Insights into Functional Mushrooms from an Expert Panel

Insights into Functional Mushrooms from an Expert Panel

Top 5 Takeaways from Our Functional Mushroom Panel Discussion

In recent years, there has been a remarkable surge in awareness among individuals seeking natural ways to enhance their well-being. Yet there remains lots of questions around functional mushrooms, what they are, and what the benefits can be.

In March 2023, we hosted an inspiring and educational event, where we were joined by a panel of esteemed experts, health coaches and natural supplement enthusiasts.

The aim of the event was to shed light on the myriad of benefits of functional mushrooms, and to celebrate the collaboration between Grass & Co. and renowned health retailer Holland & Barrett.

Our panel of experts included:

Eleanor Mills - Noon founder, award-winning editor, and highly respected writer and broadcaster
Romina Melwani - Nutritional expert and mycotherapist post from the Nutrition Collective.
Martin Powell - Author of ‘Medicinal Mushrooms’ and leading authority on their benefits
Thelma Mensah – Women’s health coach
Gail Porter - Celebrity mushroom lover

The aim of the event was to allow the panel to share their expertise and shed light on how these remarkable supplements can contribute to a healthier lifestyle and support with specific ailments. Explore our top five takeaways from our functional mushroom event with insights from the experts themselves.

1. Functional Mushrooms for Gut-Brain Access and Cognitive Enhancement

Many of us encounter daily challenges related to cognitive function, such as difficulty concentrating at work, struggling to stay mentally alert, or dealing with brain fog.

Functional mushrooms offer a natural solution to these common pain points. During our panel discussion, Thelma Mensah, who had been taking Lion’s Mane supplement, FOCUS, said “cognitively, she feels more switched on and can face the day” and she was “surprised at how quickly it worked”.

Romina Melwani highlights the concept of the “gut-brain axis” and its connection to functional mushrooms like FOCUS. She states: “There’s a new term for people which is the ‘gut-brain access’ which is what is happening with FOCUS. Everything we eat is also having an impact on our minds and our brain.”

Learn more about how FOCUS supplements with Lion’s Mane mushrooms can support mental focus.

2. Functional Mushrooms for Enhancing Sleep and Managing Stress

The impact sleep can have on your overall health and day-to-day life is huge. Functional mushrooms which contain Reishi extract offer a natural solution to these sleep-related problems.

TV personality and avid functional mushroom enthusiast, Gail Porter, began taking the DREAM Reishi mushroom supplements to support with insomnia. She noted that she “doesn’t like to take prescribed sleeping tablets from the doctor because of the side effects and feeling rubbish the next day”. However, having taken the supplements as part of her daily routine, she began getting restful night’s sleep which was revolutionary for her.

Romina Melwani supported this by saying that the Reishi mushroom supplements also help with calming the overall nervous system. She said it’s a “powerful mushroom when it comes to women’s health and also calms the nervous system down“ and can be particularly helpful for those who are “menopausal, peri-menopausal or suffer with hormonal imbalances.”

Read our guide to Reishi functional mushrooms and their potential benefits here.

3. Functional Mushrooms for Digestive Health and Well-Being

If you experience digestive discomfort, you’ll understand how it can impact not only your physical well-being but also emotional and mental health. It can leave you feeling sluggish, and make normal day-to-day activities seem challenging.

Eleanor Mills, who had been taking the BIOME Chaga mushroom supplements, found that it “had been transformative, energy levels have been good, skin looks good, and stomach problems have cleared up since taking it”. Get more of an insight into the benefits of Chaga mushroom supplements in our useful blog.

If digestive issues are causing fatigue, this can in turn hinder productivity. Gail Porter states that POWER Shiitake mushroom supplements could support with this, personally experiencing that after taking them in the morning she “felt great, more on top of things, and was more ready for the day ahead”.

Discover more about the potential benefits of Shiitake mushrooms and the POWER functional mushroom supplement.

The Science Behind Functional Mushrooms

With so many natural supplements available to purchase, it’s important to understand the science behind functional mushrooms in order to be aware of their potential benefits.

Discussing the FOCUS supplement, Martin Powell delves into the fascinating science behind Lion's Mane mushrooms and their ability to stimulate nerve growth factors. He said the compounds within this specific type of mushroom “promote nerve growth factors in the brain, and those are important compounds for nerve repair and regeneration.”

Romina Melwani’s subsequent comments showcase how science is uncovering mushroom’s potential not only as a nutritional source but also for their broader physiological effects. Melwani says “it’s the action of these compounds that the mushroom [Lion’s Mane] is producing for their antibacterial properties, but also has a physiological effect when ingested.”

The Booming Functional Mushroom Market

As people’s perspectives change on the use of functional supplements such as mushrooms, or CBD oil drops or capsules, there will be a corresponding increase in the number of different products available, each offering specific health benefits.

Eleanor Mills states that “a generation ago, mushrooms were just for hippies or for a few random foragers” however, the market is rapidly expanding, reflecting the changing consumer attitudes and the huge potential of the market.

Due to the rapid expansion and accessibility of functional mushrooms, there is now a wide range of mushroom products catering to diverse needs and preferences. This growth means you have a wider selection of trusted, quality products to explore, so you can experience the transformative potential of functional mushrooms for yourself.

Explore our range of functional mushroom products and watch the full YouTube video here.
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