During these stressful and uncertain times, we all need to be looking towards building our immune system, regardless of whether you already feel as strong as an ox or like you may be coming down with something. I am convinced one of the messages Covid-19 has for us – if we take the time to listen – is how crucial it is to fine-tune the way we take care of ourselves. This rat race has pulled us away from what’s really important and one of those things is our health. I am certain if we all got at least 7-8 hours of sleep (okay, I’ll even push it to 6 for the Type A’s out there) every night, the world would be a better place.
While there is no better way to up your immune-boosting skills than deep rest, there is one product that you still may be able to find on the shelves and in online specialty stores – mushrooms. I’m not talking about the ones your sauté in the pan or take for a psychedelic experience – although both of those do have their benefits. I’m talking about the immune-boosting superfoods that ancient civilizations have been using for years as medicine. You see, before there were pharmaceutical companies, there was the pharmacy of Mother Earth. You could go to Her to cure all your illness, disease and pain. Granted, given our fast-paced culture and unsurpassed levels of stress, Mother Nature was ill-prepared to handle all the disease – physical, mental, and spiritual – that we have created for ourselves. However, we can turn to her before we fall ill to help support and nurture us so we are better prepared for the challenges – great and small – that may come our way.
Mushrooms such as shitake, reishi, cordyceps, chaga, turkey tail, and lion’s mane are all names of varieties of mushrooms you should look for in any immune-boosting formula. Older, well-respected companies such as Host Defense (one original and most trusted brands) and Sun Potion (amazing quality) have been touting the benefits of mushrooms for decades and are experts in the field of mycology (the branch of biology concerned with the study of fungi). New and popular companies such as Four Sigmatic, OM Mushroom, and Moon Juice have jumped on the bandwagon to make mushrooms a daily supplement to people’s diets.
Most of the companies carry an immunity blend that combines the most potent combination of medicinal mushrooms specifically designed to help support and strengthen your immune system. I would try to find these in stores or online. In-store may actually be your best bet because most people shopping at grocery stores – even healthy ones like Whole Foods – don’t immediately grab mushroom products. Try a specialty health food store or online markets such as Thrive Market, Vitacost, or Amazon, where you may be able to get notified when they’re back in stock. Virus threat or no, you’ll be happy to have them as a staple in your pantry.
Once you get your hands on some, start ‘shrooming daily. Here is a recipe that I’ve been adding to my daily routine.
Healing Chocolate Mushroom Elixir
- 4 oz. hot water
- 4 oz. non-dairy milk of choice (for this recipe I particularly enjoy oat or coconut milk)
- 1 tsp. mushroom immunity blend (right now I have OM brand)
- class=”recipe-ingredients-box”>1-2 tsp. cacao powder (organic if possible)
- ½ tsp. maca powder
- 1 tsp. coconut oil
- Chocolate stevia, honey or maple syrup to taste
- Warm milk and water together in a pitcher or microwave.
- Add a little to a cup and add all dry ingredients. Whisk together or blend well with a spoon.
- Add the rest of the liquid and sweetener.
- If you have a hand blender, whip it up until froth. Otherwise, you can toss all ingredients into a small blender like a Bullet at once and blend quickly.
- For extra nutritional benefit and added protein, add 2 tsp. collagen powder.