Clean Eating - 10 Functional Mushroom Drinks That Will Offer Bigger Benefits Than Your Morning Cup of Coffee
Functional mushrooms are having a moment. We rounded up 10 adaptogenic coffees, teas, hot chocolates, and ready-to-drink beverages that should be on your radar.
Have you noticed how functional mushrooms are popping up like, well, mushrooms all over grocery stores and health food store aisles lately? They seem to have infiltrated almost every food product, from coffee to snacks — and for good reason.
“Functional mushrooms are profoundly beneficial,” says Rachelle Robinett, RH(AHG), a Registered Clinical Herbalist, holistic health practitioner, and founder of Pharmakon Supernatural. “They’re a food, and a medicine, and work in a variety of ways, which is part of what fuels the well-deserved hype.”
She explains that mushrooms contain beta-glucans, which are a soluble fiber that has shown antimicrobial (stops the growth of microorganisms), anticancer, anti-diabetic, and anti-hypercholesterolemic (controls cholesterol levels) properties in clinical trials. Additionally, mushrooms are beneficial for the immune system, brain health, gut health, cellular health, and more.
“From helping to normalize immune-system function and being used in cancer treatment protocols in China, primarily, to certain mushrooms supporting collagen production in topical skincare products, their uses are practically countless and endlessly impressive,” says Robinett.
There are more than 10,000 known types of mushrooms on this planet, but you’ll likely find the same handful of varieties used over and over again in most food products when you inspect the ingredients labels. Robinett shares some of the most popular types and explains why they are so desirable:
- Poria: This immune-system balancer has been used in China as part of cancer protocols.
- Reishi: This variety has powerful anti-inflammatory activity that can be used for asthma, COPD, irritable bowel syndrome, and more.
- Turkey Tail: Looking for an immunity boost? This type contains some of the highest levels of beta-glucans, which are immune-system modulating polysaccharides that promote an active, balanced immune response.
- Chaga: Used in Russia and Scandinavia for treating a variety of cancers, Chaga enhances immune function and is excellent for gut health.
- Cordyceps: This parasitic fungus is actually a calming adaptogen used to nourish the endocrine, immune, kidney, reproductive, and nervous systems. They have even been shown to improve aerobic performance.
“Variety matters if you want the fullest spectrum of benefits,” says Robinett. “Or you can choose to work with a single mushroom for its specific effects.”
10 Ways to Drink Your Mushrooms
Not keen on the taste or texture of mushrooms? You’re in luck — your palate won’t even be able to detect these fungal ingredients in your drinks, yet you’ll reap all the health benefits.
The Tea Spot Ashwagandha Chai
There’s just something so comforting about a cup of tea, especially when it’s brimming with a blend of 12 adaptogenic herbs and roots, including Chaga mushrooms. Bring balance back to your life with this cozy concoction that’s naturally caffeine-free, vegan, and encased in a plant-based sachet that’s biodegradable and compostable. The Tea Spot, Ashwagandha Chai $16
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