There are little things more delicious than hot chocolate! When unprocessed and not laden with artificial flavours, colours and sweetened chemically with too much sugar hot chocolate can be quite healthy. Cacao is a powerful antioxidant and rich in both vitamins and minerals. Drinking hot cacao is one of my favourite alternative to regular hot chocolate. It is only made better by the use of reishi mushrooms and honey!
What is Reishi & What is it Good For?
Reishi once a rare mushroom only consumed by royalty has risen recently to superfood glory, due to the fact that modern technology has improved reishi’s ability to be cultivated. For over 4000 years reishi has been utilized by both Chinese and Japanese traditional medicinal practises, were reishi was a symbol of both health and longevity. It is rich in protein, a source of unsaturated fatty acids, a high source of sulphur as well as being rich in plant secondary compounds such as alkaloids and steroids and is a high source of antioxidants. In the year 2730 BC Chinese emperor Shennong asserted that reishi was the most important and beneficial of plant species as it was able to fight diseases in the body without bringing about side effects. The diseases it was used to fight were hepatitis, arthritis, nephritis, insomnia, hypertension, asthma, fatigue, bronchitis and ulcers in the stomach.
The health benefits of Reishi aid against far more than the illnesses it was used to treat in ancient times. Today through scientific research, Reishi has been shown to be beneficial for;
- balancing cholesterol levels
- reducing blood pressure
- reducing and preventing the production of histamine
- aiding in bringing down inflammation of the liver
- enhancing bone marrow
- muscle relaxation and recovery
- lowering the risk of a blood clot
- bringing up the immune system
- reducing oxidative damage and stress on the body
- working as an adaptogen so as to allow the body to better handle and react to stress
- aiding the individual in dealing with depression and exhaustion
- reducing the rate of different cancers
- safeguard against Alzheimer’s
Reishi is an adaptogenic plant making it work incredibly well at helping the individual deal with stress. Stressors can come into one’s life through several different ways; personal issues, alcohol and drug abuse, work, school, bad eating habits, lack of rest, overtraining etc. When the body is not properly supported for dealing with stressors an imbalance begins to grow (for example an imbalance of the hormone cortisol as well as an increase in growth hormone, both of which can lead to drastic inflammation in the body, among other things). Reishi will aid in mitigating this, by assisting the liver and helping to keep it balanced so that it can detoxify the body properly and not feel so heavily burdened, making sure the lymphatic system is running smoothly, reducing oxidative stress and damage through its high antioxidant count as well as reducing the risk of developing diabetes and mitigating its effects in individuals who already have it.
Adding reishi into your morning routine will make you feel a whole lot different. Perhaps not after the first day, but if you continue to take it every day you will notice a difference. You may wish to take it as a pill or perhaps just throw a packet of Four Sigmatic Reishi Hot Cacao into a cup and have it as an energy booster in the morning.
Reishi Hot Chocolate
- 1 packet Four Sigmatic Mushroom Hot Cacao with Reishi
- 1 tsp of organic cacao
- 1 tsp of unpasteurized honey
- 1 cup of organic nut milk
- Place all ingredients in a pot over medium heat and whisk until everything has been nicely incorporated.
- Keep on the stove top on medium heat until the Hot Cacao has come to a light simmer.
- Pour into your favourite cup and sit back and enjoy!!!
Amanda Filipowicz is a certified nutritional practitioner (CNP) with a bachelor in environmental studies (BES) from York University. She also has certification in clinical detoxification, prenatal and postnatal care as well as nutrition for mental health. She has been working as a nutritionist since 2013 and is a lifelong proponent of eating healthy.