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Mushrooms are having a moment. They’re now in lots of different coffees. And for some, the idea sounds pretty unappetizing and maybe even revolting. But the mushroom coffee trend is going strong.

The question is, Why? Is mushroom coffee something you should be drinking and is it better for you than a regular cup of Joe?

Here’s everything you need to know about trendy mushroom coffee.

What is mushroom coffee?

Mushroom coffee is made by first liquifying medicinal mushrooms and then drying their key constituents. Then, these isolated parts are ground up into a powder.

Mushroom coffee is powdered, regular coffee plus these powdered, medicinal mushrooms. It’s a soluble beverage that actually has a smooth, earthy, and warm taste.

All you do is pour the packet into your favorite mug, add hot water, and enjoy.

Pros: The health benefits of mushroom coffee

The mushrooms used in coffee aren’t the psychedelic type, so don’t worry – you won’t be tripping anytime soon. Instead, the mushroom varieties in coffee are said to provide amazing health benefits.

Traditional Chinese Medicine has been using medicinal mushrooms for thousands of years to address various health complaints. Modern research shows that medicinal mushrooms can increase immune function, reduce blood pressure, fight cancer, reduce cholesterol, enhance cognitive function, and reduce anxiety.

To be clear, though, there haven’t been many research studies examining the health benefits of medicinal mushrooms on human subjects. And a lot of the studies that have been done haven’t been replicated yet. So, the research is limited, but still growing.

What are the health benefits of combining medical mushrooms with coffee? Let’s take a look at some of the most common fungi that show up in coffee.

Remember, many of the listed health benefits are attributed benefits of medicinal mushrooms. In some cases, there is research to back these health claims.

Health benefits attributed to Cordyceps

  • Supports energy
  • May boost stamina and athletic performance, according to this study
  • May provide anti-aging properties
  • May help manage diabetes
  • Contains antioxidant properties, which help to fight free radicals and prevent oxidative stress and damage. These properties become increasingly relevant as we age, especially since they help to fight against chronic diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, and neurological diseases, like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
  • May support cardiovascular health
  • May have anti-tumor activity
  • Rich in polysaccharides, which act as prebiotics inside the digestive system. This, in turn, boosts digestion, metabolism, weight, blood glucose levels, and so much more.
  • May fight inflammation in the body

Health benefits attributed to Chaga

  • May boost stamina and physical endurance
  • Stimulates the immune system
  • May help prevent cancer. Chaga mushrooms have been noted to have antitumor and anti-cancer properties. In fact, one study found that chaga mushroom properties can stall colon cancer cell growth.
  • Provides antioxidant properties
  • May offer anti-viral benefits
  • May help reduce inflammation
  • Be aware that chaga mushrooms have a blood-thinning effect and should be avoided before surgery. They may also interact with blood thinning medication and blood pressure medication.

Health benefits attributed to Lion’s mane

  • Immune boosting properties
  • May have anti-cancer activity
  • May protect against memory loss
  • May reduce feelings of anxiety and depression
  • May reduce the risk of heart disease
  • May sharpen concentration
  • Provides antioxidant properties, which can help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress
  • May improve digestive health
  • May help manage diabetes
  • May support nervous system injury recovery

Health benefits attributed to Reishi

  • Said to relieve stress
  • Provides immune function support
  • May have anti-cancer properties
  • Improves sleep
  • May help fight fatigue
  • May help lift depression
  • Offers antioxidant properties
  • Rich in adaptogens, which support liver function and help the body to detox, as this study found.

Cons: What you need to know about mushroom coffee

For individuals with an autoimmune disease (psoriasis, celiac disease, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Type 1 diabetes, etc.), mushroom coffee might be a problem.

The reason for this is because mushroom coffee may boost immune function activity. This may actually increase the immune system’s actions and create more discomfort for individuals with an autoimmune disease.

If you have an autoimmune disease, it’s best to do your own research about mushroom coffee and how it may affect your current condition.

How does mushroom coffee compare to regular coffee?

The biggest, and most obvious, the difference between mushroom coffee and regular coffee is that with the latter, you just get coffee, without the benefits of medicinal mushrooms.

Regular coffee benefits include providing powerful antioxidants, increasing alertness, improving mood, supporting cardiovascular health, and more.

Regular coffee tends to have a significantly higher amount of caffeine. However since mushroom coffee is made with half coffee and half mushroom, it tends to have a lower amount of caffeine.

This is great news if you’re sensitive to caffeine. With mushroom coffee, you still get to enjoy this quintessential beverage, without all of caffeine’s negative effects, like jitters, increased feelings of anxiety, etc.

Mushroom coffee top picks

If you’re curious about mushroom coffee and want to give it a go, try it! What do you have to lose? If you like it, you get to welcome a new, healthy beverage for your kitchen. If not, you can always stick to good old coffee.

Four Sigmatic Lion’s Mane Mushroom Elixir

What you get:

  • Lion’s mane mushroom, which supports memory, concentration, cognitive function, and the nervous system
  • Vegan
  • USDA Organic

Four Sigmatic Mushroom Ground Coffee, USDA Organic and Fair Trade Coffee with Chaga and Lion’s Mane Coffee

What you get:

  • Lion’s mane mushroom, which supports memory, concentration, cognitive function, and the nervous system
  • Chaga mushroom, which supports immune function
  • Fairtrade organic coffee beans from Honduras
  • Vegan

Four Sigmatic Organic Mushroom Hot Cacao with Cordyceps

What you get:

  • Cordyceps mushrooms, which support stamina and endurance
  • USDA certified organic Peruvian cacao
  • Vegan

Four Sigmatic Organic Mushroom Matcha with Lion’s Mane and Ginger

What you get:

  • Organic matcha tea, to support brain function, memory and creativity
  • Organic Lion’s Mane mushroom, to support brain function, memory and creativity
  • Astragalus root, an adaptogen which helps support the body during stress
  • Vegan

Four Sigmatic 10 Mushroom Blend

You get 10 medicinal mushrooms:

  • Reishi
  • Chaga
  • Cordyceps
  • Enokitake
  • Maitake
  • Shitake
  • Lion’s mane
  • Tremella
  • Agaricus Blazei
  • Meshima

Mushroom coffee is certainly having its moment. It’s delicious, easy and is said to boost overall health and wellness. Are you on board?

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