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Answering your questions on mushrooms

selection of wild mushrooms on wooden padel
There’s more to mushrooms than you might think! We answer your most googled questions around functional mushrooms and the many health benefits they have to offer.

We answer your most Googled questions on mushrooms

Discover the answers to your most googled questions on mushrooms right here in this article. We have looked-up your top curiosities surrounding functional mushrooms and have gathered some information about what they are, what they do, and so much more. Put your speculation to one side and find out why functional mushrooms are fast becoming a popular supplement.

1. What are functional mushrooms?

Mushrooms are increasingly becoming a celebrated hero ingredient within the wellness community. The savoury superfood is not only packed with flavour, but it’s also loaded with vitamins that help to promote immunity and enhance bone strength. Functional mushrooms are often used for regulating mood as well as sleep, boosting digestive health, and improving skin radiance.1

Functional mushrooms are said to be packed with antioxidants and nutritional value. These mushrooms have been used for hundreds of years due to their medicinal properties and superfood benefits. Their rise in popularity is thanks to the intensive research conducted over the years and the increased demand for natural solutions to health.2

2. What functional mushrooms are best for sleep?

The reishi mushroom has been used extensively for centuries to encourage a restful sleep cycle and non-REM sleep.3

Non-REM sleep is when you move from a light sleep into a deep sleep. This is when a person's brain activity, breathing, and heart rate slow down, body temperature drops, muscles relax, and eye movements stop.4

Check out our Reishi mushroom benefits article, to find out more about this marvellous mushroom.

Lion’s Mane, on the other hand, helps to improve sleep quality without making you drowsy. It is a safe nootropic that works to support sleep by calming the nervous system, reducing anxiety, and boosting mood.5

3. Do functional mushrooms really work?

Yes! Eastern medicine has made use of functional mushrooms for millennia, and Western medicine is finally catching up. New studies are proving that mushrooms’ alleged superpowers are likely real.

4. Are mushroom pills good for you?

The best mushroom supplements can also lend day-to-day benefits like better brain function, a healthier immune system, more energy, and better sleep.

For the most part, different benefits come from different kinds of medicinal mushrooms, which is why mushroom supplements are so great: by combining multiple mushrooms in one easy-to-take tablet, the best mushroom supplements lend a myriad of health advantages.6

If you’re not a fan of the taste or texture of mushrooms, you may prefer to take a mushroom powder or tablet supplement. Mushroom supplements are often also combined without many other vitamins and nutrients, meaning you can get even more condensed nutrition.7

5. Is Ashwagandha a mushroom?

No. Ashwagandha is a small evergreen shrub that originates from parts of India, the Middle East and Africa.

6. What are the side effects of mushroom supplements?

Although mushroom supplements contain natural extracts and beneficial ingredients, there is still a chance of unwanted side effects. These can vary depending on the type of mushroom in the product.8 Side effects may consist of an upset stomach, dizziness, nausea, or discomfort.

7. Can functional mushrooms help you lose weight?

Mushrooms are a genuine superfood that provide several health advantages. They're high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.9

Many medicinal mushrooms can aid in weight loss and weight management. Functional mushrooms – such as lion’s mane, reishi, and cordyceps – are an incredible source of plant-based proteins. They are very low in calories and keep you satiated for a long time without spiking your blood glucose levels.10

8. What is lion’s mane?

Lion's mane (Hericium erinaceus) is a type of medicinal mushroom, which has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine. 11

It’s a large, white, shaggy mushroom that resembles a full-grown lion’s mane, and while it’s not the prettiest fungus out there, people are mixing it into soups, brewing it into teas, taking it in tinctures, and swallowing it in capsule form, all in hopes of reaping its many potential health benefits.12

9. What is the best way to take functional mushrooms?

It's important to note that most functional mushrooms are not meant to be eaten raw, so the best way to reap the benefits of these fantastic fungi is to enjoy them as capsules, in powdered form, or as a tincture. You can also add them to your coffee, tea, or smoothies for their health-promoting benefits.13

Have a browse through the many mushroom supplements and products that we have to offer and discover the different ways you could include mushrooms into your diet.

10. Do mushrooms remove toxins?

Scientists have identified more than 120 enzymes in the tissues of mushroom-forming fungi. These enzymes can break down toxic chemicals.14

Rachel Chatterton, Head of Food Development at H&B:

“Functional mushrooms… can help your body deal with stress. People are moving towards foods that multi-task - from helping to relieve stress, to helping with better sleep and relaxation, energy, and immunity.”

All about mushrooms

From the benefits of functional mushrooms to whether they are safe to consume, we sit down with Naomi, our Store Colleague and Wellness Expert and Alex, our Senior Nutritionist to talk through what this new wellness trend actually is...

All about mushrooms

Head to our YouTube channel to discover more videos like this! 

The final say

We hope we have ticked off a few of your curiosities and questions around functional mushrooms. From boosted immunity and energy levels to cognitive performance, sleep, and gut health – discover a mushroom for you… Plus they’re certainly safe for most people to use!

Sources

1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/biancasalonga/2022/03/30/a-first-timers-guide-to-healing-with-functional-mushrooms/?sh=785feddf2dcb

2. https://nulivscience.com/functional-mushrooms-and-their-benefits/

3. https://www.mushroomrevival.com/blogs/blog/reishi-mushroom-for-sleep

4. https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms/def/non-rem-sleep

5. https://hipandhealthy.com/popping-mushrooms-for-a-better-nights-sleep/#:~:text=Certain%20mushrooms%20have%20specific%20compounds,are%20Reishi%20and%20Lion's%20Mane.

6. https://www.rollingstone.com/product-recommendations/lifestyle/best-mushroom-supplements-1322448/

7. https://www.hollandandbarrett.com/the-health-hub/food-drink/food/are-mushrooms-good-for-you/

8. https://wellgard.co.uk/blogs/health-insiders/what-are-the-side-effects-of-mushroom-supplements

9. https://www.hypervibe.com/uk/blog/mushrooms-for-weight-loss/

10. https://www.forij.co/blogs/mushrooms/lions-mane-mushroom-weight-loss#:~:text=Many%20medicinal%20mushrooms%20can%20aid,spiking%20your%20blood%20glucose%20levels.

11. https://www.verywellmind.com/the-benefits-of-lions-mane-89474

12. https://www.everydayhealth.com/wellness/lions-mane/guide/

13. https://naturalforce.com/blogs/nutrition/medicinal-mushrooms#:~:text=It%20is%20important%20to%20note,for%20their%20health%2Dpromoting%20benefits.

14. https://www.resilience.org/stories/2019-04-08/mushrooms-clean-up-our-toxic-messes/#:~:text=Scientists%20have%20identified%20more%20than,causing%20hydrocarbons%20found%20in%20oil.

 

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