around for millennia, used in traditional Chinese medicine and other ancient herbalist practices. But they are seeing a sharp uptick in popularity now – as people increasingly turn to the natural world for health and wellness support.
But how exactly do you drink a mushroom? It may sound strange at first, but don’t worry. In this post, let’s look at three ways to enjoy functional mushrooms throughout your day: in the morning, at mid-day and night!
What Are Functional Mushrooms?
First, a quick definition before diving in: Functional mushrooms are fungi used to support overall health and wellbeing. They may be used to support immune health, improve focus and concentration, or manage stress responses. Currently, functional mushrooms are also being studied for their anticancer properties. They often contain abundant antioxidants, and nutrients like zinc, iron and various vitamins.
In this article, let’s focus on the three most popular functional mushrooms: lion’s mane, chaga and reishi mushrooms. You can get organic Lion’s Mane powder, chaga powder and reishi powder online – they come in already-dosed packets that are ready to add to the following ideas.
Morning: Wake up to an Energizing Lion’s Mane Coffee
Of the three mushrooms listed above, lion’s mane is known for its ability to help people energize and focus. So, it seems only natural to pair it with that other morning pick-me-up: coffee.
Add a three-gram packet of powder to your favourite type of coffee (a nice pour-over works well). Add some sweetener in the form of stevia, agave or maple syrup. And if you like your coffee creamy, add your favourite dairy or dairy alternative. The toasty, slightly sweet flavour of oat milk pairs particularly nicely with the earthy lion’s mane.
Mid-Day: Get a Noon Boost with a Chaga Smoothie
Various cultures throughout history have turned to the chaga mushroom for immune support. Japanese inhabitants of Hokkaido used it, as did various Siberian cultures. According to CBC, chaga also has a long history of use in Canadian First Nations, where it’s referred to as “good medicine.”
To reap the potential immune system benefits of chaga, tip a three-gram packet (or a spoonful of bulk powder) into a blender along with other smoothie ingredients. The deep, earthy flavour of chaga pairs well with cocoa powder, bananas, various tree nuts and stone fruits.
Evening: Unwind with a Reishi Tea
A lot of people use reishi tea to unwind at the end of a long day. These mushrooms, whose use in traditional Chinese medicine dates back millennia, are prized for their ability to balance stress and calm the body and mind.
Try reishi all on its own, steeped in a mug of hot water. Alternately, mix three grams with your favourite tisane for a truly relaxing late-in-the-day experience.
If you’re looking to hop on 2021’s hottest wellness trends, try one of these ideas for functional mushrooms.