What is Mushroom Coffee?
You know when you wake up in the morning and all you can think about is a steaming hot cup of… fungi?
Okay, maybe not.
But hear me out! Mushroom coffee & other medicinal powders are a hot topic in the holistic health and biohacking communities. They have many benefits, and luckily Four Sigmatic have a variety of flavors to choose from. I’ve been wanting to try mushroom coffee for over a year now so I was super excited that they sent me several of their products to try. I have to say guys, I’m already a pretty energetic person but have a cup of this in the morning, either in lieu of your coffee or with it, and you will be going! Seriously! The effects the compounds in these mixes have on energy is almost unbelievable.
Great news! I have managed to get you guys a special DISCOUNT and GIVEAWAY so that you too can test out the amazing benefits of this superfood product. Details are at the end of this post.
Chaga mushrooms come from birch trees in cold climates such as Siberia, Canada, Korea and parts of the US. They contain betulinic acid, which is known to help in fighting flus and colds. They also contain melanin, which protects and aids the regeneration of DNA.
Lion’s mane, known as the ‘smart mushroom’, is particularly beneficial for the brain. It has traditionally been used by monks to aide in focus during meditation. It not only facilitates concentration, but also supports cognition and memory. Moreover, by stimulating NGF (nerve growth factor), Lion’s Mane helps to regulate the anterior part of the brain, including the cerebral hemispheres, thalamus and hypothalamus, which are where many of the functions related to critical thinking, memory, problem solving and decision-making take place.
Cordyceps, found in altitudes 3,800m above sea level) has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries to help balance energy levels. It is also beneficial for those looking to optimize physical performance, as it helps with both mental and muscular fatigue and recovery. It also loosens the trachea, which allows the lungs to breathe more efficiently.
Additionally, cordyceps stimulates white blood cells to fight harmful bacteria while also producing dopamine, the ‘feel-good’ hormone.
Reishi, or Linghzi, in China, is linked with longevity. Taken consistently in appropriate doses, reishi has been proven to activate sleep cycles, like a micro-tranquilizer. Moreover, its adaptogenic qualities help with combatting stress. Taking reishi in the evening will help you to increase both the duration and quality of your sleep.
How to Take Medicinal Mushrooms
I get into more detail below about the process of transforming wild medicinal mushrooms into active, bioavailable superfood products. Basically, Four Sigmatic offers a range of elixirs, mushroom coffee and superfood mixes to choose from depending on your needs and tastes.
They sent me:
- Mushroom coffee mix: organic, fair trade green coffee with chaga & maitake
- 10-Mushroom Superfood blend
- Mushroom Cacao Hot Chocolate Mix (sweetened with coconut palm sugar)
- Sampler box: cordyceps, reishi, lion’s mane, chaga
Preparation couldn’t be easier!
Just mix the powders into hot water and voila, you have a superfood elixir. I am allllllways looking for ‘clean’ hot chocolate mixes and this one is perfect because the nutritional, hormonal and neurogenetic benefits of cacao (which you can read about on my choc-chia pudding recipe here) pair really well with those of the mushrooms. It has a little hint of an acquired taste but its still really good. I felt very grounded as I sipped it in my room at 6 am. This is definitely going to continue as part of my daily routine.
Green coffee has many benefits and is especially known for its effect on the metabolism. It is definitely the superior choice, being far closer to its natural state than roasted coffee. This mushroom coffee mix is the ultimate in brain health. Plus, because all of it is ‘instant’, you can pop a packet in your pocket (try saying that three times) and enjoy your superfood cocktail anywhere. Totally vegan, dairy free and sugar-free too.
Artificial vs. Natural Supplements
Around 25% of pharmaceuticals are actually derived from plants, with more than 40% being derived from mushrooms. Let me be clear– when I say ‘plants’, I really mean organic material. Mushrooms, for instance, aren’t plants, but fungi. Fungi are actually closer to humans than they are to plants, genetically, which only increases the impact of their nutritional offering. But let’s just go with it for the sake of convenience.
Given the above, it seems common sense that natural supplements are preferable to artificial ones, in terms of the purity and potency of the plant as well as the side effects. If the products are being derived from plants, why not skip the side effects and go straight to the source?
When we consume a fruit or vegetable,
not only are we obtaining energy from calories and satiation from the fiber, but we are also benefitting from the vitamins, minerals, water, live enzymes and everything else that lives in that plant. The vegetable contains enzymes that help the body to break down that specific food, thereby aiding the body in absorbing those vital nutrients. The plants contain different composites that work together harmoniously to create a whole product that is packed with digestible, complementary compounds.
Artificial supplements, on the other hand, generally contain isolated nutrients and extracts, which are beneficial for people with deficiencies, certainly– but which our bodies are pretty inefficient in processing. And that’s not even taking into account that unlike amazing companies like Care/of, which are committed to providing the best quality supplements under the most affordable business model, most conventional supplements contain fillers, artificial colorings, trans fats and other chemical additives. Read below how Four Sigmatic processes their mushroom coffee mixes so as not to compromise nutrient absorption.
Just as you wouldn’t go the the gym and only do bicep curls every day, you also want to make sure you are accessing a variety
of nutrients through a whole foods plant based diet.
If you do require an artificial supplement to address, I would recommend Care/of, as they have a strong company ethos and are dedicated to providing both ayurvedic and regular supplements together in the same, eco-friendly package. You can use this link or use code SORAYA50 at checkout for 50% off your first order.
Why go natural?
Humans have adapted to digesting plant material for as long as we have existed. Our exposure to synthetic consumptives is very recent. We are facing an astronomical crisis in healthcare and disease, and while the reasons are manifold, our thoughtless consumption of artificial products–not only in our food but also on our skin, in our air, on our hair–is certainly to take into account.
Ive always advocated a plant-based diet as being the diet for optimal health. I still do. And while I don’t think supplements are necessary, they are becoming increasingly more beneficial as our environment — both natural and social — becomes more toxic. I think the human body absolutely has the capacity to heal itself, but our lifestyles are throwing us more and more out of balance. As this continues to happen, the role that superfoods play in our diet will only increase.
Four Sigmatic — Bioavailability:
20-25% of Four Stigmatic’s mushrooms are sourced via sustainable wild foraging. They use dual extraction to ensure that the active components in the mushrooms are made bioavailable. After this meticulous process, the mushrooms undergo testing for heavy metals, microbiological quality, aflatoxins, pesticides and irradiation.
The product is then combined with other functional ingredients to enhance the medicinal properties of the mushrooms.
Benefits of Medicinal Mushrooms:
- Stabilize blood sugar, which helps with regulating weight
- Secondary metabolites in Reishi and cordyceps synthesize NGF, which can help with neurodegenerative ailments
- Help to combat diabetes and insulin resistance by improving insulin sensitivity
- Combats inflammation
- Stimulate the production of dopamine
- Beta gluten, a polysaccharide found in the cell walls of mushrooms, help the body defend itself by stimulating macrophages and T-cells, thereby strengthening the immune system
- One cup of mushrooms provides over 33% of the daily recommended intake of copper
- Necessary for forming collagen (for strong bones), producing red blood cells, improving skin, healing/immunity & preventing wrinkles
Diabetes & Insulin Resistance
Since these mushrooms improve insulin sensitivity, they can be helpful in preventing diseases such as diabetes. Polysaccharides in mushrooms are linked to lower blood sugar levels. They can also be used as prebiotic agents to prevent the build up of bacteria in your gut. Pair this with a low fat whole foods, plant-based diet based around fruit and whole starches and you’ve got yourself a killer combo! Or rather, a life-enhancing combo.
What are Adaptogens?
Adaptogens are organic materials that grow in inhospitable environments (e.g. deserts), which, when consumed, adapt to the particular environment of that body and help it to achieve homeostasis. They stabilize physiological functions and work as all-over general housekeepers. They target their healing properties to what is specifically out of balance in the consumer’s body. Anything from supporting immune function to improving the mood, assisting with rest and recovery, or stabilizing stress levels.
Discount code + Giveaway:
If you want to get your hands on some of these superfoods, make sure to use the code SORAYA at checkout or click this link for 10% off your order.
Ill also be giving away a box of each cordyceps and the sampler mushroom coffee mix on my Instagram, @soraya.beheshti.