Let’s talk about chocolate and mushrooms. Sound random? Maybe. Worth knowing about? Absolutely! The base of chocolate is full of nutrients in its purest form of cacao and mushrooms have always been known as a healthy vegetable. When both of these superfoods are combined, you have a powerhouse of benefits for the body. Our MegaPlants “Five Mushroom Cacao Magic” is a nootropic and organic blend of functional mushrooms with organic cacao for optimal brain and body performance.
What’s not to love about chocolate? It’s delicious and comforting, but can lack nutritional value with the addition of sugar or highly processed ingredients. A healthy chocolate alternative is cacao. You might be wondering, what is cacao? Enter the cacao bean, the root and raw form of chocolate that comes from a tree native in Central and South America. Full of antioxidants, cacao beans can be turned into products such as solid chocolate, spreads, cocoa powders and cacao nibs. This is the crucial part where the nutritional benefits of cacao can be preserved or lost depending on what additives are used.
Cacao is a superfood on its own with amazing health benefits due to its dense amounts of antioxidants, calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium and copper. It has more antioxidants per gram than fruits like goji berries, pomegranates and blueberries! An easy way to consume all of these nutrients is through cacao powder - easy to digest and mix into almost anything. You may be familiar with cocoa powder, but it is not the same.
What’s the difference between cacao powder and cocoa powder? Both powders use fermented beans, but the processing methods differ, causing the health benefits to become modified. Cocoa powder is made from beans that are roasted at a higher temperature, with sugar and milk typically added, while cacao powder is processed at a lower temperature, unroasted. If you’re looking to get the most for your health, cacao powder is the best option since the nutrients are preserved. Cacao is potent in fiber and can aid in healthy digestion, reducing symptoms of common stomach problems. The high content of flavonoids can reduce body inflammation and has been shown to lower blood pressure by improving blood flow to the heart and brain - even preventing blood clots.
You either love mushrooms or dislike them, but it’s undeniable that they’re packed with tons of essential minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. Just because they’re not green, don’t let them fool you! Unlike many plant-derived foods, they contain an abundance of minerals such as potassium, iron, selenium, copper and phosphorus. Another great benefit of mushrooms? They’re low in calories, carbs and come in numerous varieties, so there’s no excuse not to include them in your diet. Curious how mushrooms benefit your body?
- Energy Boost: Mushrooms can amplify your vitality and produce red blood cells that transport oxygen throughout your body, since they’re rich in five kinds of B vitamins: riboflavin, niacin, folate, thiamine and pantothenic acid.
- Alleviate Mood: A 2021 study of 25,000 people at Penn State found routine consumption of mushrooms led to a lower risk of depression, likely due to ergothioneine, which can lower the risk of oxidative stress.
It’s easy to see how the benefits of mushrooms can add healthy value to a variety of modern dietary and lifestyle needs. For thousands of years, mushrooms have been used medicinally for their health benefits. With over 10,000 types of mushrooms in existence, they all comprise similar amounts in nutrients but functional mushrooms may be more beneficial when it comes to different areas of health. Here are a few kinds of functional mushrooms you should know about:
Lions Mane: Brain Food- Concentration, Memory, Cognition
The brain works hard and requires care. Named for its shaggy ball of threads, Lion’s Mane is a mushroom known for its mental health properties, helping fight problems such as dementia. In traditional Chinese medicine, it’s used for gastric and neurological health. Various Japanese studies have shown the positive effects of Lion’s Mane neurologically, including one in which memory-impaired mice performed better in a maze testing for memory, which could ultimately help with Alzheimer patients. This mushroom is also thought to improve nerve function and development to, assisting in memory loss and anxiety.
Reishi: Mental Clarity - Sleep, Depression, Focus, Anxiety
One of the most popular medicinal mushrooms, reishi can contribute to weight loss, maintain the immune system and even ward off cancer cells. Sound great? There’s more. The wow-factor of this adaptogenic mushroom is its calming properties that can aid in balancing moods by easing anxiety, reducing stress, alleviating depression, providing better sleep and promoting sharper focus. Studies have indicated that reishi mushrooms have antihistamine effects.
Turkey Tail: Body Protection - Immune Support, Antioxidants, Cancer Prevention
The Turkey Tail mushroom is named for its colorful and flared appearance, but it’s one to know, since it’s full of polysaccharides that stimulate the immune system and has been known to reduce tumors. How good is it? Enough to be an approved anticancer prescription drug in Japan. With over 35 different phenolic compounds, Turkey Tail is loaded with antioxidants to reduce and suppress inflammation. Monocytes, a type of white blood cell that fights infection has also been shown to increase, perhaps combatting leukemia. This impressive mushroom has demonstrated improvement for cancer survival rates and boosted the immune system of chemotherapy recipients when accompanying treatment. To top it off, Turkey Tail can maintain a balanced gut with the growth of prebiotics to encourage healthy bacteria accumulation.
Chaga: Antioxidant Powerhouse - Aging & Inflammation
The dark black Chaga mushroom is known for targeting inflammation and fighting free radicals. It’s been found to slow the growth of cancer and decrease low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. The extract from Chaga has also been linked to preventing damage from a chemical that causes liver disease. Animal studies have also found Chaga to lower blood sugar levels, possibly useful with diabetes management. As good as it is for internal health, this mushroom can reduce the aging of skin by staving off oxidative stress that causes cellular damage.
Cordyceps: Active Bodies - Energy, Performance, Muscle Recovery
A natural solution for busy or active personalities, Cordyceps is a stimulating fungus for energy and even libido. This invigorating mushroom increases blood flow and helps the body maximize its oxygen use - perfect for people who exercise frequently. Not only does this mushroom aid in work outs, it assists in muscle recovery.
So what’s the power of functional mushrooms and antioxidant-heavy cacao? A potent and nutrient-rich combination for the ultimate superfood that speaks to energy, mood, creativity, focus and recovery. The mind and wellness benefits are easy to reap at once with our Cacao Magic Five Mushroom Cacao Blend - a nootropic powder that is versatile for consumption in many ways. It can be used to substitute cocoa powder in chocolate cake, brownie recipes or any baking recipe. You can upgrade your beverages such as mixing it into any smoothie recipe or milkshake. The Cacao Magic powder is rich in disease-fighting plant compounds so you can instantly enhance any recipe to be healthier by simply adding it to anything you want to eat or drink! Each serving includes 5,000 mg of cacao and mushroom nutrition to support physical and mental health. To get you started, here’s our healthy hot chocolate recipe, Cacao Maca Magic below. More of our favorite healthy recipe ideas to be used daily can be found here.
1 Cup Oat Milk | 1 Banana
1 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp maca pwdr 1 TB maple syrup 1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp: ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg
1 Scoop Cacao Magic
Ready to boost your mind and body with our Cacao Magic Five Mushroom Cacao Blend? You can learn more about MegaPlants and shop on our website here.