Let’s face it - our brains are weird, and we still don’t understand a lot about them. They can create, interpret and remember vast streams of complex information, but not why you walked into the kitchen 3 seconds ago. If, like me, you are hopeless without a cup of coffee in the morning then there’s something we need to talk about. Something that can give your routine a little extra boost to your health and wellbeing.
As any connoisseur of the coffee bean will know, coffee carries with it amazing benefits for your health, which includes energy from caffeine, improved mental performance and increased fat loss. It is even thought to lower the risk of heart disease and liver problems.
Turns out, there’s a way to make your morning coffee even more beneficial for your brain health, and it’s not what you might expect. It’s a mushroom. Specifically, Lion’s Mane Mushroom, an adaptogenic mushroom believed to promote balance, which can help us to function at an optimum physiological level.
Now I can hear you asking, what is a Lion’s Mane Mushroom? Will taking it give me a lustrous head of hair like the King of Beasts? Why would I put mushrooms in my coffee? These are all valid questions, and here are some answers…
What is a Lion’s Mane Mushroom?
This wonderful edible fungus (with the Latin name Hericium erinaceus) is so called because it grows in shaggy white tufts which resemble a lion’s mane, and it has been used in the traditional medicinal practices of many cultures to promote mental clarity, stimulation, and brain health. Other research suggests that a Lion’s Mane mushroom supplement may promote improved digestive and heart health, and boost your immune system.
More than that, it has been shown that Lion’s Mane might help to prevent the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, and potentially alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. Adding Lion’s Mane extract to coffee gives you a longer lasting boost of mental acuity, focus, and concentration, without the crash of extra caffeine. This is especially useful for memory recall, so you won’t forget your keys on the way to the gym again.
And what are the benefits of Lion’s Mane Mushrooms?
As I have intimated above, Lion’s Mane has been used in traditional medicinal practices for centuries, but recent research has shown that there are numerous benefits of its extract, including providing a boost to the immune system by increasing the intestine’s immune system.
Not only does it act as an adaptogen, promoting balance in the body and optimising brain function, research has also shown that it may aid in faster recovery for nervous system injuries, including potential reductions in brain damage as a result of strokes.
It can stimulate digestion, and it is also thought to help prevent ulcers and keep stomach acid levels in check, as well as aiding in the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease, although more research is needed. Further, it is believed that Lion’s Mane extract may help to prevent certain types of cancer, and slow the spread of existing cancer, due to several of its unique compounds.
Lion’s Mane supplements have also been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, manage the symptoms of diabetes by helping the body regulate blood sugar levels, and may help to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.
Finally, research has shown that Lion’s Mane enhances neurogenesis (the growth and development of our nervous tissues), and improves working memory and recall, which is perfect for those early mornings!
But, in my coffee?
Yes, in your coffee. Whether you choose to start your day with meditation, cardio, or a quick dash to work, a caffeine boost can really help you to get going. If the cumulative benefits of that morning routine lasted longer and gave you more focus, it would be even better, and that’s where Vivo Life’s MAGIC Ground Coffee with Lion’s Mane outstrips a regular cup of joe in both quality and benefit.
It’s almost enough to say that MAGIC coffee is organic and Fair Trade Certified, roasted and ground in the UK, and packaged to reduce environmental impact as much as possible. Hailing from a co-operative farm in Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee, the only way it could give you a finer sense of wellbeing was if it contained Lion’s Mane mushroom for an extra boost of clarity and creativity. Oh wait, it does! It’s also third party tested for mycotoxins, herbicides and pesticides to ensure that there are no hidden horrors making their way into your mug.
And however you take your coffee; hot, iced, strong, with plant-based milk or without, with a pinch of salt or a squeeze of agave, it doesn’t taste like mushrooms at all. In case you were worried about that…
You can find out more in our definitive guide to mushroom coffee.
And my hair?
Whilst Lion’s Mane mushroom won’t make your hair as glorious as a lion’s (I know, it’s devastating), you can rest assured that the other benefits more than make up for that, especially for your big, beautiful, brain.
Ultimately, promoting better brain health leads to higher levels of energy and productivity, which can bring you increased feelings of overall wellbeing and positivity. That’s really rather magical in itself, and all from a cup of coffee and a mushroom!