are mushrooms really good for you

They're known as the “meat for vegetarians”, and no wonder – mushrooms are high in protein, fibre, B vitamins and vitamin D. That could soon change, as fungi are gaining attention for their impressive health benefits. Whether you're looking to switch out your. Medicinal mushrooms have been used as an addition to standard cancer treatments in Asia. Mushrooms are being studied to find out how they. are mushrooms really good for you

Why Mushrooms Are the Hottest Wellness Trend Right Now (and 14 Products You Need)

Mushrooms are certainly having their moment. Between 2019 and 2020, mushroom sales increased by 20 to 40 percent, and there’s reason to believe they will are mushrooms really good for you to be one of the top trending foods in 2021. “Mushrooms are a nutrient powerhouse that bring a filling, comforting taste,” Eric Davis, spokesperson for the Mushroom Videos follando, an industry organization, told VegNews. They’re also one of the most sustainably produced foods at the grocery store and are ideal for holding delicious flavor in carryout dishes from your favorite local restaurants. Fungi are truly the perfect partner ingredient for the plant-forward movement. “Their inherent umami and meaty quality make them ideal for those seeking that earthy, filling taste and quality in their plant-forward or plant-based dishes,” Davis says. 

Multiple health benefits
Mushrooms come with numerous health benefits, starting with supporting your immune system. “Mushrooms contain unique polysaccharides—beta and alpha glucans—that act like a key in a lock to activate your immune system,” says Sandra Carter, MPH, PhD, founder of Om Mushroom Superfood, adding that mushrooms can increase energy and improve cognitive health, too. Mushrooms also contain fiber and digestive enzymes to help further support gut and immune health, and they have an array of antioxidants that provide protection from free-radical damage and aid in immune function, she adds. 

For instance, take selenium, which helps your body make special proteins called antioxidant enzymes that play a role in preventing cell damage, Davis says. Just four crimini mushrooms can provide 38 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for selenium. Now consider Vitamin D, which reduces inflammation and promotes immune function. One portabello mushroom exposed to UV light can provide 120 percent of the RDA for Vitamin D. Although each type of mushroom has a slightly different nutritional makeup, one variety isn’t necessarily healthier than the other, Davis explains. And while whole mushrooms are great to eat on their own or use in cooking, numerous companies are now incorporating mushrooms into their products. Here are 14 to put on your radar.

1.Ancient Nutrition Plant Protein+
This new non-GMO powder is made from seven superseeds like chia, flax, and pumpkin, and herbs and mushrooms. It comes in three flavors—Vanilla, Chocolate or Berry—and is the perfect addition to smoothies, oatmeal, baked goods, or plain water. 

2.Take Out Meal-In-A-Bag Puffs
Outstanding Foods recently launched this puffy snack, and the company claims there’s so much protein and other nutrients in these puffs that you can even enjoy them as a meal. The puffs contain a unique vegetable blend that includes maitake and shiitake mushrooms, among other ingredients. The puffs are available in four different flavors: White Chedda, Chill Ranch, Hella Hot, and Pizza Partay. 

3.Four Sigmatic Morning Routine
Coffee aficionados, you’re going to love starting your morning with this coffee. You’ll get a dose of lion’s mane and chaga without even realizing it as you sip this delicious dark roast. 

4.Laird Original Superfood Creamer with Functional Mushrooms
When it’s creamer you need, get a healthy dose of mushrooms from this popular Laird product. Chaga, cordyceps, lion’s mane, and maitake mushrooms are blended into this creamer so skillfully that you won’t even taste them. 

5.MadeGood Granola Bars
These 100-calorie bars contain a hidden ingredient: shiitake mushrooms. They’re part of a six-ingredient vegetable extract mix found in all of these bars, which also includes spinach, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, and beets. Each bar contains enough for one serving of veggies, and not only are they gluten-free, they’re also organic. Choose from seven different flavors. 

6.Compartés Vegan Dark Chocolate Bar Matcha Raspberry Reichi
Mushrooms and chocolate might sound like an odd combo, but take one bite of this bar—which features reishi mushrooms—and you’ll be hooked. Bonus? It uses 75 percent organic cacao. 

7.Om Mushroom Supplement Hot Drink Mixes
Whether you prefer the hot chocolate, coffee latte, matcha latte, or organic coffee blends, Om has you covered with its lineup of hot drink mixes. All of them have slightly different benefits, but they’re all designed to help you build a healthier immune system.  

8.Pan’s Mushroom Jerky
The umami taste of shiitake mushrooms meets the meaty texture of vegan jerky. Choose from four flavors, including original, Zesty Thai, Applewood BBQ, and Salt & Pepper. 

9. Four Sigmatic Evening Routine
Is this a superfood drink mix or dessert in disguise? You’ll have a hard time deciding when you taste the organic cocoa mix with reishi mushrooms. Just add hot water or your favorite plant milk and sip it to help you de-stress before bed. 

10.Laird Superfood Medium Roast Ground Mushroom Coffee
Elevate that morning cup of Joe with this blend of organic Peruvian coffee beans and three types of organic functional mushrooms, including chaga, lion’s mane, and cordyceps. 

11. FX Chocolate Defend
You won’t feel one ounce of guilt when you indulge in a square of this chocolate. That’s because the dark cacao is combined with organic reishi mushroom to help you feel centered, are mushrooms really good for you, and resilient.  

12. Om Mushroom Supplement Mighty Broths
Two broths in this line are vegan, including the Veggie Miso Broth and Mushroom Broth, and you just add the organic mixes to hot water. Each one contains three or four different mushrooms that make a delicious addition to your day. 

13. Shrooms Mushroom Crisps
You know the mushroom craze is real when you see chip-like snacks that are made from mushrooms. The company actually grows its own mushrooms and uses them to create these tasty snacks, which come in four vegan flavors: Pizza, Spicy Jalapeno, Mesquite BBQ, and Sea Salt.

14.Self+ Supplements Drink Mixes
Giving your immune system a boost is as easy as adding a scoop of these drink mixes to water. There are three products in the line, and while they all focus on boosting immunity, thanks in part to the organic mushrooms in the blend, they also have individual benefits that include enhancing your energy, sharpening your brain, and helping you relax. Each blend contains different types of mushrooms.

Karen Aspis the author of Anti-Aging Hacks and award-winning journalist, as well as a fitness pro certified in plant-based nutrition, world record-holding athlete (in Nordic walking), vegan mentor with PETA, and board member with Uplands PEAK Sanctuary, Indiana’s first farmed animal sanctuary.

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CBD may have been the buzzword of 2020 (with CBD drinks being particularly popular), but apparently, 2021 is going to be all about medicinal mushrooms.

You've probably seen medicinal mushrooms creeping into drinks and onto menus for a while now, but have you wondered what they actually do, and what the benefits of medicinal mushrooms are?

So we spoke to two medicinal mushroom experts – Zoey Henderson, founder of non-alcoholic beer company Fungtn and Zain Peer, co-founder of mushroom coffee brand London Nootropics to get the lowdown on the superfood.

And yes, we did ask if medicinal mushrooms are the same as magic mushrooms.

What actually is a medicinal mushroom?

Medicinal mushrooms are classed as superfood fungi that are believed to have therapeutic benefits in human health. They're often used in the form of extracts - the best-known being Lion's Mane, Reishi, Chaga, Turkey Tail and Maitake mushroom. These, along with many others, have been used in traditional medicine and health and wellness for thousands of years.

“The fruiting body of the mushroom (the bit we see most often) is the common part that we eat but the mycelium (delicate threads of filaments inside the mushroom) also contain valuable compounds that contribute to their health benefits,” according to Zoey.

What are the effects of medicinal mushrooms?

Medicinal mushrooms are known and widely used, for their adaptogenic effects - i.e. helping your mind and body adapt to physical, mental and emotional stress. They supposedly bring you a sense of focus and clarity while making you feel calm and balanced.

Studies also suggest that those medicinal mushrooms have far-reaching benefits, such as supporting the immune system, hormone regulation and cognitive function.

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So, what makes them different from regular mushrooms?

Some medicinal mushrooms can be used in cooking, similar to regular culinary mushrooms. However, they're often taken as extracts, which have a higher concentration of the active beneficial ingredients they contain.

Taste wise, medicinal mushrooms can be far more bitter and indigestible than regular mushrooms, so using them in drinks is a great and popular option. Most medicinal mushrooms are dried, and then brewed into a tea or turned into high concentrated extracts.

Are medicinal mushrooms the same as magic mushrooms? In other words, can they get you americas tire concord a word: no. Psilocybin mushrooms (the 'magic' ones that get you high) are psychedelics, which is what causes hallucinogenic effects. Magic mushrooms, although used in ceremony, healing and currently back in medical trials in the UK as a treatment for depression, remain illegal.

Medicinal mushrooms are not psychedelic but they can give you a high of antioxidants and balancing adaptogenic properties.

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What are the benefits of medicinal mushrooms? And in particular, the benefits of medicinal mushrooms in drinks?

"Medicinal mushrooms have anti-hypertensive, and cholesterol-lowering activity, according to Dr Deborah Lee from Dr Fox Pharmacy. "They also have powerful anti-inflammatory, and anti-diabetic effects. Other studies show they have antibacterial and antiviral properties.

Deborah adds, "They are also strong antioxidants. Antioxidants are very important for health, as they neutralise free radicals, potentially dangerous molecules produced in the body during metabolic processes. Plus, they have a positive effect to enhance the gut microbiome."

How can you tell how much medicinal mushroom is in a drink?

They have deep, earthy or bitter notes, so if you're consuming a product with a functional amount you should be able to taste them. If the amount is not written on the label of the product you are interested in, it might be best to speak to the company directly to find out more information about the number of medicinal mushrooms, the quality of their extracts, the ratios of active compounds within them and even where the mushrooms have been sourced.

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Why have medicinal mushroom drinks become so popular recently?

"Many medicinal mushrooms have actually been used in the East for thousands of years," according to Zain. "They have been studied more widely in recent years; in fact, just this year, a study came out finding that Cordyceps mushrooms can help reset the body clock after jet lag. Along with scientific studies, people are more open-minded in trying alternatives to stimulants and are keen to try natural remedies. We believe this has helped fuel the increase in their popularity (along with other natural adaptogens) in the past decade."

Zoey says, “People really are looking more to nature for natural sources of immunity support and to help aid physical and mental health. We live in a culture that's becoming tired of chemical dependence and want to take health and wellness into our own hands. The notable rise in self-care and further research is done on adaptogens, fungi and internal systems, such as the cannabinoid system, have brought credible ingredients to market, such as CBD and adaptogens. The US has led the way and with trusted mushroom brands now established, this is coming into are mushrooms really good for you UK and European markets.”

And of course, there are many new brands that have released lovely products with medicinal mushrooms in, which has helped too.

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What does the future of medicinal mushrooms in the drink industry look are mushrooms really good for you future of medicinal mushrooms in the drinks industry looks positive with strong growth predicted over the next decade," Zain explains. "If the CBD movement is anything to go by, the medicinal mushroom industry will undergo similar growth; offering an alternative to stimulants and making it easy and convenient for people to consume adaptogens on the go.

"With many more scientific studies underway, the benefits of medicinal mushrooms are being better understood and improvements to testing the active ingredients are helping to verify and improve the extracts used atlantic bank union drinks."

Zoey says, “We hope more products will come to market to help grow the category and build education around these amazing fungi. More research and credibility around their efficacy will broaden consumer trust and bring these amazing natural superheroes into the mainstream.”

Always consult your GP before starting any new herbal treatments, or other products.

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Anna LewisNews EditorAnna Lewis is the News Editor at Delish UK, which means she’s always either writing about food, cooking food or eating food.

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Why People Are Adding Mushrooms to Everything From Coffee to Smoothies

Everything you need to know about the many health benefits of mushrooms.

Mushrooms not only taste delicious, but they’re also a nutritional powerhouse. While most people consume mushrooms in grilled, sautéed, or roasted form, a growing number of brands have come out with mushroom-based coffee, hot chocolate, and even matcha, as well as mushroom powder blends that you can mix into smoothies and juices.

Mushrooms are packed with a long list of nutrients. For example, they contain significant amounts of B vitamins, which help give you energy and are involved with repairing cell damage,” says Dan Nguyen, a registered dietician in New York. “Mushrooms are also a good source of potassium, which helps to regulate blood pressure and, if exposed to a UV light before or after they’re harvested, mushrooms are an excellent source of vitamin D, which is involved in many things like bone health, the immune system and heart health.” This is very important to underline because very few foods naturally contain vitamin D. “Mushrooms are also packed with antioxidants and fiber,” he adds.

There are many types of mushrooms, however, and while these benefits apply generally to all of them, each type of mushroom provides its unique set of advantages. “For example, white buttons provide 19 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin B3 (also known as niacin), which may promote healthy skin and digestion,” says Frances Largeman-Roth, a registered dietician and nutrition expert. “One serving of cooked shiitake mushrooms is an excellent source of copper, offering 85 percent of the recommended daily intake, which helps keep bones and nerves healthy, while one serving of cremini mushrooms is an excellent source of selenium, containing 40 percent of the recommended daily intake. Selenium may help the immune system function properly, so it’s a great mushroom to add to winter dishes, like soups, stews, and casseroles.” Lastly, she singles out maitake (aka Hen of the Woods): “One serving of these mushrooms contains 119 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin D.”

Brands like Four Sigmatic, Ultimate Shrooms, and Om Mushrooms offer up concentrated forms of mushrooms in the form of powder blends that are an easy way for people on the go to get their nutrient fix. These blends can be added to everything from smoothies to coffee and hot chocolate.

Note, however, that while the benefits of mushrooms are real and backed by science, there are several types of dried mushrooms used in traditional Chinese medicine that have recently become popular as supplements whose benefits aren’t as clear-cut, says Largeman-Roth. “For example, cordyceps are touted as an energy booster, as well as an anti-inflammatory, and for respiratory, heart, and immune health, and there are also claims that they can boost sex drive and fight cancer. While studies on the effects of cordyceps have been done on fruit flies and mice, no studies have been done on humans.”

In general, be wary are mushrooms really good for you any strongly worded health benefit that a mushroom can impart. “While consuming mushrooms can assist with overall health and immune system support, this depends on other factors like the rest of your diet and eating habits, time, and physical activity. A note on its own is just a sound, but the right notes in combination produce a harmony,” says Nguyen.

This also means that there’s not a one-size-fits-all prescription for an amount of mushrooms you should be consuming. “It depends on the rest of your eating habits as you really reap the benefits of mushrooms when you allow them to team up with other nutritious foods consistently,” are mushrooms really good for you Nguyen. According to Lee Cotton, a registered dietician and nutritionist in Florida, a typical serving size of mushrooms ranges from ½ cup to 1 cup. “While you shouldn’t expect immediate results, adding some mushrooms into your diet can provide added micronutrients and antioxidants—balance is a key element in the diet,” Cotton says.

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December 9, 2019

As the years pass, new health trends emerge and begin to take over the market. One of these trends can be seen with functional mushrooms.

Although, when you really look into the history of these seemingly magical fungi, they couldn't be considered a true fad. Functional mushrooms have been around for centuries even though they are just starting to attract some attention in Western countries.

Functional mushrooms gained notice for their medicinal purposes, and have been used for thousands of years in Asia for just that.

To learn the secrets of functional mushrooms and why you should be using them, keep reading below. 

What are Functional Mushrooms?

When you hear the term functional mushroom, people aren't talking about the white buttons you can find and buy at your local grocery store. They are usually referring to the more rare mushrooms that grow in dense forests, on fallen logs, or even high on the Himalayan plateau on the head of a caterpillar.

These types of mushrooms are known to be packed with antioxidants and nutritional value, with a plethora of health claims for each.

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.

What Are the Health Benefits of Mushrooms?

Research has shown that eating certain functional mushrooms can help to strengthen immune systems, so your body is better able to ward off illnesses. Some can also be used as a dietary option that is low in calories and high in protein which is great for those who feel as if they are lacking these in their diet, in addition to providing multiple vitamins and essential minerals. 

What Mushrooms Are Considered Functional Mushrooms?

With the extensive range of functional mushrooms on the market, it can be hard to navigate and find the one that is truly right for you or your product. We have compiled a list below of some of the more popular and beneficial mushrooms on the market:


Reishi, also known as lingzhi in China, has been an integral part of Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years and was named for longevity and spirituality.

Reishi is known as an adaptogen, a substance in herbal medicine that is claimed to help the body adapt to stress, and works to normalize body processes. Reishi is most commonly used to support healthy and restful sleep, reduce stress, and to boost the immune system.  


Chaga is one of the richest antioxidant mushrooms in nature and has been claimed by some to have anti-inflammatory benefits. Having a healthy intake of these antioxidants could help strengthen your immune system.

A fun fact about Chaga is that it was used as a coffee ration back in World War II due to its robust flavor and color. This mushroom generally takes 15 to 20 years to reach full maturity where benefits can be best utilized. 


Cordyceps is another popular mushroom that can be found within worldwide medicine. Cordyceps is a parasitic mushroom that grows on a living host.  Cordyceps sinensis specifically can be found growing on the head of a caterpillar in the Tibetan high plateau.

This mushroom has been used in China for thousands of years by royal and elite families as a tonic for energy, vitality, endurance, and to support a healthy immune system. Most commonly, cordyceps are used to help with energy levels which is why it can be found in natural pre-workout formulas. Using this mushroom as a daily supplement could help lengthen stamina endurance. 

Lion's Mane

This mushroom got its name from its fluffy mane-like appearance. Lion's Mane mushroom was traditionally used by Buddhist monks to help focus while meditating.

Supplementing with this mushroom is said to help improve focus and boost your concentration levels and memory. 


Shiitake mushrooms are the most common fungi on this list. Shiitakes have also been used for a long time as a part of Chinese medicine. In the United States, many people recognize shiitake as a superfood and have incorporated it into food, healthcare, and even beauty.

This superfood contains a variety of vitamins and minerals. It's a well-known fact that shiitake mushrooms contain 9 amino acids that are essential to our bodies. This mushroom also works to enhance skin and hair, claiming to make skin glow and hair shine.  

Turkey Tail

The turkey tail mushroom is a polypore, meaning that the meat, or portion of the mushroom you'd want to consume, grows on its underside. In the wild, it can be found growing on dead fallen trees.

Turkey tail is commonly used in cooking and teas. It contains prebiotics and antioxidants that help with the digestive system.


In Japanese, Maitake can be directly translated into dancing mushroom. This is because the Japenese believe if you find this mushroom in the wild you will dance for joy.

This mushroom has been taken in between meals to help with digestion. If your stomach is usually sensitive, maitake could work to bring that sensitivity down. It has also been used in both cooking and teas for this purpose, or by taking a natural supplement. 


Enokitake is a small delicate white mushroom that is native to Asia. Mostly found in Japan, China, and Korea.

These mushrooms are used as an addition to any dish because they are great for cooking. Along with their amazing flavor, they have nutritional benefits that can help fill spots in your diet that are lacking.

They are known to have a good amount of niacin, a form of vitamin B3, that is required for the proper function of fats and sugars in the body and to maintain healthy cells. These mushrooms are also a great source of antioxidants.

Oyster Mushrooms

Oyster mushrooms have a healthy amount of beta-glucans. Beta-glucans are polysaccharides that are claimed to have benefits for cholesterol, blood sugar management, and boosting the immune system.

An oyster mushroom supplement could also help to calm your nerves making it beneficial for winding down after a stressful day.  


Tremella is a popular supplement among those who are going through chemotherapy. The tremella supplement is said to help patients feel comforted after treatment and help to fill nutritional gaps. 

Tremella contains the most vitamin D out of any food source on the planet. It also has a great amount of fiber and antioxidants. 

Where Can These Mushrooms be Found?

You may have never heard of the mushrooms listed above, but thanks to are mushrooms really good for you research these mushrooms are making their way into the mainstream. If you're interested in buying are mushrooms really good for you supplement you can purchase search for them are mushrooms really good for you, check your local farmers market, or at a specialty store. If you are formulating a product with functional mushrooms you can find more information here. 

What's the Best Way to Incorporate Them Into Your Diet?

Incorporating mushrooms into your diet isn't that hard to do.  The simplest way to incorporate into your diet is to find a good quality supplement of your mushroom of choice. Since many of these are not commonly sold fresh in stores, a supplement or mushroom powder is often the way to go. If you choose a powder, you will then be able to add to your cooking, smoothies, protein shakes, or make teas.

If cooking isn't something you're keen on or you just don't how to go online on xbox one to do it, go for a supplement. There are many supplements on the market of single mushrooms or a blend. 

How Will You Take Your Mushrooms?

You now know what functional mushrooms are and how they can be used to help enhance your wellness, beauty, sleep, and more. You also know the top functional mushrooms on the market and how they differ from one another. With this knowledge, it should be much easier to navigate the market and decide what will work best for your lifestyle or formulation. 

For more information on alternative health, be sure to check out our blog here. 


Here's What Magic Mushrooms Do to Your Body And Brain

There's evidence that tripping on magic mushrooms could actually free the mind. Several studies, including two promising recent clinical trials, suggest that psilocybin - shrooms' psychoactive ingredient - may hold the potential to help relieve severe anxiety and depression.


Still, because they're classified as Schedule 1 - meaning they have "no accepted medical use" and are illegal - it's been pretty tough for scientists to tease out exactly what they can and can't do.

Here are a few of the ways we know shrooms can affect your brain and body:

Shrooms can make you feel good.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, magic mushrooms can lead to feelings of relaxation that are similar to the effects of low doses of marijuana.

Like other hallucinogenic drugs, such as LSD or peyote, shrooms are thought to produce most of their effects by acting on neural highways in the brain that use the neurotransmitter serotonin, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

More specifically, magic mushrooms affect the brain's prefrontal cortex, part of the brain that regulates abstract thinking, thought analysis, and plays a key role in mood and perception. 

They can also make you hallucinate.

They can also make you hallucinate.Journal of the Royal Society Interface

Above: Visualisation of the brain connections in a person on psilocybin (right) and in someone given a placebo (left).

Many users describe things like seeing sounds or hearing colours. A 2014 study was one of the first to attribute this effect to the way psilocybin affects communication across brain networks.


In people injected with 2 milligrams of the drug, researchers saw new, stronger activity across several regions of the brain that normally rarely or never engage in such 'cross-talk'.

To visualise what they were seeing in the people given the drug (as opposed to those given a placebo), the researchers created the representation above.

These hallucinations may be key to understanding how shrooms could help ease depression.

Imperial College London neuroscientist David Nutt, who authored a 2012 study on psilocybin, also found changes in the brain activity patterns of people on the drug. 

While some areas became more pronounced, others were muted - including in a region of the brain thought to play a role in maintaining our sense of self.

In depressed people, Nutt believes, the connections between brain circuits in this sense-of-self region are too strong. "People who get into depressive thinking, their brains are overconnected," Nutt told Psychology Today.

But loosening those connections and creating new ones, the thinking goes, could provide intense relief.

A five-year study of the drug suggests it could work "like a surgical intervention" for mental illness.

Results from two controlled clinical trials of the effects of psilocybin on patients dealing with depression and distress related to facing the end of life suggest that a single dose of the drug could one day be a powerful tool for treating depression and anxiety.

The first was done by researchers from Johns Hopkins University, the other by researchers at New York University. 

Six months after the experience, 80 percent of the Johns Hopkins participants showed significant decreases in symptoms of depression and anxiety, as measured by what's considered a gold standard psychiatric evaluation.

The NYU team says that between 60 percent and 80 percent of its participants had similarly reduced anxiety and depression 6.5 months after a single psychedelic trip, as my colleague Kevin Loria reported

Some researchers think shrooms could also help relieve anxiety after they're used.

The New Yorker/Sky Dylan-RobbinsThe New Yorker/Sky Dylan-Robbins

For a New York University study looking at how the drug might affect cancer patients with severe anxiety, researchers observed the effects of psilocybin on volunteers who received either a dose of psilocybin in pill form or a placebo. 

A re-enactment of the procedure is shown in the photo above.

Nick Fernandez, a 2014 participant, says his trip took him on an emotional journey that helped him see "a force greater than [himself]", he told Aeon Magazine.

"Something inside me snapped," and I "realise[d] all my anxieties, defenses, and insecurities weren't something to worry about."

NYU psychotherapist Jeffrey Guss told the New Yorker that many partipants experienced a similar result, and added that, "We consider that to be part of the healing process."

But you might also feel anxious - at least while you're on the drug.

In many of the case reports from the NYU study, particpants reported experiencing intense anxiety and discomfort - ranging from a few minutes to a few hours - during their trip.

It was only afterward that some said they began to feel a sense of relief; and even this experience may vary significantly for each person.

Your pupils may also dilate.

Increased levels of serotonin, which can be a result of using shrooms, can dilate your pupils.

And your sense of time might be distorted.

Feeling as though time has been slowed down is one of the side-effects of using shrooms, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

You may have an out-of-body experience.

Shrooms can induce experiences that seem real but aren't.

These types of out-of-body experiences, in which users might observe a version of themselves, typically begin 20 to 90 minutes after ingesting the drug and can last as long as 12 hours, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Experiences can vary based on how much you take, as well as by your personality, your mood and even your surroundings.

And you might feel more open or imaginative.

After Johns Hopkins psychologists induced out of body experiences in a small group of healthy volunteers dosed with psilocybin, the participants said they felt more open, more imaginative, and more appreciative of beauty.

When the researchers followed up with the volunteers a year later, nearly two-thirds said the experience had been one of the most important in their lives; close to half continued to score higher on a personality test of openness than they had before taking the drug.

Some users have reported lingering hallucinatory perceptions that may be linked with a rare disorder called HPPD.

Some users have reported lingering hallucinatory perceptions that may be linked with a rare disorder called HPPD.Flickr/arhadetruit

Since the 1960s, there have been scattered reports of something called hallucinogen persisting perception disorder - when hallucinations continue long after someone's taken a hallucinogenic drug, typically LSD.

(There are also some anecdotal reports of it from people who've used shrooms). 

Scientists still have yet to come up with a strict definition of HPPD, but John Halpern, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and lead author of the most recent review of HPPD, told the New Yorker that:

"It seems inescapable", based on 20 related studies dating back to 1966, "that at least some individuals who have used LSD, in particular, experience persistent perceptual abnormalities reminiscent of acute intoxication, not better attributable to another medical or psychiatric condition."

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Fungus is popping up in a lot of places far outside the dark, damp corners of the forest. Mushrooms come in a dizzying array of shapes, sizes, colors, and varieties, but medicinal mushrooms are actually one of the hottest food trends in health food stores and on social media feeds right now thanks to recent reports about mushrooms’ ability to improve a number of health and athletic measures.

No, we’re not talking about the package of pre-sliced white mushrooms you buy at the grocery store for your morning omelet or veggie pizza—what we’re talking about here are specific mushroom species including cordyceps, reishi, and chaga, which grow in deep, dense forests. Some believe these varieties have powerful medicinal benefits (and, no, they’re not the type that can take you on a seemingly mystical, magical trip).

While medicinal mushrooms have been used in Chinese and Japanese medicine for eons, the Western world is just starting to take notice of them, leading to a “shroom boom” of sorts. Advocates make some tall claims about the “powers” of medicinal mushrooms such as turkey tail and lion’s mane including improved immunity, increased mental focus, deeper sleep, and a decreased risk for a number of maladies including cancer and diabetes. Need to chill out? Try some reishi mushrooms to calm anxiety, proponents will say.

And now, even athletes are increasingly turning to these ancient “superfoods,” hoping they’ll get an edge and turbo charge their workouts. Cordyceps mushrooms, in particular, have been marketed towards those who like to regularly work up a sweat as its touted to boost stamina and increase how long you can go before fatiguing. But, of course, this is not proven by science, so how many of these rave reviews actually hold water?

What Does the Research Say?

Overall, the science on mushrooms is still somewhat unsettled, with most of the evidence coming from rodent and test tube research. In these cases, there needs to be more research done with humans and athletes to have solid takeaways. That said, there’s no shortage of anecdotal reports and marketing speak, which should be taken with a grain of salt. There is, however, a modicum of science conducted on humans that might be of interest to us in the lycra crowd.

Take, for instance, an Italian study involving seven amateur cyclists, which found that three months of consuming fungal supplements, including cordyceps, tamed exercise-induced oxidative stress, which the study authors speculate could help athletes better adapt to the rigors of strenuous training. And one investigation in the Journal of Dietary Supplements showed that individuals who are mushrooms really good for you 4 grams a day of a medicinal mushroom blend for a three-week period experienced improvements in fitness metrics such as VO2 max during a cycling test.

Another recent study discovered that mushrooms, particularly those like maitake that are not frequently consumed in America, are rich in certain antioxidants like glutathione. This fungi antioxidant may help active bodies maintain a robust immune system and recover better from hard workouts by limiting inflammation. And some data suggests that a special fungus-derived fiber called beta-glucan could help guard athletes against the all-too-common upper respiratory infection.

Meanwhile, the hype over adaptogens, compounds found in certain plant foods that some wellness practitioners believe heighten the body’s resistance to stress, has further elevated mushroom’s notoriety. Yet, the research here is in short supply, with one recent study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition finding an adaptogen supplement had no benefit when it comes to improving muscle function and strength in response to training when compared to popping a placebo.

Other research looking at whether mushrooms are an answer to improved overall health such as suppressing certain cancer cells, reducing age-associated mental decline, and scaling down blood pressure numbers has been modest but somewhat encouraging.

When it comes to other claimed benefits such as improved energy and focus, these aspects of human experiences are notoriously subjective and hard to prove. There is always going to be a chance that sipping cordyceps juice will make you feel like a Grand Tour champion thanks to the reliable placebo effect.

With all this said, we need to see a lot more research, especially larger scale studies on humans, before these types of mushrooms should be declared an essential part of any diet, let alone an athlete’s diet. But many companies aren’t waiting for the science to play catch-up and are making it easy for us to get a (legal) mushroom fix.

If you decide you are curious, so-called “functional mushrooms” are popping up everywhere from energy bars to pricey coffee drinks. This is all a way of trying to get people past the mental image of how they think mushrooms look and taste: earthy.

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Infused products such as hot cocoa and protein powder are easy access points for mushroom newbies since they don’t taste especially mushroom-y and are simple to use every day. By consuming powders made from dehydrated and ground whole mushrooms, you will be taking in large amounts of their potentially performance-boosting, healing compounds (key word: potentially). That is harder to do when you just sprinkle some supermarket mushrooms into your pasta. Thanks to these products, you don’t need to go foraging in the woods to get your fungi fix.

Om Fit Mushroom Powder


This umami-laced powder includes organic mushrooms such as cordyceps, reishi, and turkey tail that may help energize your athletic pursuits. Blend with cold water or stir into steamy water for a mushroom broth.

Amazing Grass Grass & Shrooms Powder


A medicinal mushroom blend teams up with nutrient-rich grasses for a power powder that can potentially upgrade any post-training smoothie.

Purely Elizabeth Banana Nut Bars


You’ll go bananas for these nutty granola-style bars that sneak in reishi extract for a possible boost. Toss a few in your bag for a morning or post-workout snack.

Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee


Think of this instant coffee and cordyceps mix as Nescafe’s trendy brethren. Steeping mushroom powders in a hot liquid may increase the body’s ability to absorb beneficial compounds.

Just don’t expect medicinal mushrooms to make up for a lousy diet or lackluster training. In other words, reishi and cordyceps muchsrooms definitely won’t turn a donkey into a racehorse.

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4 Replies to “Are mushrooms really good for you”

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