Winter may bring cold temps and blustery wind, but it also brings mushrooms.
Many years ago, my husband, Bruce, and I went on our first trip to Rome
and ate pasta with wild mushrooms at a little cafe outside the city.
I still remember it because it was the most delicious thing I had ever eaten.
That was the beginning of my wondrous, decades-long relationship with mushrooms.
Most Americans are familiar with the white button mushroom, the most common variety sold in supermarkets. In recent years, the meaty portobello has become popular along with its smaller cousin the cremini. In addition to tasting
great, mushrooms are packed with nutrients like selenium, which is good for your thyroid, and ergothionene, a powerful antioxidant. Some mushrooms have a plant form of vitamin D, and in addition to it’s known benefit of strengthening your bones, vitamin D is a critical nutrient for a healthy immune system.
While all mushrooms boast an immune-boosting benefit, years of research and use in ancient cultures have proven that the earthy, meaty wild mushroom packs even more of these benefits than the common, white button mushroom. The same goes for shitake and maitake varieties, which you can find in most health food stores,
and research shows they can boost your natural killer cells and lymphocytes offering anti-viral and anti-cancer effects. At Blum Center for Health, we use mushroom extract supplements for these purposes.
However, it is way more fun and delicious to get your mushrooms in FOOD!
This is a great way to support your immune system every day, for prevention and general well being. At Organic Pharmer, our Culinary Director, Lee Gross, created two new mushroom recipes: Wild Mushroom Piadini and a Mushroom & Kale Frittata. This is Food as Medicine at it’s best!
So stop by and try one of these new recipes and include mushrooms when you cook your own meals.
They’re a great addition to your winter flu prevention strategy.