When thinking about adding superfoods to your diet, mushrooms might not be the first thing that come to mind. Yet mushrooms have been used by indigenous cultures for thousands of years, both as food and as medicine. In fact, medicinal mushrooms are among the world’s most studied superfoods and they are utilized in around forty percent of allopathic medicines, including penicillin.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine over 200 species of medicinal mushrooms are used for healing purposes. According to TCM theory mushrooms have cleansing properties, promote longevity and offer protection from cancer. Recent scientific research has confirmed their immune-enhancing effects and potential benefit for a wide range of health conditions.
Because our modern diet doesn’t generally include these healthy types of mushrooms, incorporating even small amounts gives us the opportunity to experience significant benefits. But these mushrooms are not readily accessible so for most of us the only practical way to consume them is in the form of a supplement.
So I was interested when Four Sigmatic contacted me with an opportunity to try their new range of medicinal mushroom products. They have focused on ways to make it easier to add these mushrooms into your daily routines, while also improving the way they taste.
Their most popular product appears to be their Mushroom Coffee, which includes a blend of arabica coffee, chaga and cordyceps. They say you won’t get jitters and crashes because these mushrooms support the adrenal glands. But sadly I can no longer drink coffee after I developed a sudden caffeine sensitivity years ago, so I asked if I could sample some of their other products and they graciously agreed.
They have also offered readers of Raw Food Solution the chance to try their products at a discount, so keep reading to learn more.
A great alternative to the Mushroom Coffee is the Chaga Mushroom Elixir Mix. Chaga has that slightly bitter taste that reminds me of coffee. It also supports the adrenal glands so can give quite a noticeable boost in energy. Chaga also has anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and cancer-preventative properties.
As an extra bonus it includes Siberian Ginseng, another adrenal supportive herb. Because Siberian ginseng can be quite stimulating I would consume this fairly early in the day, especially if you have a tendency toward insomnia.
This blend also includes peppermint and rosehip, which really do balance the bitter, earthy flavors of the chaga. One recommended way to drink this is by adding it to hot water like a tea, which is what I did. They also suggested using honey as a sweetener, which I am sure would be lovely. I only had coconut sugar and that worked well.
The Mushroom Hot Cocoa comes in two varieties: Energizing Mushroom Hot Cacao with Cordyceps and Calming Mushroom Hot Cacao with Reishi. The instructions recommend preparing this one espresso-style with 4 oz of hot water.
I tried the reishi blend, which also includes coconut sugar, cinnamon, cardamon and stevia extract. I like the idea of stevia because it means you can use less sugar but still have sweetness. This drink still did have quite a strong bitter element from the cacao and I was surprised that I could taste the reishi mushroom. Personally I like those bitter flavors but if you prefer a more traditional hot chocolate you might want to combine this with some nut milk and extra sweetener.
Reishi is traditionally used for its benefits for the immune system. In Traditional Chinese Medicine it is regarded as a shen tonic, to promote feelings of peace, calm, and serenity. It’s a fantastic idea to add reishi to cacao because the calming action of the reishi will balance the stimulating effects of raw cacao.
Their newest product is the Smoothie ‘Shroomer, which come with either chaga or turkey-tail mushroom. In addition to the mushrooms it also contains wild blueberries, black currants and acerola cherries, which provide antioxidant compounds to support the skin and eyes, full spectrum vitamin C and anthocyanins. Another effective botanical ingredient is schisandra, which is an adaptogenic herb, widely used in Chinese medicine to support adrenal health to reduce fatigue and to support mental health. Athletes also like schisandra to enhance physical performance and increase endurance.
Berries and chaga taste amazing together so there is no need for extra sweeteners that are often added to smoothie boosters. A simple way to use it is to blend one heaping tablespoon with a handful of frozen berries and a cup of almond milk or coconut water. It would also work well in smoothies including pineapple, red dragon fruit (pittaya), banana or chocolate.
Four Sigmatic donates a portion of proceeds from each sale to Boarding 4 Breast Cancer, a non-profit foundation focused on breast cancer prevention. For every product they sell they also donate one portion of free superfoods to cancer patients.
If you are interested in trying Four Sigmatic products, they have generously offered readers of this site a 15 percent discount. Simply visit the Four Sigmatic website, select your products and enter the code “RawFoodSolution” when you check out.
Thank you very much to Four Sigmatic for the opportunity to try their products in exchange for this post. A positive review is not required nor guaranteed. All opinions are my own.