You’ve probably heard of mushroom coffee or seen one of those Instagram photos with a freshly brewed cup of black coffee and several raw mushrooms placed meticulously on a side plate and wondered what the heck coffee has to do with mushrooms. If not, you’re not too late to the party.
Mushroom coffee is not as new as you may believe. In fact, it dates all the way back to World War II in Finland, the world’s highest coffee consumer country, according to data. As per legend, the people of Finland were so fond of coffee that when it became scarce and was rigorously rationed, they needed to find an alternative. During this hunt, they found mushrooms could be converted into a beverage. The Chaga tea, which is prepared from the Chaga fungus, has a flavour almost identical to coffee. Over time, those who disliked the mushroom taste began mixing it with coffee for a more aromatic flavour.
What Is Mushroom Coffee, And How Is It Prepared?
As the name implies, Mushroom coffee is a blend of mushrooms and ground coffee beans that results in a soft dark smooth cup of coffee. However, not in the way, you may assume; mushrooms are not just thrown into a blender and churned into a smoothie. They are first dried and then powdered, and those who have tried it say it tastes just like ordinary coffee, with the added benefit of being healthier.
You see, mushroom coffee is not produced from common culinary mushrooms like shiitake and Portobello, but rather from extracts of medicinal mushrooms like Chaga, Turkey’s tail, Lion’s mane, and Reishi Cordyceps.
How Come Mushrooms?
Mushrooms blended in coffee, isn’t it intriguing? You have to agree that mushrooms and coffee are a strange pairing, yet the two appear to work so well together that it has become a global craze. For the longest time, there has been a conflict between the benefits and downsides of coffee. And while coffee has been found to have a multitude of benefits such as providing an energy boost in the morning, assisting you in focusing and remaining alert, and it has also been proven to aid in fat burning thus weight loss, it does have some drawbacks. It causes insomnia and can cause severe withdrawal symptoms such as lack of focus and anxiety. However, when coupled with mushrooms, it’s like a perfect union. After all, mushrooms are not only delicious they have a profound medical history, especially in Asian cultures.
To answer why mushrooms and coffee make such an excellent combination, it is because the health benefits of mushrooms help to offset the adverse effects of coffee, making mushrooms an ideal therapeutic beverage.
The Primary Benefits Of Mushroom Coffee
1. Antibacterial and Antiparasitic
For hundreds of years, they have been used to cure various infections, and their immense medical potential continues to be discovered to this day. This is because medicinal mushrooms possess antibacterial and anti-parasitic properties that aid in detoxifying and infection combating. Recent research has explored the use of mushrooms such as reishi in treating pulmonary disorders and boosting immunity, keeping in mind that China has been employing reishi in conjunction with chemotherapy for cancer treatment for the past three decades.
2. It Has Less Caffeine.
Are you concerned about developing an addiction to coffee and the withdrawal symptoms that may occur if you stop? When brewing mushroom coffee, the ratio of ground coffee beans to mushroom powder is typically 1:1, indicating that a mushroom coffee cup contains 50% less caffeine than regular coffee. While most people are unlikely to be adversely affected by a moderate amount of caffeine, those with underlying health problems who are accustomed to daily coffee consumption may be. However, substituting mushroom coffee for ordinary coffee will reduce your caffeine intake while still benefiting your health.
3. Beneficial To Your Mental Health.
The benefits of mushrooms extend far beyond caffeine reduction. Who would have believed that one of the primary benefits of mushrooms is that they aid with stress management? Mushrooms can operate as adaptogens, assisting your adrenal glands in their function. It helps you in remaining calm in stressful situations and in coping with anxiety.
4. It Is Beneficial For Indigestion And Gut Health.
It is proven that mushrooms include prebiotics and carbohydrates with profiles such as polysaccharides that can aid to improve overall intestinal health while also providing relief from indigestion and minor gastrointestinal issues.
5. Beneficial For Individuals With High Blood Pressure.
Mushrooms are extremely high in potassium, a mineral that aids in relaxing the blood vessels, easing muscle tension and cramps. While mushrooms have long been regarded as a superfood due to their numerous health benefits, most claims have not been substantiated. Nonetheless, unless you have an allergy to mushrooms, you should give mushroom coffee a try; many people swear by it, and who knows, you might wind up liking it more than your regular coffee.
Dr. Casey Sinclair, D.C. is a leading holistic healthcare doctor trained in functional medicine. He has extended his reach around the world by co-founding Family Health Advocacy, a health advocacy group lead by doctors and health professionals providing resources and education on global health matters. He has been fortunate to act as health a consultant to some of the largest companies in North America and as a professional speaker he’s had the privilege of speaking to thousands of people. Dr. Casey is an advocate for people suffering with chronic pain and fibromyalgia and has authored a book on the subject.