Mushrooms Unearthed: Top 7 Facts You Need to Know

Mushrooms Unearthed: Top 7 Facts You Need to Know

Mushrooms are not just the teeny-tiny guys you see popping out of dead trees on woodland walks. In fact, mushrooms can come in all shapes and sizes. The Humungous Fungus, is the biggest known mushroom in the world, covering more than 2,385 acres. That’s more than 300,000 London buses! Much like this humungous fungus’s influence, mushrooms offer so much more than just being a controversial pizza topping.

As we explore the power of mushrooms, it’s exciting to see how truly beneficial they are to our planet and our lives. Let’s unearth the story of our world’s fantastic fungi.

Fact 1: Mushrooms, Nature’s Personal Bin Men

Mushrooms truly are magic. All mushrooms have superpowers; from oyster mushrooms that can break down plastic to the networks of mycelium that create healthy forest environments, mushrooms are nature’s hardest-working recyclers. They feed on dead and decomposing organic matter, playing a crucial role in combating climate change. Recent research shows mushrooms can help clean up oil spills and detoxify the soil of abandoned industrial sites. We’re only beginning to understand the full potential of mushrooms in helping us and our planet.

Fact 2: The Fungi That Pack a Nutritional Punch!

Mushrooms are well-documented for their immune-supporting benefits, anti-inflammatory properties, and antioxidants. Edible mushrooms - from supermarket staples like Portobello and shiitake to forager’s delights like Turkey Tail and chanterelles - contain essential vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins, essential for brain function and energy levels, and even potassium, helping your nerves, muscles, and heart to do their job!  Next time you plan your meals for the week, consider throwing in a few more mushrooms!

Fact 3: The Magic of Medicinal Mushrooms

The list of medicinal mushrooms goes on and on, but, for now, we’ve rounded up a few mushrooms proven to help cognitive function, reduce stress, boost energy levels, and so much more. Our five headliners:

  • Lion’s Mane; repairing brain cells and nerves
  • Reishi; stress-reducing and sleep-improving powers
  • Chaga; supporting immune function and reducing blood pressure
  • Cordyceps; fatigue-fighting and cardiovascular benefits
  • Turkey Tail; immune-system boosting

Whether you’re cooking these up or taking them as a liquid supplement, these mushrooms are proven to hold powerful healing properties.

Fact 4: Neither Plant, Nor Animal

It might sound strange, but mushrooms are neither a plant, nor an animal! They’re fungi, something altogether different. The way mushrooms feed is entirely different from other organisms - they don’t photosynthesise like plants, but they also don’t ingest their food like humans and animals. Rather, they live inside their food and secrete enzymes to dissolve nutrients that they then absorb. This is what makes mushrooms so unique, and also, so powerful.

TO WATCH: We’d recommend watching Fantastic Fungi on Netflix if you’re curious about the world of mushrooms and want to learn more about how we can benefit from them.

Fact 5: Mushrooms: The Chef’s Muse

If you’re growing bored of just eating chestnut mushrooms, why not explore some less commonly utilised tasty fungi? Chicken-of-the-Woods, if you can get your hands on any, is one of the most delicious, meaty, lemony-chicken-flavoured mushrooms you’ll find - truly taking after its namesake! Strewed in butter and tossed on the barbecue, this is a winner of a mushroom. More easily found in your local Asian supermarket, try making a Chinese hot-pot with King Oyster mushrooms, Enoki, abalone, and black shiitake. A true mushroom feast!

Fact 6: The Superstars of Traditional Medicine

Many cultures throughout history have used mushrooms in traditional healing practices, and the significance of mushrooms can certainly be seen in various societies, from the Egyptians who viewed mushrooms as a gift from the gods and believed it could help them live longer, to indigenous peoples of North America using the common puffball to heal wounds.

Mushrooms didn’t get their chance to shine in modern medicine until the invention of penicillin and some antibiotics, however, in more recent years people have started to turn to mushrooms in their purer form, seeking out the benefits that lie beneath these fascinating wild organisms. 

From athletes turning to cordyceps and reishi to improve athletic performance, to scientists exploring the role of hallucinogenic mushrooms as depression and anxiety cures, it seems mushrooms will only continue to surprise us.

Fact 7: The Future of Mushroom Supplements

No longer do you have to traipse through the woods in search of Turkey Tail or attempt to grow Lion’s Mane from home and fry it up for breakfast. Recent advancements in mushroom supplements are making it all that much easier for us to consume. Powders add an easy option to blend into smoothies or whisk into morning drinks, while liquid forms are perfect for adding to your coffee or tea at the start of every day. 

As each year passes, we continue to discover exciting new developments in the world of mushrooms. Are you interested in discovering their benefits for yourself? Take a look at the Bloomin range of functional mushroom Superblends to unlock sharper focus, more energy & less stress.

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