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.

Aging Faster Than You Wish, Slow it Down

Be Youthful Later in Life!

I don’t want to age any faster than necessary and I am sure you don’t want to either. There is where the NutriBullet can make your health really benefit!


Did you know you have a profound affect on how quickly your body ages?  Every morning looking in the mirror can tell us how we are aging externally. The real issue is how you are aging internally. How well are your cells and ultimately your organs and glands holding up against the daily assault of free radicals, toxins, stress and nutritional deficiencies?  The idea is to slow down the aging process if we can.  There are things you can do to not only reduce the aging process but maybe even reverse it in some cases.

Can We Slow Down Aging, YES! The sooner in life you begin to live a life of wellness the younger your body can be as you get older.

So what does aging really mean? Technically, aging is a combination of all metabolic life activities, effects of exposure to toxins, microbial agents, nutrient deficiencies and their total combined effect over time on the body’s cells.

As part of life, we are exposed to micro-organisms, environmental toxins, drugs, emotional toxicities, unhealthy foods, nutrient deficiencies and stress, let’s call these “negative health catalyst”, or NHC. These NHCs have a direct impact on our cells ability to continue to replicate in a healthy state. NHCs can cause damage to the cell and even DNA in our cells. They do this in different ways. In one case they cause free radicals to form that can damage the cells and even the DNA in the cell to the point that the cell will begin to replicate itself in an unhealthy state.  In another way they lower our immune function to the point that the immune system is not healthy enough to stop the growth of bacteria, viruses, micro organisms and even mutated cells and the mutated cells can multiply to the point of disease. In another way they turn on the adverse health potential of certain genes to express themselves as disease and illness, but potentially the most damaging effect of these NHCs is their ability to shorten our telomeres and cause damage to our DNA through free radical damage to our cells.

What Causes Aging?

In my opiniot biggest causes of aging are:

What Are Telomeres?

Our genes are located on twisted, double-stranded molecules of DNA called chromosomes. At the ends of the chromosomes are stretches of DNA called telomeres, Telomeres are protective DNA-protein complexes, which protect our genetic data, make it possible for cells to divide and hold some secrets to how we age and get cancer. Think of the plastic caps on the end of your shoe laces. This is sort of what the telomeres look like. They keep the strands of chromosomes from unraveling. As the effects of NHCs advance our cellular aging the telomeres get shorter and shorter.   Once the telomeres get so short, the cell can no longer replicate and over time aging accelerates.

In 2009 three American scientists who discovered telomeres were awarded The 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology of Medicine. Their work began a couple of decades earlier. What they discovered only enhances our belief that the way we live has an undeniable impact on the status of our health. Although this research certainly identifies the damage caused by the shortening of our telomeres , further research is underway to fully understand its role in life longevity and the advancement of disease and illness.

To strengthen our telomere’s we must increase the presence of the enzyme telomerase in our cells. Telomerase is an enzyme that is responsible for keeping telomeres healthy. As we age our bodies produce less and less telomerase thus we begin to age faster and faster. In addition the NHC’s also slow down the cellular production of telomerase.

How do we slow down the aging Process?

By living a lifestyle of wellness we greatly enhance our potential for slowing the aging process and having a life of vibrant health.  Recent studies even show that a lifestyle of wellness actually can increase the cellular production of telomerase and improve overall health. If we remove NHC’s and include nutrient dense foods (lots and veggies and fruits), pure water, relaxation, adequate sleep, health building exercise, fresh air, sunshine and emotional and spiritual balance, we can improve every facet of our health potential. You can in many cases trump genetic tendencies.  The way you live has such a powerful effect on your health that it literally can mean the difference between sudden death and a life of longevity with vibrant health.

At this point I would not recommend taking supplements or products specifically designed to increase telomerase or telomere length, its too earlier in their use to really know if they are safe and effective. Some studies show some of the products may increase other illnesses. Just stick with a health diet and lifestyle and let Mother Nature do her thing!

Wally Bishop C.N.C.


The contents of this blog is 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.