We’re always on the lookout for functional foods that we can add to our lives that will enhance the way we feel and how we show up in the world. Maybe you’ve heard about functional mushrooms and some of their benefits, but you’re wondering which mushrooms to take and how to actually use them in your everyday life.
Each mushroom species has its own functional superpower, so these nutritional powerhouses can help support everything from brain health and immune defense to natural energy and youthful radiance. "Mushrooms are a truly unique superfood," says Sandra Carter (M.A., MPH, Ph.D.), integrative health expert and founder of Om Mushrooms. "They contain many key nutrients like super antioxidants, prebiotics, and digestive enzymes that we have a hard time getting from other plant or animal sources, which makes them an essential part of activating and balancing our immune system, nerve and brain health, and cardiovascular system."
Like all superfoods, they’re not a magic bullet, so it's best to incorporate them into your daily routine to reap the extraordinary benefits. Besides making sure you take them regularly, another thing to be aware of is the quality of the mushroom powders you're buying—look for pure, whole food mushroom powders, organically grown in the United States (we love Om, Organic Mushroom Nutrition). One of the best things about these mushroom powders like lion's mane, reishi, cordyceps, chaga and turkey tail (besides the long-term benefits) is that they’re easy to use and you can simply add to drinks, smoothies, dressings, sauces, soups, stews, and even desserts.
We love to create little rituals throughout the day that feature each mushroom's superpower. Here's how you can easily incorporate functional mushrooms into your everyday routine from your morning smoothie to your evening sweet treat.
Lion's mane is known as "The Smart Mushroom" because of its cognitive and nerve health benefits, making it great for the morning with its attention, focus, and memory-enhancing qualities. Starting each day with a teaspoon of lion's mane in a tonic is the perfect way to jump-start your brain power for the day. Paired with antioxidant-rich energy-boosting matcha, you'll be feeling ready for anything.
Place cashews, coconut butter, date, and water in a high-speed blender and process until smooth. Add in the lion's mane and matcha powders, and process again until well-combined. Pour and enjoy.
*If your blender isn't high-speed, soaking your cashews for at least 1 hour or overnight will make for a smoother, creamier beverage.
Cordyceps provides a natural, noncaffeinated energy that can give you just the right boost to power through an afternoon workout or a fully packed meeting schedule. Cordyceps are anti-inflammatory and help optimize oxygen uptake—making it an optimal pairing for your sweat session or anything that requires extra endurance.
Chaga makes you feel and look vibrant on a cellular level. This mushroom is packed with skin-protecting antioxidants that help ward off free radical damage, making a great food for vibrant skin and overall health. Although it’s an asset at any time of the day, we love chaga in the evening so it can help supercharge our beauty sleep.
To make Tahini Chaga Sauce, in a small bowl, whisk ingredients together until well-combined. Taste for seasoning and add a little more water if a thinner consistency is desired.
To make the stir fry, heat a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add enough oil to cover the base of the pan and heat through. Add scallions and broccolini, along with a pinch of salt. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until broccolini is bright green and starting to get tender.
Set broccolini aside on a plate and place the pan back on the heat, adding a little more oil if needed. Add asparagus and another pinch of salt and cook for 3 minutes, stirring once or twice, until starting to turn bright green.
Add in snow peas, edamame, garlic, and chili and cook, stirring, until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Tip broccolini back into the pan and stir to combine everything over the heat. Taste for seasoning and serve immediately.
To serve, fill bowls with cooked quinoa or rice topped with stir fried vegetable mixture. Drizzle with Tahini Chaga Sauce, top with fresh cilantro, and enjoy.
Unwind post-dinner with reishi and turkey tail mushrooms. Reishi’s adaptogen status helps the body cope with stress in healthy ways that keep you feeling calm, while turkey tail acts as a powerful immunity activator. Together, this duo provides immune defense, anti-inflammatory, and gut health benefits, making them ideal for fortifying your body before restful and restorative sleep time.
Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth. Pour into your favorite bowls and top with fresh fruit, goji berries, granola, or coconut flakes.
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