If you haven’t heard about mushroom coffee, odds are, you soon will. While it may not sound all that appetizing, it tastes similar to coffee, only it offers a ton of health benefits and fewer unwanted effects. It’s brewed simply by using coffee beans that are infused with certain types of mushrooms, like Ganoderma lucidum, also known as reishi mushrooms, or other kinds of medicinal mushrooms, such as cordyceps and lion’s mane.
You might find it under names like Reishi Coffee, Ganoderma Coffee, or simply Mushroom Coffee.
The caffeine content of mushroom coffee is generally much lower than the traditional coffee, from about 9 milligrams to as much as 75 milligrams, depending on the brand, while regular coffee normally contains 150 to 200 milligrams of caffeine in a similarly sized serving.
The reishi mushroom is a genus of polypores that are found growing on wood. It can be differentiated by other polypores with a double walled basidiosporte. It’s been around for centuries, used by emperors and other royals, particularly in Chinese medicine, but overlooked in western culture for years. It’s best known for supporting the liver, boosting the immune system and fighting cancer. Until the 1970s, reishi was hard to find and expensive, but when it was discovered how to grow the mushroom inside on a larger scale, many people began discovering its benefits and a dramatic improvement in their overall health. Today, it’s being used in a number of different ways, including creating a tasty coffee.
Lion’s mane mushrooms, also known as bearded hedgehog, bearded tooth mushroom and bearded tooth fungus among others, is especially noted for its benefits to the nervous system and brain, with the potential ability to help treat Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, mild cognitive impairment, multiple sclerosis, leg cramps, anxiety and more.
Cordyceps is a mushroom made up of a rare combination of a caterpillar and fungus found in Sikkim, India at altitudes of over 14,000 feet. Traditional healers in this area have often recommended it as an “all illnesses tonic,” thanks to its ability to improve energy, stamina, appetite, libido, endurance, and sleep.
While most mushroom coffees available today are produced with reishi mushrooms, some companies like Four Sigmatic, based in Finland, produces coffee using a variety of mushrooms, including lion’s mane and cordyceps. But no matter which brand you choose, there are many reasons for switching up your daily brew for a mushroom coffee, including these.
10 Reasons To Give Mushroom Coffee A Try
1. Mushroom coffee is less acidic
Most coffee contains natural acids, which may cause heartburn and stomach upset. For those who suffer but don’t want to give up drinking their morning cup of java, switching to a low-acid coffee like mushroom coffee is a great alternative. But even those who don’t suffer from those problems can benefit, as better health often begins by helping the body become more alkaline. The acid-alkaline balance is important since many functions in the body occur only at a certain level of acidity or alkalinity. Many enzymes and chemical reactions in the body work best at a particular pH.
If you want to boost your energy naturally and even slow down the aging process, an alkaline diet is the way to go. That’s because a more acidic diet tends to take a toll on our bones and muscles the older we get. As reported by Natural News, an analysis by the National Institutes of Health explained, “As we age, there is a loss of muscle mass, which may predispose to falls and fractures. A three-year study looking at a diet rich in potassium, such as fruits and vegetables, as well as a reduced acid load, resulted in the preservation of muscle mass in older men and women.”
A diet that’s more alkaline also supports weight loss so you can shed unwanted pounds, and may even help to prevent cancer.
2. You can enjoy your coffee in the afternoon without concern about staying awake all night
Because there is only a minimal amount of caffeine in mushroom coffee, you can enjoy a cup in the afternoon or evening without having to worry about being kept awake all night. In fact, drinking mushroom coffee is likely to encourage an even better night’s rest. It’s even been used to treat insomnia, rather than contributing to it. A study by scientists at China’s Peking University in China published in February 2012 in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that Ganoderma lucidum (reishi) extract induced sleep in rats that moved around freely in the test environment.
Drinking mushroom coffee can also help alleviate chronic fatigue disease, a condition that makes one feel exhausted nearly all the time.
3. Boost your immune system
On its own, coffee is loaded with antioxidants, but a mushroom coffee adds even more, providing a super-boost to your immune system. Reishi’s well-known effects for strengthening the immune system have been proven in a number of scientific studies, including a randomized, double-blind study published in the January 2009 issue of Phytotherapy Research. The researchers found significant improvements in the immune cell counts of cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. They noted that ganoderma lucidum improved immune function, improving patients’ ability to fight off cancer, as well as any secondary infections that could compromise their treatment and their health.
4. Lower cholesterol
Mushroom coffee may even help lower overall cholesterol, thereby, improving cardiovascular health. By signaling the liver to kick in production, the Swiss Nestle Research Center found that the herb was a “renowned medicinal species” and “inhibited cholesterol synthesis” in a 2005 study.
5. Promoting weight loss
Drinking mushroom coffee may help promote weight loss in a number of ways. In addition to being part of an alkaline diet, which naturally helps one to shed pounds, it further assists by increasing the body’s metabolism. According to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, ganoderma, in particular, contains active properties that can increase your metabolic rate after consumption. A higher metabolism means that your body uses more energy to digest food more efficiently, and as that energy is fuelled by breaking down fat deposits and calories in your body, it can lead to weight loss.
6. Healthier cardiovascular system
In addition to improving the health of your cardiovascular system by lowering cholesterol, mushroom coffee supports cardiovascular health by promoting blood flow while lowering oxygen consumption to the heart, as plaque can cause an early death by blocking and clogging artery walls.
7. Liver protection
Studies have found that patients with hepatitis B have improved significantly within just a month after taking reishi, one of the primary mushrooms used in mushroom coffee. After patients with elevated liver enzymes and bilirubin took the mushroom for three months, all of their values were within a healthy range, revealing that mushroom coffee may serve as a very effective liver protectant.
8. Say goodbye to urinary tract infections
Normally caused by bacteria, urinary tract infections come with very uncomfortable symptoms like cramps in the lower abdomen, painful and frequent urination, and fever. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that taking 150 to 300 milligrams of reishi extract two to three times per day may relieve urinary tract infections, a much welcome bit of news for those that suffer from them frequently.
9. Lowering the risk of Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder that makes it difficult to walk, balance and coordinate the body, an incurable condition that no one would wish on their worst enemy, but research has found that drinking mushroom coffee, may help to fight this disease. A study published in the June 2011 issue of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine revealed that the mushroom’s inflammatory properties may help battle Parkinson’s by preventing the gradual degeneration of nerve cells. It may also protect against other degenerative disorders, like Alzheimer’s disease.
10. Anti-inflammatory properties
Speaking of anti-inflammatory properties, laboratory tests have shown that bioactive compounds derived from reishi and other mushrooms offer powerful anti-inflammatory properties, as well as anti-tumor, anti-aging and immuno-modulatory properties. Several reishi-derived substances are also antibacterial and antiviral, exerting direct inhibitory actions against human herpes viruses, the influenza virus, and even HIV.
What this means is that, in addition to protecting against Parkinson’s, maintaining a proper level of inflammation through diet and lifestyle, including consuming anti-inflammatory foods and beverages like mushroom coffee, means a lower risk of developing other diseases too. As noted certified doctor of natural medicine, doctor of chiropractic and clinical nutritionist, Dr. Axe, and many other professional health experts have said, a diet filled with anti-inflammatory foods can transform and restore your health.
Inflammation plays a very large part in the body’s health. When the immune system overreaches and starts attacking healthy body tissues, an overabundance of inflammation results, causing conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia, celiac disease, irritable bowel, and more. Even for diseases that aren’t autoimmune, it tends to play a part, as the body is forced to continuously heal tissues in a given area.
Where To Buy Mushroom Coffee
Four Sigmatic Foods are currently one of the only producers of mushroom coffee. You can purchase all of their mushroom coffee blends on Amazon, including their signature blend: Stay Awake Mushroom Coffee Blend with Cordyceps & Chaga.