The Magic of Mushrooms

Written by Sara Rocci Denis
October 25, 2022

With the pumpkin spice season kicking off in mid-August I find it sometimes easy to forget about and celebrate the beginning of fall.

That is until my favourite “funghi” start popping up in the forest as friendly reminders! Coming from northern Italy, I literally crave porcini, pioppini, and chanterelle mushrooms!

I find these little delights to be astounding. Fungi belong to their own kingdom and while we see ‘the fruit’ above ground, an intricate network of mitochondria and transmitters exists underground, sometimes stretching for miles. Over 10,000 species of fungi produce mushrooms, and roughly 2,000 of them can be consumed with no mind-altering or body-harming effects. And yet: most are too bitter, tough, or slimy to be enjoyed as culinary delicacies and we end up with 20-30 “usual edible suspects”!

These natural umami powerhouses have a lot of promise in supporting our everyday health. 

They are rich in unique nutrients and phytochemicals that are not easily found in other foods. High in fiber and fat-free,  they contain several antioxidants, B vitamins, copper, and potassium. A curious thing happens when you let mushrooms sit out in the sun to dry.  Instead of losing vitamins by the minute, as happens with cut lemons and oranges, mushrooms absorb and store the full dose of Vitamin D from the sun. They are able to relay this vitamin fully intact to us when we eat them. So, eating sun-soaked mushrooms is the equivalent of eating some sunshine 🙂 This is one reason they are used to help tackle a bout of the blues.

Chinese medicine has long shown us that mushrooms can nourish, heal, regulate, strengthen and stabilize our bodies. Incorporating mushrooms into our diet, whether cooked, as an extract, or in powdered form can treat a range of ailments and enhance our vitality. Did you know that Shiitake stimulates the immune system, Reishi regulates blood pressure, Maitake improves glucose tolerance, and Tremella Fuciformis has anti-aging properties that contribute to a fresh, youthful glow more intense than with hyaluronic acid? So does Austernseitling, while Chaga mushrooms help in the fight against cancer, and Cordyceps has been shown to combat depression and fatigue.

Are you also keen to find foods to carry along in your adventures that not only taste great but give you that performance edge?

In the EAT freedom kitchen, the line where health and flavour coincide is where we like to reside.

Will you take along some magical mushrooms on your next hike? 😉


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