Men and women over 40 have different needs and often, we opt to find healthier, better food choices.
If Finnish company Four Stigmatic had its way, we’d be doing away with infused waters and supplement pills, and instead chug on mushroom-infused coffee for our morning joe.
Wild mushrooms, to be exact.
Health reports that in order to create its coffee mixes (hot chocolate powders too!), it isolates and spray dries the mushrooms’ key components, resulting in a mix that contains the ‘shrooms’ health promoting compounds in ‘a highly concentrated form.’
Then after rigorous safety and quality checks, the powder is mixed with organic instant coffee grounds so you can just pop in some hot water, and voila, a coffee drink with all the trendy keywords in check: organic, vegan, and healthy.
But what exactly is in the mix and what is it supposed to do for the body?
The maitake mushroom is said to regulate blood sugar levels, while another variety, the chaga, reduces coffee’s natural acidity, making it easier on the stomach. There are claims that it supports digestive health and wards off bacteria and viruses. (Because, let’s be honest, women over 40 and even younger ones start to feel weird things in our stomach during Taco Night).
Senior nutrition expert and dietician Cynthia Sass, RD even supports the claim, saying “There is some research to show that the maitake mushroom may lower blood glucose in patients with type 2 diabetes.”
But don’t be in a rush to fill your diet with fungi, either; because according to Sass, it’s important to first know what you’re getting.
“It’s important to know that anything medicinal, even plants and natural substances, can have potential side effects and interactions,” she said.
In the case of maitake mushrooms, you might to steer clear of it if you’re on medication for blood thinning, diabetes, or blood pressure, as the components in the mushroom can interact with those drugs.
“It’s also important to note that chagas have a blood thinning effect, so they shouldn’t be consumed before any surgery,” she said.
But to make it a little easier on you with all this fungi relate information, at least you can rest assured that the culinary kinds are all safe to consume.
“Culinary mushrooms, like white buttons and portobellos, are very low in calories—about 15 to 20 per cup—and antioxidant-rich too,” said Sass. “Plus, they’re the only plant source of natural vitamin D, a key nutrient most of us don’t get enough of.”
Do a quick Google search, and you’ll know all the health benefits of getting your regular intake of Vitamin D: it is linked to lower rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, and even some cancers. Sounds great!
But for the wild varieties, especially when they are packaged as trendy drinks and enhancers, it’s best to take it with the advice of your doctors.
“I do think there is a place for the use of medicinal mushrooms, but I generally don’t recommend that people take them on their own,” says Sass.
Be sure to talk to your doctor about it, in case you’re taking it along with any sort of medication.