Food Fun Travel is supported by its readers. If you purchase through our links, we might earn a commission. Thanks for your support!
A Food Fun Travel Guest Post
Do you want to eat healthier, but don’t know where to start? Check out lion’s mane mushrooms! These fungi are loaded with nutrients and beneficial compounds, making them a perfect addition to any diet. Read on to learn more about the benefits of lion’s mane mushrooms and how to incorporate them into your meals. You’ll be glad you did!
What is Lion’s Mane, and Where Can it Be Found?
Lion’s Mane is a type of mushroom that has long since been one of the most popular mushrooms used in traditional Chinese and Japanese herbal medicine. It goes by many names, such as Shishigashira (Lion’s Head) or Houtou, because it looks similar to a baby monkey. However, Asia isn’t the only place where this mushroom grows; it also grows in Europe and North America.
In terms of where this mushroom can be found, it is very commonly found in woodlands and hardwood forests. Interestingly enough, Lion’s Mane mushrooms are commonly found growing on decaying or dead trees or in the trees where wounds have not healed, such as where there is damaged bark or broken-off branches. More than this, even though these mushrooms can be found on fallen logs, they are most commonly growing high up on trees and have been found on trees 40 feet above the ground.
Tips for Buying the Powder
Before you rush off to buy lion’s mane mushrooms, you should know that it is also available in powder. You can get this from Nature’s Rise because you want a reputable source to ensure that you’re getting a product that is of the highest quality. You should always read through the ingredients since unethical suppliers use certain ingredients that will decrease the mushroom’s effectiveness.
For example, rice protein reduces the potency of the mushroom. Another thing to keep an eye out for would be extract powder or steam-activated mushrooms. Steam-activated mushrooms are typically the best choice since it makes the mushrooms more bioavailable.
Tips for Foraging Mushrooms
Finally, you might not want to purchase mushrooms or mushroom powder from a store and instead might choose to forage by yourself. When foraging, be sure to use both a region-based mushroom guide and a mushroom-identifying app.
More importantly, you should use a mesh-type bag. Why? Because these bags allow spores to fall to the ground, which helps to repopulate the area where you just foraged. And remember, follow the general age-old advice, “when in doubt, leave it out.”
What Benefits Does It Offer?
One of the main reasons why lion’s mane mushrooms are thought to be the new superfood is because of the many benefits that they could offer. Below are some benefits that could be received from lion’s mane mushrooms.
- Helps with inflammation: One benefit that lion’s mane mushrooms may provide is the ability to fight inflammation. Lion’s mane, much like turmeric, has anti-inflammatory properties. It’s thought to provide these benefits due to the polysaccharide and antioxidant content. Studies have been conducted that have shown that lion’s mane has reduced symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease, as well as inflammation.
- Supports immune system: Another interesting benefit that lion’s mane mushrooms could provide is the ability to support the immune system. Current research shows that lion’s mane mushrooms actually boost the intestinal immune system.
- Benefits for mental health: One study had some participants eat a cookie with lion’s mane extract and some with just a placebo. Based on the test results, research indicates that lion’s mane mushrooms could help reduce symptoms of mild anxiety and depression.
- Improve cognitive function: Finally, perhaps one of the main reasons why lion’s mane is considered to be the new superfood is because it has the potential to improve cognitive function. For example, a recent study indicates that a lion’s mane could reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Another study involving mice showed that it improved visual and memory recognition by increasing the production of something called NGF, or nerve growth factor.
More research is needed to determine how much to take, in what form, and for how long. More importantly, it’s advised to consult with your healthcare professional before attempting self-treatment.