Move over Matcha, there’s a new Latte in town!
Mushroom Lattes are getting a lot of love in Los Angeles, with these super-charged tonics featuring on all the trendy menus. Here in the UK they’re starting to crop up in health food stores and wellness cafes too. So… what is all the hype about?
LA-based brand Four Sigma Foods have helped bring this trend to the UK with their range of instant drinks. According to the co-founder of Four Sigma Foods Tero Isokauppila, there are a wide variety of mushrooms on offer ‘all of which have different effects’ on the body…
“Reishi is grounding, balancing, and stress-reducing—it lowers blood pressure, cholesterol, and cortisol”.
“Cordyceps is known to increase oxygen intake, and is good for the adrenals. Chaga is a great source of antioxidants, zinc, and melanin, which are all [excellent] for skin and inflammation. And then there’s Lion’s Mane, which is one of the few things to help repair nerve growth factors, essentially how your brain communicates with your body.”
So that all sounds pretty good doesn’t it, but why exactly are mushrooms associated with so many health benefits?
Mushrooms are adaptogens. Other examples of adaptogens are Maca, Ginseng and Licorice – natural substances that increases the body’s ability to adapt to stress and restore normal physiological functions. We could all do with a helping hand when it comes to combating stress. It’s widely known that stress is at the root of all chronic disease. We get a hefty dose of stress daily from air and water pollution, financial worries, toxic diet, and other daily challenges. Stress has a huge effect on the body, compromising the immune system and eventually causing serious damage.
When I started researching Mushrooms and adaptogens, I was surprised how many studies there have been on the health boosting effects of Mushrooms. It’s fairly well known that Penicillin is made from a mold fungus. However, I’ve discovered that Mushrooms are used in tonnes of modern pharmaceutical products to treat diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis… Plant power all the way! In traditional medicine practice in countries such as China, the health benefits of Mushrooms are widely known and have been used for centuries.
You can buy the mushroom drink sachets from Wholefoods, so I’ve been trying them out recently. They’re actually delicious, and you can add cacao powder to them for a more indulgent and rich flavour. They’re now a welcome part of my daily health regime!
Exploring a few of the different types…
Cordyceps – has been found to increase the body’s maximum oxygen intake, or VO2 Max. Chinese athletes take it when competing in the Olylmpics due to the increase in available oxygen for muscles. There has also been a large number of studies into Cordyceps, Shiitake and other mushrooms as a beneficial tonic for cancer sufferers.
Chaga – Hailed as a natural immunity booster, Chaga is said to improve your ability to fight infection, bacteria, colds and viruses. It is packed full of antioxidants.
Reishi – A cup of reishi tea is great for winding down after a busy day. Reishi helps ensure better sleep by lowering cortisol levels and balancing the endocrine system. It is also Immune boosting due to the Beta-glucan it contains. Reishi is known as ‘the queen of mushrooms’.