Hey legend! This is a long post.
To help you navigate here’s a clickable index to jump to the sections that interest you the most.
As you’ll soon find out mushrooms can be the gateway to the health you desire and DESERVE!
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That being said for the longest time, I hated mushrooms in all forms.
It began when I used to eat my Mom’s homemade beef stroganoff.
She would always keep the flat mushy alien things mixed in with her noodles and I would politely decline every time she suggested I try one.
One day a bought of bravery welled up inside me…
So I reached for my spoon, scooped up the odd brown piece, and slid it into my mouth. Of course, the surrounding broth helped mask the flavor but I could still taste the repulsive slimy and earthy texture.
Uh, no thanks! 😐
Thankfully my perspective completed shifted after hearing about the enormous variety of health benefits that mushrooms extol on both the brain and body.
So over the years, I decided to explore their potential use further and even experimented with mixing a powdered form into my coffee.
More on that later in this post. And no it doesn’t taste like mushrooms.
After 1.3 billion years mushrooms have taken over 25 % of the earth’s biomass (land)
And through our coexisted evolution together we actually share over 85 % of our Ribosomal RNA and over 50% of our DNA with them!
They are used in 40 % of pharmaceuticals including penicillin and anti-cholesterol medications.
Nevertheless, in the mainstream consciousness of society, mushrooms have been given a bad rep for causing all sorts of psychedelic out of body experiences.
These so-called “magic mushrooms” people are conjuring in their minds tend to be poisonous in nature which is the case for Amanita Muscaria the iconic red-capped mushroom with white spots sprinkled on top.
You may even see a gnome sitting on it if you’re lucky.
Ibotenic acid is a neurotoxin found in Amanita muscaria that turns into a psychoactive agent called muscimol if the mushroom is ingested.
Since Ibotenic acid and muscimol are structurally similar to glutamic acid (a neurotransmitter that helps nerve cells communicate with each other.
And also GABA ( a neurochemical that is produced in the brain during REM sleep, deep meditation, and calms nerves in the central nervous system) both often affect the brain the same way which some speculate to cause the psychedelic effects.
We won’t be talking about the hippy shrooms in this post my friend.
The mushrooms you’re about to discover will blow your mind for their incredible properties and I’ll bet that you won’t be able to contain your unbridled desire to start eating more of the good ones
Part 1 : WHAT IS A MUSHROOM?
Mushrooms are members of the fungi kingdom.
They are saprotrophs which is a fancy word meaning they obtain nutrients by consuming decaying and dead organisms.
Mushrooms can grow in scorching high-temperature environments in the desert, in space where the air pressure is extremely low, or underwater, and in subzero temperatures in places such as Antarctica.
And in nuclear radioactive wastelands like Chernobyl.
Wow right! 🤯
In fact, they have the remarkable ability to disintegrate synthetic pollutants such as the environmental menace pesticide DDT, which was originally used as an insecticide, as well as various forms of plastic and Sarin Gas: a chemical warfare tool of death.
Mushrooms are composed of 4 different parts.
When you imagine a mushroom what first comes to mind is the fruiting body.
This is the main section of the mushroom that visibly grows above ground.
The fruiting body is made of the stem where you would normally hold the mushroom.
And of course, the top which is called the cap.
For the majority of mushrooms, the entire fruiting body is edible or can be made edible through preparation which I’ll talk about shortly.
On the underside of the cap are the stoma, the pores, or some even say gills of the mushroom.
The stoma release spores which act as reproductive asexual units with the sole purpose of germinating and creating fresh new mushroom copies.
Fun Fact; Did you know that if you’re outside breathing in the fresh air or even inside your room you are breathing in up to ten spores!
No worries! They’re perfectly harmless.
Fruiting bodies usually produce thousands, even up to trillions of spores from the stoma every day!
We all know that diamonds are one of the hardest materials on earth.
Chitin is not far behind!
This is the wood-like substance that spores are made of.
Spores are actually the fastest live organism on earth!
Brace your mind for this…
It’s been estimated that mushrooms can explode spores into the air at a rate of 20,000 G’s of force.
Compare that to fighter pilots that regularly deal with a measly 5-9 G’s of force.
I’m no math wiz but that’s a massive difference!
When the spores are released into the air they develop into hyphae: tube-shaped underground strands that form into a web.
This web of hyphae becomes mycelium, the root system of the shroom.
Mushrooms greatly benefit the environment.
How so you ask?
It all starts as the mycelium spreads out from the mushroom and intermingles with the root systems of any plants and trees nearby. Then it absorbs water and nutrients from the environment and gives it back to those plants.
At the same time, the mycelium release enzymes to break down dying or dead plants.
Afterward, a new fruiting body is formed as the mushroom takes in these nutrients and the plants are turned into fresh, healthy soil.
Chiton is a part of a mycelial underground network. Mycelium has the astounding ability to communicate with plants through this weblike network.
So what does it chat about?
It warns plants of pathogens and unwanted intruders. It can also create its own defense system by releasing toxins.
The mycelium can tell plants where nutrients like phosphorus, nitrogen, and water are to help the plants and trees thrive.
Plants of different species can use this mycelial network to give nutrients to each other.
PART 2 : HOW TO FIND AND COOK MUSHROOMS
These days it’s easy peasy lemon squeezy to find mushrooms.
Chat with vendors at your local farmers market or see if there’s a mycological association in your town.
They will either point you to the right people or the right place where you can walk around and snatch mushrooms straight from the forest.
Talking with people that know their stuff in person is great because you’ll know whether or not you’re foraging for the right mushroom or a look-alike that has a similar physical appearance but could be dangerous.
Always look for mushrooms growing on trees and not from the ground.
Not only are they less likely to be poisonous, but they also will contain an increased amount of nutrients soaked up from the tree.
Most of the mushrooms discussed in this post grow directly on trees.
Remember this: The older the forest and the more isolated the climate the higher the probability is of finding quality mushrooms.
Keep in mind that mushrooms, coffee, beans, olive oil, and even nuts like walnuts have the possibility of containing mycotoxins. Especially black walnuts.
Myco means (fungi), so “fungi toxins”.
Consuming anything with mycotoxins, which are usually mingled into the food during shipping, can be lethal.
These toxins can induce kidney failure, candida, brain fog, neuro-degenerative effects, muscle aches, loss of energy, and on the extreme end of the spectrum: death.
To date, there have been over 400 different types of mycotoxins researched!
This is why it’s imperative that you source correctly.
Stay away from products with mysterious, confusing, and overall vague labels.
All mushrooms must be heated, cooked, and extracted in order for the antioxidants in the mushrooms to become bio-available and to prevent the chance of ingesting toxins.
Do not buy mushrooms if they don’t explicitly say they are extracted.
The #1 method of extraction used to make sure you are receiving the maximum health benefits of mushrooms is dual extraction.
This method is usually used for mushrooms such as chaga, turkey tail, and reishi that are more challenging to Sautee in a pan or ground finely into a powder.
To perform a dual extraction first you do an alcohol extraction which pulls out the fat-soluble compounds within the mushroom to make a tincture.
The next step is using hot water to pull out the water-soluble compounds of the mushroom by heating over low heat on a stove for several hours.
This is known as a decoction.
Ok, let’s backtrack.
Alcohol extraction is when you soak mushrooms in alcohol for several weeks to release the fat-soluble (easily absorbed when mixed with fat) compounds.
The fat-soluble compounds are not affected by simply using hot water.
It’s, for this reason, you must use alcohol to draw them out.
The decoction process of heating in hot water then draws out even more of the essential health properties from the mushroom.
A cool fact for ya: A fungi called saccharomyces is often used in the fermentation of beer and wine. Lacto-fermentation (when lactic acid and bacteria ferment together) is used to make sauerkraut, yogurt, kimchi, miso, and sourdough bread.
My personal favorite way to attain mushrooms, albeit in a ground-up form is through the Finnish company Four Sigmatic.
Four Sigmatic makes mushroom coffee, mushroom hot chocolate (very yummy), chai, matcha with mushroom, liquid mushroom shots for on-the-go power, protein powders with real vanilla/cocoa/peanut butter, skin creams, and body butter.
All of their mushroom powders are mixed with organic ingredients like cocoa powder, ginger, coconut palm sugar, coconut milk for a creamy taste, black pepper, and cinnamon.
Four Sigmatic was created by Tero Isokaupilla who’s definitely the most passionate fungi you will ever meet!
(FS uses this pun a lot and I think it’s rather clever 😄 )
Tero spent most of his childhood foraging around his family’s farm and the Finnish countryside for mushrooms as he grew to respect, appreciate and become the go-to expert on everything that’s shroomy.
Most of this post was written based on the knowledge in Tero’s book “Healing Mushrooms”
Tero’s book is an excellent resource to have on hand to refresh your knowledge on the 10 best functional mushrooms wherever you go! 😉
PART 3 : THE ASTOUNDING HEALTH PROPERTIES OF SHROOMS
Every mushroom on earth contains polysaccharides which are the most studied compounds for optimal human health.
Polysaccharides are water-soluble compounds that are found not only in mushrooms but also in whole grains and legumes.
They are naturally low glycemic and slow-burning, so they won’t spike your blood sugar and instead will provide an extended source of energy to fuel your body. Cells actually can’t communicate with each other effectively unless they are fueled by polysaccharides.
The most prevalent form of polysaccharides in mushrooms are beta-glucans.
Now, this is where it starts to get really cool…
Beta-glucans have the ability to fight off cancer. In order to combat cancerous cells that have invaded the body beta-glucans attach themselves to white blood cells, natural killer cells (NK), and macrophages.
Definition of macrophage according to Wikipedia : A type of white blood cell of the immune system that engulfs and digests cellular debris, foreign substances, microbes, cancer cells, and anything else that does not have the type of proteins specific to healthy body cells on its surface”
This binding together triggers an immune response in the body for various cells that specifically target cancer.
Beta-glucans also encourage the formation of immune stem cells in the bone marrow along with other white blood cells to produce anti-cancer molecules in the body.
Go figure that the best way for your body to obtain beta-glucans is through mushrooms (in an extracted form) because they are so bioavailable for us to use. The really neat part is that every mushroom has its own type of beta-glucans that have different healing benefits for the body.
Terpenoids (aka terpenes) are fat-soluble compounds found in mushrooms that have been studied extensively for their proven and effective anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.
Terpenoids trigger white blood cells to attack foreign pathogens and viruses but don’t allow them to multiply to an unnecessary amount which can cause inflammation. In this respect they are immunomodulatory (balance immune system response)
And they are adept at balancing hormone levels.
Terpenes can lower cholesterol buildup in the arteries, block the effect of histamine which causes seasonal allergies and lessen chronic inflammation at a cellular level.
Mushrooms are also highly adaptogenic in nature.
Adaptogens are naturally occurring substances that serve as protection against stress by regulating how different processes in the body function. In other words, they sense how the body is feeling at the time and adapt the behavior of the body in order to improve health.
Think of this as an immunomodulator for the whole body, not just for balancing the immune system.
Other types of adaptogens are found in:
- Holy basil
PART 4 : TOP FUNCTIONAL MUSHROOMS YOU SHOULD BE USING
We’ve seen the stereotypical button-shaped cremini mushrooms or the round portabella that vegans and paleo dieters alike switch out as the hamburger bun of choice.
But there’s truly so many other awesome types of mushrooms, big and small that work wonders for enhancing cognitive ability, preventing sickness, elevating physical performance, and assisting you with being your most optimized self!
Many of these you can’t find on your everyday grocery store shelf unless you’re shopping at whole foods or something.
The solution: Get ’em from Four Sigmatic
Let’s dive into these amazing shrooms!
Cordyceps (Ophiocordyceps Sinensis)
A quick glance at this mushroom and you’d think it was some kind of strange insect. That’s because cordyceps infect insects like caterpillars and moths. Then afterward decomposes their body and proceeds to grow right out of their corpse as it devours them from the inside out.
This creepy mushroom was used in the video game The Last Of Us.
The game takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where the protagonists defend themselves against humans that are being controlled by a parasitic form of cordyceps that literally ate out their brains and turned them into mindless puppets.
It reminds me of the flood from Halo. Ah, that brings back memories!
Gram for gram in its wild state cordyceps is one of the most expensive foods in the world costing more than silver or gold!
Ok, so how much we talk’n about? *said in mafia accent*
More than $20,000/pound! 😮
It’s been used for thousands of years first in Chinese medicine by the Tang Dynasty the by sherpas in the highlands of the Himalayas in Bhutan.
That’s 12,000 feet above sea level!
Cordyceps was discovered after the exhausted sherpas led their yaks across the mountains. Their yaks began grazing where cordyceps grew and suddenly their energy skyrocketed and they became quite shall we say…”frisky”
It’s no wonder Corcyceps is also cheekily known as “cordysex” because of a chemical found within called cordycepic acid and another chemical acid deoxyadenosine which helps to boost testosterone production and increase blood flow to all the right places just when you need it!
Cordycepic acid has also been shown to increase white blood cells and prevent the growth of tumors or shrink them entirely!
The beta-glucans (remember them) in cordyceps are unique in their ability to elevate ATP production. I mentioned ATP in this post but it’s worth sharing again because it’s an essential requirement for having sustained energy throughout your day.
ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) is a by-product of cellular energy created when your mitochondria (little powerhouse organelles in your cells) take in oxygen from the food you eat and the environment around you and mix it with glucose.
ATP is necessary for the contraction of muscles, negating fatigue during exercise, and to keep your heart beating.
Without your mitochondria and sufficient ATP, you would literally die in seconds because the body would not have adequate energy to sustain the functioning of whole-body processes.
A study published in sports & exercise journal tested 30 healthy individuals for 6 weeks to see the effects of cordyceps on performance.
The group that added cordyceps to the daily training regimen had twice the oxygen intake (VO2 Max) than the control group.
A similar study done with the same group showed a 9% increase in aerobic activity from taking cordyceps.
I highly recommend Shroom Tech Sport by Onnit.
Click the image above for your 100% Free Trial. It’s def worth it!
Lions Mane (Hericium Erinacceus)
Here’s 3 reasons why I ❤️ this mushroom!
- I’m a Leo 🦁
- The Latin name sounds like a Greek badass warrior.
- Lions Mane does wonders for my ADD and attention span along with focus and concentration.
This is where it truly sets itself apart and is magical for entrepreneurs that need to get sh*t done!
You can find this mushroom in dead or decaying hardwood trees in North America, Japan, China, and Europe as well as other parts of the world.
Lions Mane has the ability to regenerate and repair neurons by assisting with the creation of NGF proteins.
That’s right…all that glue smelling and permanent marker huffing when you were a kid may be reversed.
NGF means nerve growth factor. Nerve growth factors aid in maintaining the activity of neurons and growing new ones.
Here’s the thing…
Nerve growth factor proteins are too large to pass through the blood-brain barrier which is an internal pathway that protects the brain and central nervous system from foreign pathogens in the bloodstream.
If these ngf proteins can’t pass through the barrier new neurons can’t be produced and existing brain cells can’t survive for the long run.
This can lead to the development of neurological degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, dementia, or Parkinson’s.
So how can Lions Mane help you have more ngf if it’s too small to pass through?
Lion’s Mane stimulates the production of NGF from within the brain itself.
It does this through the combined effort of the super tiny compounds called erinacines which are super tiny and can pass through the blood-brain barrier and molecular compounds called hericenomes which incite the brain to make more ngf.
That’s where the kickass Latin name comes from.
A 2012 study undergone in Malaysia revealed that the consumption of lion’s mane could even regenerate damaged cells from peripheral nerve injury, which severs the tissue between the spinal cord and brain.
Then take some Lion’s Mane! Studies in mice have revealed that new brain cells were developed in their hippocampus, the area of the brain thought to be responsible for regulating memory and emotional responses.
Lion’s mane improves heart health through balancing cholesterol levels thus lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) and raising HDL while simultaneously improving circulation throughout the body.
It may also stop platelet aggregation and prevent atherosclerosis.
Followers of the paleo lifestyle rejoice! Lions Mane assists with reducing intestinal bleeding, gut permeability, and gastric ulcers.
In the same vein, Lions Mane has antibacterial effects that stop the spread of h.Pylori an extremely harmful gut-destroying pathogen.
Inflammation in fatty tissue was also shown to be reduced in patients administered Lions Mane during a 2015 study in Japan. Fatty tissue often leads to the formation of metabolic syndrome elevating the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
Research of rats given Lions Mane demonstrated that the numerous polysaccharides/beta-glucans inside could improve bone density and hinder the production of osteoclasts, which are cells that break down bone tissue.
Seems like it would be a great idea to add some Lion’s Mane to your bone broth! 😉
Chaga (Inotus Obliquus)
In its dual extracted form Chaga (aka Siberian Chaga) has an ORAC score of 113,003.
This makes it the most potent source of antioxidants available.
As in ANYWHERE on Earth!
Contrast this with blueberries that have an ORAC of 2,100. Acai berries have an ORAC of 18,500. And dark chocolate has an ORAC of 13,120.
ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) is a lab test that measures the antioxidant capability of certain foods to combat free radicals and prevent oxidative damage from occurring which can harm the body and accelerate aging as well as leading to a host of diseases like diabetes, vision problems, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s among many others.
If this made no sense let me explain what a free radical is.
Atoms in your body are enclosed by electrons that reside in layers called shells.
Every shell must have a specific amount of electrons. As the shell is filled, electrons will then fill the next shell.
Every so often an atom’s outer shell doesn’t fill up all the way with electrons so it compensates by pairing up with another atom and takes some of its electrons to fill its shell.
These selfish atoms are free radicals. They are unstable and easily react with other types of substances.
So when an oxygen molecule splits into atoms that have electrons that are unpaired they keep trying to bond with other atoms to take their electrons and the cycle continues until oxidative stress and damage start to occur in the body.
Thank you to Medical News Today for the info on free radicals.
Back to Chaga…
The first documented usage of Chaga dates back to seventeenth-century Russia. During this time it was used heavily in folk medicines to help cure gastrointestinal issues and cancer.
And during the second world war, Finnish people subbed Chaga for coffee because real coffee was scarce during the time and there was an enormous amount of Chaga growing in the forests of Finland ripe for snatching. This totally makes sense as Chaga has a similar earthy and bitter taste to coffee.
Present-day Finland is predicted to have between 4 to 10 million pounds of Chaga growing wild.
Betulin, a terpene in Chaga, has anticancer and antitumor properties. Betulinic acid is a substance derived from Betulin that is antiviral and anti-bacterial and is adaptogenic to assist with balancing the whole system.
Chaga can greatly benefit your skin thanks to the most natural source of SOD (Super Oxide Dismutase) melanin and Zinc contained within. Keep in mind that the more melanin you have means the less likely you are to have skin damage from the sun, free radical damage, and be affected by various toxins circulating in the air. SOD is a critical enzyme that helps fortify the skin as well.
More melanin also means healthier eyes and hair.
Chaga looks like a huge mass of burnt charcoal and some folks call it a conk because of its shape. It does not have a cap or a stem.
Look for birch-grown Chaga to make sure you are acquiring Chaga that has enough of these health elevating properties. This is important as it also grows on Maple and Ash trees in the Northern Hemisphere.
Reishi (Ganoderma Lucidum)
There must be some kind of crazy Japanese anime out there about mushrooms because Reishi, Maitake, and Shitake all hail from Japan. Kampai!
Reishi is known as the “Queen of Mushrooms”
Originally reserved only for royalty and the emperors of ancient China. It’s been depicted in ancient paintings as a bridge between heaven and earth. It’s also called the mushroom of immortality.
That may seem a bit much but this mushroom deserves reverence. In the original text by Shennong, the founder of chinese medicine, Reishi was ranked #1 out of 365 different healing plants and herbs.
Ganadermic acid is a form of terpene in Reishi that has been shown to help the liver function better, improve oxygen flow throughout the body, and ward off seasonal allergies by inhibiting the histamine response.
Sterols, another type of terpene lowers cholesterol because it stops the absorption of cholesterol in the body which therefore improves blood circulation and keeps your heart healthy and working at its best.
There are other chemical compounds in Reishi that lessen dermal oxidation.
This type of oxidative stress on the skin occurs when proteins in the skin are damaged which usually results in wrinkles and aging. eep skin young and free of blotches and wrinkles. So you can keep your skin looking supple, healthy, and free of nasty creases with Reishi!
Reishi is known for its ability to boost the immune system, relax the nervous system, and manage stress thanks to the adaptogens found within which simultaneously aid in supporting the endocrine and hormonal system in the body.
Just like other mushrooms, Reishi fights back against cancer, preventing tumor growth in cells. The beta-glucans in Reishi aid in stabilizing blood sugar and lowering blood pressure as well.
In a study of obese people, Reishi has been shown to curb the accumulation of fatty tissue and inflammation of the gut.
Reishi usually grows on decaying Eastern Hemlock trees with various colors ranging from red, purple and black.
The red kind has far higher polysaccharide content.
Shiitaki (Lentinula Edodes)
Since the Ming dynasty, the orients have dubbed Shiitake the “elixir of life”
Shiitake contains 7 out of the 9 essential amino acids necessary for optimal human health.
It’s also loaded with vitamin D, B-6 B-9, and B-12.
Digestion is aided thanks to the vast amounts of enzymes like amylase and cellulase.
Like reishi, it can assist with reducing cholesterol decreasing the hardening of the arteries while also protecting the liver.
Even more powerful is its ability like many other varieties of mushrooms to improve the immune system and battle infections.
This is largely due in part to a polysaccharide called Lentinan.
Incredibly lab testing in mice has shown that lentinan has the power to halt the growth of tumor cells and in humans prevents both HIV and liver disease.
Eritadine, a bioactive compound in Shiitake blocks the intake of cholesterol in the bloodstream (very similar to reishi)
It does this by blocking the growth of lipids in liver tissue.
Shiitake is an abundant source of Vitamin D as the sun’s ultraviolet rays convert the terpene sterols (again also in reishi) into Vitamin D2.
This mushroom is usually found growing on hardwood trees in China, Japan, Taiwan, and Indonesia.
Unfortunately, it’s also grown on sawdust and grain which is more likely to have mold.
So make sure you source shiitake correctly from tree grown varieties.
Very easy to find on grocery store shelves and is a primary mushroom for cooking.
Maitaki (Grifola Frondosa)
Legend has it that Maitake received the name “dancing mushroom” in Japan because Samurai danced for joy upon discovering the mushroom.
A 2010 study at the J.T. Chen Clinics Department of Gynecology in Tokyo discovered that Maitake extract was able to induce ovulation for 77 % of participants with PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome.
PCOS is a condition in which an overproduction of male hormones accumulates in the ovaries which leads to having small cysts on ovaries and symptoms like infertility.
SX Fraction, a polysaccharide in Maitake has been shown effective in its ability to negate the effects of a collection of disease risk factors known as Syndrome X, usually referred to as metabolic syndrome.
Some of these risk factors include high blood sugar, high blood pressure, increased fat, and high cholesterol.
Usually found growing at the base of oak, maple, and elm trees in parts of Japan and North America.
Note: In the US Maitake is referred to as “hen of the woods” because it looks like a cluster of chicken feathers.
ENOKI(taki)( Flammulima Velutipes)
A staple in Japanese, Chinese and Korean cuisine both as a noodle substitute and a tonic for upset stomach, liver infection, and hypertension, this cute tiny-headed long-stemmed mushroom has a uniquely light non-earthy flavor profile.
Enoki is found in a variety of skincare products because of the abundance of polysaccharide Flammulin which has anti-aging properties that help with melanoma.
Another polysaccharide Proflannin can stop the growth of cancerous cells and improve immunity. Seeing a trend here?
It’s also an excellent source of Vitamin B3 (with just one cup of enoki being over 23% of your daily recommended intake), potassium, riboflavin (thyroid support), calcium, copper, iron, selenium. The type of Vitamin B3 in Enoki is niacinamide which can help alleviate arthritic symptoms such as joint pain and stiffness.
Enoki is loaded with antioxidants such as ergothioneine.
Ergothioneine supports the immune system, stops free radical damage, oxidative stress, and protects cells from UV-induced damage to DNA as it absorbs the UV radiation itself.
Packed with dietary fiber, Enoki can lower cholesterol, improve digestion, regulate bowel movements, and lessen the risk of type 2 diabetes, because fiber-rich food promotes the production of insulin in the body which halts the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream.
Enoki has been shown to prevent allergic symptoms such as rhinitis, asthma, and dermatitis when consumed on a regular basis.
The linoleic acid in Enoki can help you shed the pounds and achieve your weight loss goals as it specifically targets and reduces body fat.
Amino acids in Enoki can improve mental development thereby strengthening memory and cognition in both adults and the elderly.
Usually found growing on hackberry trees. The full name of enoki is Enokitake which translates to hackberry mushroom.
Turkey Tail (Coriolus/Trametes Versicolor)
As you can see from the colorful picture above Turkey Tail looks kinda like a turkey’s tail. Go figure!
This mushroom is the easiest mushroom to find in the forest and it grows on dead hardwood trees, branches, and stumps all over the world.
It has a leather-like texture with no stem.
I mean how could you miss that colorful plumage?
Turkey tail mushroom contains a very unique protein called TVC that acts as a modulator for the immune system stopping it from potentially harming itself which could result in autoimmune conditions.
A 2011 study with HIV and AIDS infected subjects who ingested mushrooms like cordyceps, reishi, and maitake and reported immune benefits that were comparable to mainstream commonly taken HIV anti-viral drugs.
Turkey tail has a prebiotic polysaccharide called Polysaccharide Peptide (PSP). One randomized clinical trial proved that PSP encouraged the growth of good bacteria in the gut. It also reduces the chances of having digestive inflammation, lessening the risk of having Crohn’s disease, IBS, colitis, and other similar gut-related problems.
The other polysaccharide found within the turkey tail is called Polysaccharide Krestin (PSK) which supports immune response in the gut.
When you have a gut microbiome consisting of trillions of microbes that are maintained correctly you will have little to no brain fog, more mental energy, proper digestion, and elevated mood because your gut directly speaks to your brain.
Yep, a “gut feeling” is a real thing!
PSK and PSP also have the important ability to regenerate white blood cells and help create T cells and natural killer cells.
Polysaccharide Peptide is now the most prevalent anti-cancer drug in the Japanese market!
In a study published in Global Advances In Health and Medicine, an 83-year-old woman diagnosed with advanced, metastatic inflammatory breast cancer was able to completely change her situation and become disease-free for the rest of her life all because of using turkey tail supplements on a consistent basis, even when there was ongoing chemotherapy.
The genital Human Papilloma Virus also has an oral strain that can cause gum disease and eventually oropharyngeal cancer of the mouth.
A study with 61 patients of gum disease that tested positive for oral HPV showed that after two months of consuming turkey tail and reishi that most of their symptoms greatly diminished.
Tremella (Tremella Fuciformis)
Tremella is literally touted as one of the top beauty superfoods and is used in a bunch of cosmetic products.
You got to admit it does have a beautiful look to it like some sort of sacred glistening jellyfish randomly sitting in the forest.
Over the centuries people have used Tremella for it’s propensity to replenish fluids in the body and relieve dryness of the skin. It can hold nearly 500 times its weight in water which is more than hyaluronic acid, an ingredient that’s also used extensively in pricey skincare products to retain skin moisture.
Hyaluronic acid isn’t man-made though, its found naturally in the body usually in the eyes and joints but also in nature. This acid keeps the skin firm and full preventing wrinkles and fine lines as we age.
In new research Tremella has been shown to increase production of Hyaluronic acid in the body!
Seriously who needs a moisturizer when you have a natural form like this that doesn’t have nasty parabens?
The polysaccharides in Tremella stimulate the production of superoxide dismutase (SOD) in the liver and brain.
Yang Guifei, one of the “Four Great Beauties” in ancient China was so gorgeous that she was often referred to as having “a face that would put flowers to shame”. That’s a seriously beautiful face! Legend has it that her secret was the use of Tremella.
Looks like coconut oil has some competition!
Not much else to say except that you should grab some shrooms!
And buy Tero’s book to support this passionate Fin and his mission with Four Sigmatic!
In the book, there are over 50 recipes for each mushroom.
I’m talking about cakes, fries (with enoki), pancakes, a natural sports gel made with beets and cordyceps, and muffins.
You can even wet your whistle with some whisky made from lions mane!
**Please drink responsibly**
Let me know what you thought about this post in the comments below or click the bubble on the side!
Seriously would love to hear your thought! Any aha moments or mindblown epiphanies from reading?