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April 18, 2022 4 min read
We’ve all heard the phrase “food as medicine.” The saying implies that there are benefits associated with eating foods that support your overall health, and rightfully so. The foods we eat need to nourish our bodies and provide the right nutrition to maintain a good quality of life.
In recent years, there has been a focus on diet-related chronic diseases and illness in North America, as more and more people consume foods with harmful additives or that don’t have a high nutritional profile. According to the CDC, half of American adults consume a sugary drink every single day and fewer than 1 in ten eat the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables.
While a focus on whole foods is the right approach to reversing some of the harmful effects of a diet high in sugary, salty, and overly processed foods, there are some whole foods that naturally have more nutritional benefits than others. Mushrooms in particular contain brain and health-boosting compounds like dietary fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals which make them an important addition to your daily routine.*
While you may be familiar with grocery store varieties of mushrooms like shiitake, cremini, or oyster, there is a whole world of lesser-known mushrooms that are considered superfood or functional mushrooms due to the specific health benefits they provide.*
The Chaga mushroom is one such species that has a long history of use in indigenous communities in Asia, North America, and Eastern Europe. Believed to be the “king of mushrooms” in Eastern herbalism, Chaga mushrooms are best known to support a healthy immune system.
Chaga mushrooms are typically found in cold climates. They are a parasitic fungus that grows on birch trees and resembles burnt charcoal on the outside, while the inside is a burnt orange color. While edible, the flavor of Chaga is quite polarizing and for that reason, is often consumed as a tea.
Despite being consumed for centuries in many cultures, Western research is still catching up on some of the scientific benefits of Chaga mushrooms. While the research is still in its infancy, we do know that nutrients found in Chaga mushrooms can be beneficial to human health.
Antioxidants are critical for our health because they protect against damage to our bodies from free radicals. Chaga is known to have an abundance of antioxidants, with some sources citing that they are 5 times more concentrated in antioxidants than beloved superfoods like blueberries, acai, and turmeric.
Because of the high antioxidant levels of Chaga mushrooms, they can help to prevent oxidative stress, which is caused by an excess of free radicals. Too many free radicals can lead to inflammation in the body, including the bowels. Reducing levels of oxidative stress can help support optimal digestive function.
This may not be the sexiest point in favor of Chaga mushrooms, but the reality is that dietary fiber is critically important to help regulate blood sugar and keep your gut healthy. And while we can recognize the importance of fiber, according to Medical News Today, only 5% of Americans include the recommended amount of fiber in their diets.
While inflammation can play a role in a healthy immune system, long-term or chronic inflammation can lead to health conditions and disease. Foods high in anti-inflammatory components can help to protect the body against damage caused by inflammation. Not only that but anti-inflammatory diets are recommended by medical experts worldwide to support overall health.
Cytokines are small proteins that are secreted by specific cells of the immune system. There are both beneficial and harmful cytokines in the body. Irregular production of cytokines can have negative effects like inflammation and disease. Chaga mushrooms can help regulate the production of cytokines by stimulating white blood cells that ward off bad bacteria and viruses, which ultimately support a healthy immune system. *Learn more about the effects of Chaga on the immune system here.
Hello, anti-aging! Melanin is a pigment that is responsible for coloring your skin and hair. Believe it or not, it can affect aging because higher quantities of melanin can protect your skin from damage caused by UV radiation – the number one external cause of aging. To learn more about possible benefits to the skin, click here.
Chaga mushrooms are considered to be adaptogens, which is a classification for herbs and mushrooms that are well-documented for their ability to maintain good health and a positive outlook by supporting the body’s healthy stress and immune responses.*
Convinced that you should give Chaga a try after reading about the 7 key healing properties of Chaga mushrooms? Now you just have to find a trusted, quality product! We recommend incorporating Chaga as a mushroom powder for a few reasons. First and foremost, Chaga can be difficult to find, whereas Chaga powder can be found in most health food stores, or with just a quick google search!
Secondly, many mushroom powders, like Rritual’s Chaga mushroom powder are further enhanced with additional adaptogens or herbs to maximize the 7 key healing properties of Chaga mushrooms. We offer Astragalus root and Schisandra berry in our elixir to help maintain the body’s natural defenses and provide whole-body stress support.*
As with the addition of any new vitamin or supplement, first, consult your doctor to ensure that Chaga mushroom powder is right for you.
Once you are ready to get started, we recommend adding Chaga to your daily routine gradually in a cup of warm water or non-dairy milk at any time of the day to experience the 7 key healing properties of Chaga mushrooms.* Then, simply sit (sip?) back and enjoy!
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any disease.
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