Hey Mushroom Lover! Treo from Four Sigmatic Foods Here.
When you hear the word “mushroom,” what comes to mind?
The story is pretty much the same everywhere: Most people think the word “mushroom” refers to a few culinary mushrooms or to hallucinogenic mushrooms.
And the misinformation about mushrooms doesn’t stop there. It’s very common to hear “Aren’t mushrooms poisonous?” or “All mushrooms have high toxicity levels.”
It’s time to set the record straight.
Myth #1: Mushrooms have high toxicity levels.
The facts: This statement isn’t entirely wrong, but it’s misguided about functional mushrooms that you’ll find in our products. Some fungi do contain toxic compounds—but this isn’t the case for functional mushrooms.
The reason mushrooms have gotten a bad rap when it comes to concerns about toxicity is because of a little thing called mycotoxins – organic substances that are present in some mushrooms and poisonous to humans.
While some varieties of fungi may include mycotoxins, the reality is that functional mushrooms contain naturally occurring, non-toxic substances called adaptogens that can do wonders for people’s well-being.
Myth #2: Mushrooms are poisonous.
The facts: Saying that mushrooms are poisonous is like saying all people are bad. Are there a few bad seeds in this world? Of course. Just as there are a few dangerous mushrooms.
But given that there are more than 1.5 million types of fungi, it would be foolish to throw them all out with the (presumed poisonous) bathwater. In fact, research suggests only approximately 60 species out of the whole lot of known mushrooms are actually poisonous.
On the flip side, mushrooms are jam-packed with essential vitamins and nutrients and have been shown to support immune functions, help with productivity, lower occasional stress levels etc.
Myth #3: There’s not enough science to corroborate mushroom safety.
The facts: This one is just flat out false.
In the last decade, there have been more than 100,000 studies on functional mushrooms in Asia alone.
In recent years, as Western researchers catch on to the potential wellness benefits of mushrooms, there’s been a huge surge in mushroom-related studies across the U.S, and, overall, this research has been overwhelmingly positive.
Myth #4: Eating raw mushrooms is dangerous.
The facts: Eating functional mushrooms in raw form will not hurt you, but it also won’t help you take advantage of all of the benefits.
If you want to obtain the maximum healthy living impact from mushrooms, it’s important to keep a few things in mind:
Firstly, fruiting bodies have higher concentrations of active compounds. By “fruiting bodies,” I mean the part of the fungi that grows above ground (what we typically call the “mushroom,” though it is in fact only a part of the whole).
Secondly, mushrooms need to be dual-extracted in order for their benefits to be made bioavailable to the body. This two-step process entails using alcohol extraction to release fat-soluble compounds and then using a hot-water extraction in order to release water-soluble compounds.
This means that if you’re attempting to utilize mushrooms for their functional benefits, raw mushrooms are a big no-no.
I believe that more people who take the time to address their misconceptions about mushrooms, the more we can all enjoy the benefits of these potent members of the fungi kingdom.
Tero – Four Sigmatic Foods