The fact that there are some edible mushrooms with impressive medicinal benefits has become common knowledge. As a result, most people are now looking to these mushrooms for good health. To make your journey easier, there are mushroom powders and extracts that you can easily add to your daily routine to enjoy the benefits of these mushrooms.
With mushroom capsules, you have a new and more convenient method of enjoying the benefits of mushrooms without everything you eat or drink tasting like mushrooms. You can use your powders when you want to make a special mushroom recipe and use the capsules every other time. They are perfect when you want a no-fuss, no-prep, instant, and no-mess alternative to your mushroom routine.
If you’re ready to jump on board and try some mushroom capsules, we have everything you need to know to get you started on the right foot.
What Are Mushroom Capsules?
There are edible mushrooms, and there are poisonous mushrooms. Among the edible mushrooms, you can divide them into two. There are those that make great meals, like white button mushrooms, porcinis, shitake, and Portobello, among others. You can use these to make some hearty meals.
However, other mushrooms don’t taste great but are packed with health benefits. These mushrooms have high levels of antioxidants and phytonutrients, but their flavour isn’t appealing. Therefore you have to find creative ways to consume them without dealing with the flavour. These include Chaga, lion’s mane, turkey tail, and reishi. They are also called functional or medicinal mushrooms because of their high levels of beta-glucans and other vital nutrients.
Instead of buying these mushrooms in their fresh form, you can buy the extracted versions of the mushroom. These come stuffed in convenient capsules that save you the tedious job of trying to come up with creative ways to cook the mushrooms and also contain a concentrated amount of the mushroom in small capsules, so you don’t have to stuff down a plate full of mushrooms every day to experience these benefits.
With multiple varieties of mushroom capsules in the market, it’s possible for consumers to choose their preferred capsules depending on the effects and benefits they want. Some mushroom capsules contain psilocybin which has some hallucinogenic effects, and others don’t, so you only enjoy the health and immune-supporting benefits.
What are the Capsules Made From?
Mushroom capsules feature various ingredients, each designed to deliver increased benefits and support to mushroom lovers. It’s safe to say not all mushroom capsules are built equally.
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There are cheaper types of mushroom capsules made from mycelium, which is a type of mushroom that grows in rice grain. Therefore, the final product only contains small amounts of beneficial compounds mixed with high starch levels.
High-quality mushroom powders use raw mushrooms that are carefully dried and extracted with hot water. Then, the extract is desiccated (turned into powder) through spray drying. The final result is a concentrated mushroom powder packed with all the beneficial compounds found in the raw mushroom from which it was extracted.
This powder is packaged into the capsules in calculated amounts to make it easier for consumers to tell how much mushroom powder they take each day.
What about the Capsules?
The capsules that hold the mushroom powder are made from gelatin. The various types include beef, pork or vegetable-based. But the best capsules are made from pullulan. It’s a substance made from fermented tapioca. It’s gluten-free and starch-free and can be found in organic and non-GMO varieties. If you want wholesome capsules, this is the best option. The capsules don’t hold back any health benefits and are suitable for consumers with varying health goals.
Capsules made from pullulan are vegan, halal and kosher, allowing anyone interested in adding mushrooms to their daily routine to join in without any hindrances.
Types of Mushrooms You Will Find in Mushroom Capsules
All edible mushrooms provide specific health benefits and carry various antioxidants. But functional mushrooms have more bio-available polysaccharides and antioxidants that help with immune support and other body functions. Functional mushrooms are the ones you will find in most mushroom capsules. They include;
Turkey tail is best known for immune support. It’s a popular mushroom thought to have anti-cancer properties, with well-researched beta-glucans and effects.
Lion’s mane mushroom is commonly used to support mental health, focus, memory and clarity. It’s also used to repair and prevent nerve damage.
Most people who have tried lion’s mane mushroom capsules claim it has a calming effect. Another unique characteristic of the lion’s mane mushroom is its delicious gourmet variety. If you love eating fresh mushrooms, lion’s mane is among the ones you have to try.
Chaga doesn’t look like a mushroom, but it is. It has a unique appearance and is rich in antioxidants and other immune-boosting properties. It’s not the best tasting of the mushroom varieties. Therefore it makes sense that it is one of the more sought-after mushroom capsules.
Cordyceps is incredibly popular among athletes. It doesn’t look like a traditional mushroom. But the funny-looking funding is known to help stamina by improving oxygen delivery in the body; hence it’s popularity among athletes.
Reishi has stunning properties. It’s often used to enhance sleep patterns and helps protect the immune system and prevent heart diseases. But the mushroom is incredibly bitter and has a woody texture. So it has no culinary value and is best enjoyed in a capsule to save yourself the bitter taste.
Most of the research surrounding maitake points to its ability to lower blood sugar levels and improve the immune system. It’s also an amazing gourmet mushroom that you can enjoy with meals if you prefer to cook your functional mushrooms.
You will find most of the mushroom capsules contain one of these six mushrooms. However, you might find some blended options designed to help you enjoy multiple benefits from various mushrooms.
Are Mushroom Capsules Organic, Keto or Vegan-friendly?
Individuals looking into mushroom capsules are health conscious. They take deliberate decisions to look after their bodies and health; therefore, mushroom capsules shouldn’t force them to make tough choices.
Whether mushroom capsules are keto, organic or vegan-friendly depends on the manufacturer’s guidelines and the ingredients used to make the capsules.
Vegetarian capsules aren’t necessarily vegan or halal because they might be manufactured in a facility that also processes pork products.
The same also applies to mushroom powders. If you prefer mushroom capsules that are vegan-friendly, organic, keto or for other dietary needs, you should check for the corresponding approval on the mushroom product packaging.
Look for organic seals, non-GMO, gluten-free and organic approvals. You can also check if the mushroom capsules are ideal for consumers on the paleo and keto diets. However, you don’t have to worry about calories in most cases because extracts have concentrated versions of the mushroom. You only take a small amount to hit your daily target, so the calorie consumption is super low.
Ingredients to Avoid When Buying
Mushroom capsules are not equal. Some are made from superior-quality ingredients, and others are just trying to get by. When separating quality, standard and substandard mushroom capsules, you should pay attention to the ingredients.
Just as there are ingredients like organic mushrooms and pullulan capsules that highlight the quality of the capsules, there are also some ingredients that you should avoid.
This is a range of ingredients that manufacturers will add to the mushroom capsules. These include brown rice, mushroom mycelium, wheat or grain. You can tell if the capsules have fillers by looking at the ingredients label. While most fillers don’t have negative side effects, they take the place of the mushroom extract, meaning you get less value for your money and reduced benefits.
Flow aid is a chemical added to powders to make them easier to pour or ease the capsuling process. Although there’s nothing wrong with flow aids, it’s an extra ingredient that will reduce the quantity of mushroom extract and the efficacy of the capsules. Therefore, it’s best to avoid flow aids if possible.
Other ingredients you should avoid when buying mushroom capsules include silicon dioxide, hypromellose or microcrystalline cellulose.
Mushroom Capsules Dosing Guideline
Now that you know all there is to mushroom capsules, what remains is how to take them and how many capsules you should take in a day.
Let’s start with how to take it because it’s easier. You can take mushroom capsules by washing them down with water or any other drink. There’s no technique or strategy in taking them.
Most people consume about one and a half to two grams of mushroom powder extract daily. That translates to about one to four capsules.
However, that serving doesn’t apply to everyone. The ideal amount depends on your personal health needs and the reason for taking the mushroom capsules. We recommend starting with one capsule at a time and observing the effects for some time before adjusting your intake accordingly.
We also recommend that you contact a healthcare professional for guidance on how much mushroom powder you should take and which species is the best based on your health and reasons for considering mushroom powders.