I’m adding in another concoction to my superfood routine! I absolutely love experimenting with different combinations of things, and if you could ever see all of my herbs, powders, tinctures, and mysterious brown bags in my cabinets, you’d probably wonder first, why but then secondly, how? I typically add a bunch of different things to my smoothies but other times I mixed them into hot water with raw cacao, as long as the flavor permits it. I’ve mixed in superfood powders to this yummy plant based cookie dough I make, and even energy bars. There are so many ways.
Today I’m talking about this amazing combo of Shiitake, Turmeric, Ginger & Tulsi from a fine company I love, Four Sigmatic. The mix packets come packed up individually, but don’t let the packaging confused you. It looks like it could be a tea bag, but it’s actually loose powder that dissolves in hot water.
The uses are endless with this product. You can keep it simple like me and drink it warm on it’s own, or you can blend it in with your smoothies, sprinkle it in with granola, add it to your homemade energy bars. The possibilities are endless.
The ingredients in this pack include:
Organic Coconut Milk Powder: for non-dairy latte creaminess
Organic Turmeric Powder: See benefits below
Organic Coconut Palm Sugar: for a teeny bit of sweetness. Don’t worry, only 1 gram of sugar!
Organic Shiitake Mushroom Extract: 500mg; See benefits below
Organic Ginger Powder: See benefits below
Organic Tulsi Powder: See benefits below
Organic Black Pepper: To help nutrient absorption; See it detailed under the turmeric benefits
Reb A: Organic stevia extract
Benefits of Shiitake
If you aren’t a huge mushroom fan and never experienced shiitake mushrooms, try them! They taste really good! Obviously, how you use them and cook with them also matters, and coming from a mushroom fan already, I might be a little biased. Besides the flavor, they have huge health benefits, and the best news is, you don’t have to EAT them to get all the benefits! Before we get onto the benefits, if you do choose to cook with them, you must rehydrate dried shiitake but soaking them in water. Although fresh shiitake aren’t poisonous, they are still recommended to be cooked well before eating.
You can find shiitake in many superfood powders, like the drink packets I posted here from Four Sigmatic, and even in a capsule form or liquid extract. Regardless of the form, mushrooms have been already been added to my daily supplement routine, shiitake included!
Shiitake in particular helps with immune support, reduction of platelet aggregation, as well as having antibacterial and antiviral properties. Believe it or not, these mushrooms actual help with heart health too, and help prevent cardiovascular disease by lowering bad cholesterol. Shiitake mushrooms are highly nutrient dense as well, containing high amounts of vitamins, especially vitamin D. They can be used on their own, and with food, fresh or dried. Believe it or not, they are actually the primary protein source for many Asian vegetarians. Yes!!! So the next time you wonder where vegans get their protein, you can remember one word, shiitake!
Medicinal uses have been used for centuries in China, dating as back as far as 100 A.D.. Using mushrooms as a superfood might be new to us in the west, but is by no means a new form of medicine. You can find many companies offering high-quality shiitake supplements as reasonable prices.
Shiitake mushrooms are also non-toxic which means they can be eaten or taken in high amounts, daily. Even things found in nature can be toxic if they’re consumed in high enough amounts, or if it’s highly concentrated, so it’s always best to do your due diligence and educate yourself before adding anything that can be taken as a concentrated supplement. Well, shiitake can be consumed in large amounts, day after day, with no negative side effects. So, there is your due diligence for shiitake!
Main benefits include:
Support immune function
Destroy cancer cells
Support cardiovascular health
Contain antimicrobial properties
Boost energy and brain function
Provide vitamin D
Promote skin health
Benefits of Turmeric
So, I’ve been taking turmeric as a supplement since 2014 ever since I listened to a podcast that featured Dr. Rhonda Patrick on the Joe Rogan Experience. I love this woman’s brain and I would honestly do whatever she recommends. I’ve dubbed her my micronutrient guru because this woman’s knowledge is off the charts. You know how people snap a pic of their meals and will break it down by macronutrients saying, here’s my protein carbs and fat for the day… well, this woman breaks down her meals by MICROnurtrients, it’s amazing. I love it so much.
Well, when I hear turmeric, first and foremost I immediately think “anti-depressant”, while most people probably immediately think “spice”! I know I know, I’m “different”. Well, the chemical in turmeric linked to this and all the benefits is actually the curcumin, and it has been studied and examined as having anti-depressant properties.
Just to clarify, turmeric is the spice and curcumin is the medicine. Now, if you’re using this spice when you cook, curcumin is relatively low, like around 2-5%, and unless you’re cooking with this multiple times a week, eating turmeric once a week won’t give you all the health benefits that are contained in the curcumin… and that is exactly why I supplement with it.
Another thing to remember is the fact that we don’t quite absorb curcumin very well. So if you’re looking for curcumin as a supplement, especially if it comes in a capsule form, make sure it’s paired with piperine, which is a compound found in black pepper, which helps the body absorb nutrients better.
There are other huge benefits too though! It’s an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, increases brain function, helps with pain relief and liver support. It is also extremely beneficial for digestion, gut health and intestinal permeability. It is even being tested as a treatment for IBS.
Besides powder form, you can also find turmeric in capsules, fluids, extracts, and tinctures. Some of the side effects may include an upset stomach, and it also acts as a blood thinner. So, although it aids in digestion, having an upset stomach may be a possible side effect, obviously in certain people and not everyone! If you want to try it and are unsure, start small and use your best judgement.
The main benefits include:
May slow or prevent blood clots
Reduces depression symptoms
Boosts skin health
May outperform common arthritis drug
Could treat or prevent certain cancers
May help manage diabetes
Supports management of inflammatory bowel disease
May regulate cholesterol
May work as a natural pain reliever
Aids in detoxification
Benefits of Ginger
Ginger is another one that we hear about all the time. Ginger works wonderfully on nausea, which is one of the main reasons our moms would give us ginger ale when we had an upset stomach as kids. Although there isn’t any ACTUAL ginger in conventional ginger ale soda (it’s carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup and ginger flavor, not actual ginger) the tradition of ginger originated from their parents and grandparents generation, and at least they meant well!
So, ginger is actually in the Zingiberaceae family and is a very close relative to turmeric, aye! Hey cuz! This is why they actually look very similar if you’ve ever seen them in their root form. The active compound in ginger that contains all the health benefits is gingerol.
So, gingerol is to ginger, what curcumin is to turmeric.
Ginger is amazing as an anti-inflammatory as well as pain relief. Those who struggle with muscle or joint soreness, arthritis and even fibromyalgia would benefit from gingers medicinal properties. Because of the anti-inflammatory properties, this can help with brain health too, combating brain inflammation. Chronic inflammation accelerates the aging process, so one way to reverse that process is to include components that help reduce inflammation.
So, the key thing to remember is, anti-inflammatory is equivalent to anti-aging.
The main benefits include:
Helps relieve nausea
Fights fungal infections
Protects against stomach ulcers
Eases menstrual pains
May inhibit cancer growth
Regulates blood sugar
Relieves joint and muscle pain
Lowers cholesterol levels
Improves brain function
Blocks bacterial infections
Promotes proper digestion
Benefits of Tulsi
Tusli is also known as Holy Basil and is another amazing adaptogen to include with your supplements. Adaptogens help support the adrenal system and balance hormones, so your body can manage it’s stress response better on a daily basis. Tulsi is often used as a natural remedy for anxiety, adrenal fatigue, hypothyroidism, unbalanced blood sugar and even acne.
To be honest with you, this is my first rodeo with tulsi. I’ve never taken it before, but after reading the ingredient label and seeing that it was on there, I got to work with all the benefits. After realizing it’s the Hindi name for Holy Basil, I quickly realized that I have indeed heard all about the amazing benefits but have just never added into my routine.
The main benefits include:
Remedy for anxiety
Helps with adrenal fatigue
Balances blood sugar
Protects against diabetes
Helps fight cancer
Balances hormones and lowers stress
Helps improve respiratory disorders
Good source of vitamin K
Dental care and oral health
Supports eye health
Let me know in my latest Insta post if you’ve tried these superfoods or Four Sigmatic, and let me know what you think!