Are you tired of the same old coffee? Sure, you could pour spoonfuls of sugar into your morning beverage (it was good enough for Marry Poppins, after all). Of course, you know adding sugar is the fastest way to derail your diet and fitness routine, which is why you don't do it.
But what other options do you have outside of the coffee bean?
What about reishi coffee?
If you haven't heard of this kind of coffee, or have but are not exactly sure what it is, we've got all the answers for you right here.
So What Exactly is Reishi Coffee?
Reishi is a kind of fungus.
In other words, it is coffee derived from mushrooms. Your beverage options are not strictly limited to coffee, as reishi can be served as a tea and even hot chocolate (although in the hot chocolate variations there are some chocolate elements mixed in).
Now, if you're like many people (us included), when you first hear of a "mushroom coffee" you probably picture a bunch of little floating mushrooms in a cup.
In other words, cream of mushroom soup but in coffee form.
Thankfully, that's not how reishi coffee comes out.
Similar to coffee beans, the mushroom is reduced to a grain-like powder. It is then usually combined with some coffee grinds and then, from there, you follow a similar brewing process.
There are some "instant" forms of reishi coffee, where you mix it into water and the powder dissolvers. There are also brew-style reishi coffee, where it is prepared in a similar manor to your drip-style morning cup of coffee.
What is the Reishi Mushroom?
Alright, so reishi coffee is the combination of mushrooms and coffee together.
But what exactly is the reishi mushroom?
After all, you can't just go to the store and pick it up in the produce section next to the shiitake mushrooms.
The reishi mushroom has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Up until recently it had been a rare mushroom, which meant only the wealthiest individuals could afford treatment with the reishi mushroom.
However, it can now be cultivated easily, which has made it easily affordable. This is also why you are now seeing reishi mushroom products pop up with increasing frequency.
In traditional Chinese medicine, the reishi mushroom had been used for around 2,000 years. At the time, the mushrooms were either consumed as-is, or in a tea.
How Reishi Mushroom Extract is Created
The extract derived from reishi mushrooms are not simply dehydrated mushrooms chopped into small pieces. The process is a bit more complex than that.
First, the mushrooms are allowed to seep in hot water.
Following this, a tincturing process is performed. Tincturing in some cases is used to draw alcohol out of plants.
However, in medicinal usage, tincturing draws out the natural benefits from within the plant, allowing it to be reduced down to a liquid extract. The process alone may take two months, if not more.
The exact extraction process does vary from one product to the next. It also depends on how you purchase your reishi mushroom coffee.
If it is in liquid extract form (similar to vanilla extract) it likely went through a tincturing process. However, there are powder and dehydrated offerings as well.
Reishi Coffee: How Much Should You Drink?
As is the case with any kind of food or drink, practicing appropriate moderation and knowing what the desired amount is plays a bit part in extracting the health benefits from the mushroom coffee.
It is recommended to consume a daily dosage of between 400 to 1800 mg.
As this is a relatively wide dosage range, it allows you to slowly build yourself up. It is generally recommended to start out with smaller amounts in order to allow your body to become accustomed to the new food in your system.
Starting out with the smaller amount initially also helps your stomach. The sudden interjection of any new food group can cause upset stomachs and other associated problems.
What are the Health Benefits of Reishi Mushroom Coffee?
It is important to note that all of the health benefits attributed to reishi coffee has been tested on lab animals.
However, extensive research has not yet been conducted on human test subjects. Even with that said, there is 2,000 years of usage within traditional Chinese medicine.
The plant does come packed with anti-oxidants, which help improve your blood flow and its ability to direct nutrients to the rest of the body.
This also helps with anti-aging.
So, at the very least, you'll experience these helpful benefits from the boost in anti-oxidants.
In lab animals, those exposed to reishi mushrooms demonstrated an improve tolerance to radiation and chemotherapy treatments.
These animals also saw a boost in their immune system constituents, which helps the body fight against tumor cells. It can even help prevent tumor cells from metastasizing.
The reishi mushroom extract can also help with fighting cardiovascular disease.
Heart disease is one of the largest problems within the United States (which includes everything from coronary artery disease to strokes and problems with the blood vessels).
By consuming the reishi mushrooms, test animals demonstrated an improvement in the circulatory system's efficiency. It also helped reduce fatty acids found within the bloodstream.
This helped prevent coronary artery disease, which happens when plaque hardens within arteries (this also helps prevent stroke and other serious heart conditions).
By preventing the plaque build up the body experiences an improvement in blood flow, which delivers more nutrients to the body. It also helps with fighting off sickness as the increased red and white blood cells can be directed to the problem site faster.
Several other circulatory benefits derived from those who consumed the reishi mushroom includes an increase in hemoglobin production, the ability to better regulate expenditures of mitochondrial energy within the heart, an increase in HDL (or good cholesterol), plus a reduction in oxygen used by the heart, which allows for more oxygen to be directed to other areas of the body.
You don't need to only rely on traditional coffee for your morning boost of energy. You can swap it out for reishi coffee and take advantage of the many benefits offered by the beverage.
You may even decided to just switch it in after lunch, when a traditional cup of coffee might cause you to drag after the caffeine wears off.
Whatever you decide to do, this is a beverage worth checking. Who knows, it may just be your new favorite beverage.