Mushrooms are a Fungus
Did you know that mushrooms are actually a fungus? Don’t be alarmed, mushrooms have a lot of health benefits and are a low calorie source of fiber, protein, and antioxidants. Certain mushrooms have been shown to help the body fight infection and balance the immune system, others are being studied for their ability to help target and kill cancer cells and scientists are finding that many mushrooms can help to break down environmental toxins and restore a healthy ecosystem. It’s clear that these fungal friends have the potential to transform our health and our planet. Read on as we break down some of our favorite mushroom varieties and the next time you are at the store, don’t shy away from these fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting bodies of a fungus and consider adding them to your next meal.
These mushrooms get their name from their large, white, shaggy appearance that some might say looks like a lion’s mane. Their flavor is sometimes described as “seafood-like” and many often compare it to tasting like crab or lobster. Lion’s Mane mushrooms can be enjoyed raw, cooked, dried or steeped as a tea and their extracts are often used in over-the-counter health supplements.
- Studies have found that lion’s mane mushrooms contain two special compounds that can stimulate the growth of brain cells: hericenones and erinacines.
- New research has found that lion’s mane mushroom extract has anti-inflammatory effects that can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- Lion’s mane mushrooms contain a compound called hericenone B, which can decrease the rate of blood clotting and may lower the risk of heart attack or stroke.
King Trumpet mushrooms are the largest in the oyster family and their name refers to the mushroom’s trumpet-like cap, which extends from a thick stem. These mushrooms have an enjoyable savory flavor, meaty texture and they’re often used in soups and sandwiches.
- These mushrooms have an especially high level of ergothioneine, an antioxidant found in the mushroom’s mycelium and fruit bodies that helps reduce damage from free radicals and oxidative stress.
- King Trumpet mushrooms also contain a high quantity of selenium, another essential antioxidant.
- King Trumpet mushroom extracts have also been shown to have anti-viral properties and to support bone health.
Oyster mushrooms have a delicate texture and mild, savory flavor and these mushrooms typically have broad, thin, oyster- or fan-shaped caps and are white, gray, or tan, with gills lining the underside. Oyster mushrooms act almost like sponges, soaking up any water they come into contact with and are great whether sautéed, stir-fried, braised, roasted, fried, or grilled.
- Oyster Mushrooms are low in carbohydrates, so they’re a good choice for people following a low carb diet.
- Seven phenolic compounds have been detected in oyster mushroom extracts, including gallic acid, chlorogenic acid, and naringenin — all of which act as antioxidants in your body.
- This mushroom is especially high in several compounds that benefit heart health, including fibers called beta-glucans that are found in the cell wall of this fungus.
Reishi mushrooms are often referred to as “the mushroom of immortality.” Although that is a pretty big claim for a small mushroom, it is true that the Reishi mushroom has been revered for thousands of years in China and historically used in Asian countries for health and longevity. This fungus prefers tropical, subtropical, and temperate climates and lives on deciduous hardwoods such as oak and maple. The Reishi mushroom is extremely uncommon in the wild and has been cultivated due to the high demand for this mushroom. Only two or three out of 10,000 mature hardwood trees have Reishi growing on them.
- There are several molecules in Reishi mushrooms, including triterpenoids, polysaccharides and peptidoglycans, that may be responsible for their health effects.
- Reishi mushroom has been used to help enhance the immune system, reduce stress, improve sleep, and lessen fatigue.
- With its immunomodulating effects, the Reishi mushroom can help support hormonal balance and help regulate the immune system.
- Reishi mushrooms are adaptogens. Adaptogens are herbs or mushrooms that normalize the body and help it respond to and “adapt” to various types of stress.
Please note, this information is for educational purposes and we always suggest consulting your doctor before using mushrooms for medicinal purposes. You can find functional products at Source which include these powerful fungi in their ingredient list like our Balanced Tiger Adaptogenic Mushroom Bars or choose from a rotating selection of organic, locally grown mushrooms brought in fresh each week (available while supplies last).
Source offers a selection of the highest-quality produce, goods and more sourced local, organic, ethical, sustainable and as regenerative as possible. From the farm box to the market, all of our products are for and from the earth. We are committed to sustainable practices for an invested connected community, in an authentic space that will endure.
Visit our website to place your order online for pickup, orders typically ready in 1-2 hours, or stop by our market located at 275 Alhambra Circle, Coral Gables, FL 33134 (entrance is around the corner of Alhambra Circle and Salzedo St) to shop our mushrooms and so much more.