Are functional mushrooms the key to better health? With their high concentrations of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and bioactive substances, functional mushrooms have been used for centuries by traditional cultures around the world as a natural source of healing (and good food).

Mushrooms and Noodles

Today, these powerful fungi are gaining recognition for their ability to support bodily functions like immunity, sleep quality and memory. Today we’ll explore the potential health benefits associated with functional mushrooms and how they can be incorporated into your daily routine. (Recipe below!)

Top Functional mushrooms

Chaga, Cordyceps, Lion’s Mane, Reishi and Turkey Tail.

Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) is a functional mushroom that has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine as an anti-inflammatory. Rich in polysaccharides and betulinic acid, Chaga has been associated with reducing inflammation in the body.

Functional Mushrooms - Cordyceps

Antrodia, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons (Cordyceps)

Cordyceps (Cordyceps militaris) is a functional mushroom that has traditionally been used to increase energy levels and improve circulation in the body. It contains adenosine, polysaccharides, proteins, beta-glucan and cordycepin, all of which are compounds known for their energizing properties.

Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus) is a functional mushroom that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to improve mental clarity, focus, and memory. It contains beta-glucan, which helps protect the brain from oxidative stress, as well as hericenones and erinacines – two compounds associated with stimulating nerve growth factor.


bjoerns, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons (Reishi)

Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) is one of the most widely used functional mushrooms for its ability to reduce stress and improve sleep quality. Reishi contains triterpenes, polysaccharides and proteins, all of which have been associated with calming effects.

Turkey Tail

krossbow, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons (Turkey Tail)

Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor) is a functional mushroom that has long been used by traditional cultures for its immune-stimulating properties. Turkey Tail contains polysaccharides, beta-glucan and triterpenes all of which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.

Functional Mushrooms Nutrients:

Mushrooms are a great source of nutrients, making them a health-promoting addition to any diet.

Rich in fiber, protein, selenium and vitamins, functional mushrooms provide essential nutrients while being low in calories.

  • Fiber helps improve digestion and gut health while also providing many other important benefits.
  • Protein found in functional mushrooms helps promote muscle growth and repair.
  • Selenium helps support immune system health.
  • Vitamins, such as B-complex vitamins, are essential for energy production and nerve function.

Mushrooms may also lower the chance of getting severe illnesses like diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s making functional mushrooms an important part of a healthy diet.

They can be added to meals, blended into smoothies or taken in supplement form for those looking to get the most out of functional mushrooms.

With their high concentrations of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and bioactive substances functional mushrooms are a great way to support your health.

If you’re looking to incorporate functional mushrooms into your daily routine, there are plenty of options available.

You can find functional mushroom products in the form of supplements, teas and tinctures that make it easy to reap their health benefits every day!

So why not give functional mushrooms a try? You never know – they could be the key to unlocking better health and well-being!

Cooking Mushrooms

Cooking Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a versatile ingredient that can be cooked in many different ways to make a healthy meal. They can be sautéed, grilled, roasted, pan-fried, stir-fried, steamed and even baked. Each of these methods brings out the best of their flavor and texture.

Sautéing mushrooms is a great way to retain their natural texture, while roasting and grilling are good options if you want to caramelize them.

Pan-frying and stir-frying will give your mushrooms a nice crunchy exterior.

Finally, steaming or baking functional mushrooms are the best methods for keeping their nutritional benefits intact.

Functional mushrooms offer a wide range of health benefits and adding them to your everyday diet is easy with the many options available.

Functional Mushroom Lover’s Stir Fry Recipe

This is an easy one-pan dish that makes the perfect food for busy weeknights or for meal prepping ahead of time. It’s also vegetarian and gluten free, making it a great option for those with dietary restrictions.


  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cups sliced functional mushrooms (such as lion’s mane, reishi or turkey tail)
  • 2 cups of vegetables (such as carrots, peppers and broccoli)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the garlic and onion and sauté for 3 minutes.
  3. Add the functional mushrooms and vegetables, stirring to combine.
  4. Cook for 5-7 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the mushrooms are golden brown.
  5. Add the soy sauce, ginger, and sesame oil, stirring to combine.
  6. Serve hot over steamed rice or quinoa. Enjoy!

Option: Prefer noodles? Skip the rice or quinoa, cook the noodles per package instructions, serve over or stir them in!

This recipe yields 4 servings. Each serving contains a healthy dose of functional mushrooms, fiber, protein, selenium, vitamins and other essential nutrients.

Give it a try and let the functional mushrooms’ nourishing benefits fuel your body and boost your health!

Bon appetit!

See also: Functional Foods for even more health benefits.