The Secret Life of Mushrooms

I can’t remember when I first discovered mushrooms, but I remember the flavor was subtle earthiness that made me feel in some unique way connected to nature. It tasted wholesome and nurturing.

I am sure I had no clue of the medicinal value of what I was eating at a young age, I just knew I liked it! When they are cooking I can smell the earthiness and yumminess, be it a stew, sautéed or grilled!

Please don’t eat mushrooms from your yard or forest without the advise of a professional trained in edible mushrooms, not all are edible. Some are very poisonous.

Mushrooms are types of fungi that not only offer great medicinal and nutritional value but also help support the earth, her ground, plants, water, air and us. Mushrooms are not mold or yeast. However, to err on the side of caution if you have candida, discuss mushroom consumption with a qualified health professional.

World Wood Web!

Mycelium are tine thread like structures that make up mushrooms and fungi. While mushrooms might be the most familiar part of a fungus, most of their bodies are made up of a mass of thin threads, known as a mycelium. We now know that these threads act as a kind of underground internet, linking the roots of different plants. Wow, did you get that? Mycelium act as underground communication network between plants of all kinds.

That tree in your garden is probably hooked up to a bush several yards away, thanks to mycelia. Because of this network of communication the mycelium helps boost the immune system of plants and trees and helps transfer nutrients and water between plants connected to the underground network of mycelium.

The largest living organism in the world is a 2,000 plus year old 2200 acre bed of mycelium in Oregon. It’s the World Wood Web!

Another interesting fact

Mushrooms are also powerful detoxifiers of the soil in the ground. They can break down hydrocarbons in petrochemicals turning them into harmless chemicals. You can listen to mushroom expert Paul Stamets describe how mycelium and mushrooms do this natural very beneficial task at this link They also break down rock over and over creating soil.

Health benefits

Records show mushrooms have been studied extensively for their health promoting properties. The use of mushrooms for medicinal purposes goes back thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians called them their plant of immortality.

Almost every mushroom you find in your local store has many health benefits, even the white button mushroom is a powerful promoter of health.

Yes, mushrooms are a superfood, and one of the most health-promoting foods on the planet! Likely 50% of edible mushrooms are considered functional foods. Functional food means that they have a potentially positive effect on health beyond the basic nutrition they provide.

They are low in calories, fat and are cholesterol-free. Mushrooms contain a moderate amount of  fiber  and over a dozen  minerals  and  vitamins, including  copper,  potassium, magnesium, zinc and a number of  B vitamins  such as  folate. Mushrooms exposed to sunshine can also contain Vitamin D and some also contain B12 depending on the soil conditions they grow in.

There are  around 2,000  edible varieties of mushrooms, but only a handful are available at your local grocery store or market.

They include:

  • white, or “button”
  • brown cremini
  • portobello
  • shiitake
  • oyster
  • wood ear
  • enoki

Seasonal varieties available at farmer’s markets and some grocery stores include:

  • morel
  • chanterelle

Countless scientific studies have revealed a variety of ways mushrooms can be useful helping with adverse conditions and in improving overall health.

Amazingly, research has identified more than 200 conditions that may benefit from the consumption of mushrooms and more than 100 different positive health benefits they can produce for the body.

Potential Health Benefits

Promotes healthy gut flora

Enhances immune function

Protects from neurological disease

Are anti-aging

Aids in weight loss

The help with diabetes

They help protect the liver

Mushrooms detoxes heavy metals

Are anti-cancer

Is heart protective

Are anti-inflammatory

They make bones stronger

Enhance digestion

Are anti-viral and antibacterial

Help with Rheumatoid arthritis

Are anti-mutagenic

How to consume more mushrooms

There are so many great recipes for mushrooms. One of the things I like best about using mushrooms in recipes is that they can have the same texture as meats. I recently made a Creamy Mushroom Chowder (OMG so delicious!). We use a combination of shiitake, crimini and portobello mushrooms. The portobellos give a dense meaty texture. Therefore it’s a great replacement for giving dishes that meaty feel. Each type of mushroom has a unique flavor to add to the meal or recipe. If you would like my recipe for the Creamy Mushroom Chowder send me a message.

Enjoy your mushrooms as burgers, chowders, soups, grilled, sautéed or baked. They are versatile!!

Healthy Wishes,

Wally Bishop I.N.H.C., C.N.C., C.I.C.P.

Integrative Nutrition Health Coach

Wellness With Wally

Vive Shake


The contents of this blog are not and should not be considered medical advice. This blog is for informational purposes only. Always consult with your doctor before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. Never quit taking prescription medications unless advised to do so by your doctor.

The Aroma of Health!

As I walk in the door my nose is swept away and begins to follow the path. The aroma is pleasing yet in a strange way powerful! I know what this aroma is and I know what ever the dish is, it will be delicious and packed with an array of health benefits! I smile, close my eyes and continue my path towards the kitchen just knowing what awaits.

This phrase has been repeated so many times as I walk in the door to a dish my wife may be preparing. The aroma and flavors may blind us to its healing power but my body is grateful for its consumption.

Garlic has a long history of use for healing and medicinal purposes dating back thousands of years. It posses many powerful health benefits. Most of these health benefits come from its unique family of antioxidants in garlic called allicin and alliin. Allicin and its family of compounds are formed once the cell wall structure of the garlic bulb is crushed or chopped. The enzyme alliinase is released and in 10 to 15 minutes the many amazing healing compounds are produced through the enzymatic action. So, crush or chop it and let it sit before cooking. However, raw garlic will always yield higher protective potential. Raw garlic is hot and can cause irritation to the digestive system if it isn’t mixed with other foods. If you eat a lot it can also create strong body odor and breath!!

Aroma !

Garlic (Allium sativum) is a species in the onion genus, Allium. Its cousins include the onion, shallot, leek, chive, and Chinese onion. It is native to Central Asia and northeastern Iran, and has long been a common seasoning worldwide.

Ok, I know it smells great and taste great. What can it do for me? 

It helps prevent and can even reverse some types of DNA damage. (This is a powerful benefit)

Garlic can help reduce LDL cholesterol.

It is a blood thinner. (talk with your doctor before consuming a lot of garlic)

It helps release nitric oxide which may help lower blood pressure and keep blood vessels flexible.

It increases cellular glutathione levels. Glutathione is the master antioxidant in our cells. Glutathione protects our cells from toxic agents, both chemical and biological.

It increases Nrf-2 signaling pathways. (Nrf-2 helps slowdown and prevent cell damage from free radicals that causes disease and accelerated aging)

It can turn off the signaling process that cancerous tumors use to build a blood vessel highway that will keep them growing. (this is called anti-angiogenisis)

It is anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal.

It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects that may protect the heart and cardiovascular system

It may help prevent certain cancers by suppressing certain cancer causing genes and by turning back on apoptosis. Apoptosis is a natural programed cell death when cells become sick. Cancer cells turn this off.

It helps remove toxins from the liver and may help reverse fatty liver disease and non-alcoholic liver disease.

Garlic also has Vitamin’s C, B1, B2, B6 and the minerals Calcium, Copper, Iron, Manganese and Selenium.

Enjoy your garlic and try using it in a variety of ways. It doesn’t take much to add a flavorful yes healthy impact. You may want to give this garlic mushroom recipe a go.

How much is too much garlic? Really, has anyone every asked?

Healthy Wishes,

Wally Bishop I.N.H.C., C.N.C., C.I.C.P.

Integrative Nutrition Health Coach

Wellness With Wally

Vive Shake


The contents of this blog are not and should not be considered medical advice. This blog is for informational purposes only. Always consult with your doctor before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. Never quit taking prescription medications unless advised to do so by your doctor.