icon-account icon-glass

Popular Products

The Lean Protein
Whey protein powder for weight-loss.
The Energy Booster
Pre/intra-workout powder with BCAAs.
The Glow Booster
Collagen supplement for skin.
  • Food
  • Mushrooms: The Superfood of the Future?

    15th July 2020

    15th July 2020

    By Robyn Schaffer

    ‘Superfood’ is a term that’s been thrown around the wellness world with careless ease for some time now. From açai to chia, spirulina to blueberries, it often feels as if we’re being constantly inundated with information about what to eat, how much, and when. 

    Furthermore, lots of these popular and celebrated ‘superfoods’ can also be expensive, leading many people to think that they simply can’t get access to them in their diets. Recently, however, a new and unexpected ‘superfood’ was added to the list. It won’t cost you the earth and you probably have them in your fridge already. Mushrooms.

    That’s right. Those furry brown things that you have with your full English on the weekend. In 2019, Jude Wilson, a biologist at MBio, told Euronews that mushrooms are actually “the superfood of the future”. Don’t believe us? Let us convince you.

    What actually are mushrooms?

    Mushrooms on board

    Put simply, mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of different species of fungi, making them neither a fruit nor vegetable. Typically living in soil or wood, fungi produce spores (as a plant produces pollen or seeds), and these spores are able to spread and be carried by the wind. There are a huge amount of different types of mushrooms some of which are edible, and others which aren’t. Some non-edible mushrooms can even cause extreme illness.

    Mushrooms have been used for culinary and medicinal purposes for centuries (magic mushrooms, anyone?). Chinese medicinal texts dating back to as early as 206 BC even talk about reishi mushrooms as having anti-aging properties. However, increased research into their functional properties has caused a spike in the consumption of mushrooms for their health benefits in recent years.

    Mushrooms: the health benefits

    Mushrooms might not be the obvious choice when thinking about superfoods, because let’s face it, they’re beige and they look pretty weird. They may lack the visual beauty and colour of other nutrient-rich foods, but within those magical fungal caps lie a vast range of wonderful health benefits including antioxidant, antibacterial and immune stimulating properties, which can do your body and mind a world of good. What’s more, an estimated 50% of edible mushrooms are considered ‘functional foods’, which means that they provide you with positive health benefits that go way beyond basic nutrition.

    For example, mushrooms contain beta-glucans, which are dietary fibres (polysaccharides) strongly linked to improving cholesterol levels, boosting heart health, and increasing your immune defence.

    Many mushrooms, such as reishi and maitake, also contain a multitude of antioxidants, such as L-ergothioneine, selenium, vitamin C, vitamin A, beta-carotene. All of these can help reverse the negative health effects of free radicals - unstable atoms that can cause damage to cells and lead to illnesses and ageing.

    Other mushrooms, including cordyceps, lion’s mane and reishi, are highly adaptogenic. This means they successfully help the body and mind to adapt to stress and fight fatigue through hormone regulation and stabilisation of the central nervous system.

    Further studies have also found that eating mushrooms may help to prevent respiratory infections, improve gut bacteria, provide gastrointestinal support, offer anti-inflammatory effects and even boost your mood. 

    How to get the most from your mushrooms

    If you’re liking the sound of making more room for mushrooms in your diet, here’s some tips for ensuring you’re buying the best of what’s on offer to you:

    • Although textures vary, choose mushrooms that are firm, dry and unbruised.
    • Avoid mushrooms that look wilted, wet or slimy or have a mouldy, musty smell.
    • Once you buy them, store them in the fridge and don’t wash them until it’s time to cook. Keeping them in a plastic bag will make them sweat and go off more quickly.

    How to cook your mushrooms

    Now for the best bit: cooking and eating your mushrooms. Here’s some of our favourite tips and tricks.

    Chef preparing mushrooms 

    • Mushrooms can be ruined by cooking them slowly over a lower heat. Get maximum flavour by cooking your mushrooms very quickly on a high heat.
    • Sauté your mushrooms with onions and garlic for a side dish that packs a punch.
    • Stuff portobello mushrooms with couscous and other vegetables for a delicious veggie option. Who needs meat anyway?
    • Mushrooms and breakfast. A match made in heaven. Slice and add to omelettes and scrambled eggs, or grill instead for a slightly drier texture.
    • Mushrooms taste great uncooked too. Chop or slice some raw mushrooms and add them to salads for a fresh, woody flavour.

    Get even more from your mushrooms

    If you aren’t the world’s most talented culinary genius, don’t panic. You don’t have to whip up a truffle mushroom risotto on the daily to ensure you’re getting all of the wonderful health benefits mushrooms have to offer. Innermost has you covered. Check out The Health Protein, our vegan protein blend, which contains shiitake, maitake, reishi and cordyceps, alongside a handful of other superfoods to support your immune system, improve wellbeing and encourage lean muscle development.

    And if you’re feeling stressed or just need a little help drifting off at night, take a look at The Relax Capsules. Containing lion’s mane mushroom, these daily nootropic capsules have been formulated to promote relaxation, improve clarity and reduce stress.

    Suggested reads

    • Mesmerised by mushrooms? If you want to learn more, read this report about the role of edible mushrooms as functional foods. And let us know what you think of it. We'd love to hear you thoughts.

    Product Spotlight

    Other Insights

    Coffee with milk
    There are plenty of reasons that people choose to switch to a vegan milk, ranging from the milk alternatives health benefits, their reduced environmental impact, and even their taste. But when it comes to choosing the best non-dairy milk for you, the healthiest milk alternative, or even the best non-dairy milk for coffee, it can become a bit challenging to choose between the many, many milk alternatives on the market. We’re here to break it down. We’re talking taste, sustainability and more. It’s the battle of the non-dairy milk alternatives, if you will. But first, as always, let’s get the basics out the way. What are non-dairy milks? Non-dairy milks are a group of plant-based milks such as oat, cashew and coconut milk, that are made without the need for dairy milk from cows. This means that not only are their environmental impact much lower, but that they are great for those that want to follow a vegan lifestyle and remove animal by-products from their diet. They’ve also got some pretty sweet health benefits, too. What are the benefits of non-dairy milks? Of course, the health benefits of non-dairy milks vary from milk to milk, but broadly, some of the great benefits of dairy milk alternatives include: Great sources of calcium Cholesterol free Easier to digest A delicious taste Fewer calories Due to the increasing popularity of dairy milk alternatives, too, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to brands, milk types and even flavours. For this reason, here at Innermost we recommend that if you try one dairy milk alternative and don’t like it – maybe you don’t like the taste or texture, just try another one! You’re sure to find one that you love. It can be pretty overwhelming when selecting the best milk alternative, though. So let’s take a look together… What is the most sustainable milk alternative? It’s a fact that in general, plant-based milks are more sustainable. Their production uses less land, less water and their production leads to far fewer levels of greenhouse gases than dairy milk counterparts. The two most sustainable milk alternatives are soy milk, who’s production requires the least amount of water, and almost milk, who’s production leads to the least carbon dioxide. So, if you’re looking to make the swap to a dairy-free milk in the hope of making a sustainable dietary choice, soy or almond are the milks for you. What is the best non-dairy milk for protein shakes? When it comes to choosing the best non-dairy milk for protein shakes, you’re looking for a delicious taste and a creamy texture. Both of which are provided by almond milk. Almond milk has a similar, creamy consistency to cows milk which is ideal for creating thick and satisfying protein shakes, and the vitamin content of this milk packs a punch, too. Almond milk contains Vitamin A, Vitamin D and Vitamin E, which is a great addition to your protein shake, for sure. For those that love a caffeine boost, almond milk is often considered the best non-dairy milk for coffee, too! If you’re looking for a great tasting dairy milk alternative to add to your shakes, though, we really recommend coconut milk. Sweet and delicious, coconut milk is a firm cult favourite for protein shakes, especially with our pineapple flavoured product The Energy Booster… did someone say Pina Colada? What is the healthiest milk alternative? If you’re thinking of making the switch from dairy milk to plant milk, it’s probably fair to say that one of the biggest motivators behind this choice is the health benefits. Maybe you’re lactose intolerant and fed up of the milk-induced bloating, or perhaps you’re just conscious of the high fat content that dairy milk can bring… Whilst these are worthy concerns, when deciding on the healthiest milk alternative, it’s important to consider the sugar content of your brand of choice. That’s what you should be looking for. Soy milk is one of the most popular dairy milk alternatives, and it’s not hard to see why. As one of the healthiest on the market, soy milk contains just as much protein as cows’ milk, and as long as the milks don’t contain any added sugars and are unsweetened, soy milk is definitely the healthiest pick. Summary There are a few really key points to consider when making the switch to a dairy milk alternative. Firstly, non-dairy doesn’t mean non-delicious. Many people opt for a dairy milk alternative for the taste and difference that these milks can bring to smoothies and protein shakes as a result, for example. Secondly, switching to non-dairy milks is a great choice for the environment. The dairy industry has a hugely detrimental affect on the environment, and so switching to one of these delicious alternatives is a great way to reduce your environmental impact. By the way… why not make the change this World Vegan Day? Whether you opt for oat milk, soy milk, almond milk, or any other of the worthy plant-based milk alternatives, let us know what you think! Head on over to @liveinnermost. We’d love to hear from you. Read more
    5 Easy Vegan Swaps To Make This World Vegan Day