Health BenefitsLifestyle

Fall Health Tips: A Mushroom-centric Survival Guide

By November 9, 2020June 9th, 2021No Comments
Fall survival guide
    1. What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
    2. What Causes Seasonal Affective Disorder?
    3. 7 Best Fall Health Tips
    4. Medicinal Mushrooms for a Whole-Body Fall Health Boost
    5. Best Functional Mushroom Supplements for Fall Health
    6. Healthy Fall Recipes With Mushrooms

    The brisk air and changes in colors of leaves announce the bold arrival of autumn. Our social media is filled with family and friends’ excitement about pumpkin spice lattes, cozy sweaters, warm soup, and plans for holidays. Researching fall health tips may not be at the top of everyone’s priority list when there are Halloween and Thanksgiving to prepare for, but there are many good reasons why it should be!

    For some, the transition from summer to fall isn’t just about the weather change. It can be a brutal, overwhelming time for their mental health. Moreover, pollen, mold, and dust can trigger fall allergies — all of which put more burden on your body.Many experts are saying that this year will be especially tough due to the added stress of the COVID-19 pandemic. But not all hope is lost. We’ll outline a few lifestyle tweaks and general fall health tips, and explore some mushroom supplements that can help you survive this transitional season.

    What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

    Many people may experience mood shifts as the seasons change, but seasonal affective disorder (SAD) isn’t just “mild depression,” “sadness,” or “winter blues.” In fact, doctors categorize it as a variety of major depression with a seasonal pattern, which means people with SAD can experience the same distressing symptoms that often interfere with daily life,1 such as:

    • Fatigue and lethargy
    • Changes in sleep patterns and/or oversleeping
    • Feeling depressed all day, every day
    • Brain fog, difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
    • Sensitivity to stress, irritability, anxiety
    • Loss of interest or pleasure in work, hobbies, goals, and/or social interactions
    • Loss of libido
    • Changes in appetite, craving sweets or carbohydrates especially in the afternoon
    • Weight gain
    mushrooms for insomnia

    The loss of daylight during the fall can result in a number of shifts in your physical and mental state, such as sleep pattern disruption and fatigue/lethargy

    Risk Factors for SAD

    SAD is more common in young women (ages 18 to 30 years) than in men and is more likely to affect people who live further away from the equator where there are fewer daylight hours during the fall and winter months. Specifically, people living North of the 35th parallel will not have the proximity to the sun to absorb the necessary amount of Vitamin D our bodies need daily. People with a family history of depression, bipolar disease, or other mental health issues are at an even greater risk.1

    Even if you do not fall into any of the categories mentioned above, remember that mental illness does not discriminate. If you’ve noticed changes to your mental health are cyclical, that is, they appear and dissipate like clockwork around the same time every year (including summer), you may have SAD.

    What Causes Seasonal Affective Disorder?

    Scientists have yet to pinpoint the exact cause of SAD, but research studies have revealed some factors that could be at play.

    An obvious player is a reduction in daylight hours that occur during fall and winter. The shorter days are thought to cause a biochemical imbalance in the brain.

    Decreased Serotonin

    One such chemical identified by scientists is serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for balancing mood.2 A study conducted by researchers at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark in 2014 showed that patients with SAD had higher levels of SERT, a serotonin transporter. Because SERT carries serotonin from the brain to nerve cells where it is not active, increased SERT activity means decreased serotonin activity, which leads to depressive symptoms and carbohydrate cravings.2,3 High SERT activity is normally not a problem during the summer because sunlight helps keep them low.

    Decreased Serotonin during the fall

    Overproduction of Melatonin

    People with SAD also have difficulty with the overproduction of melatonin, a hormone best known as the “chemical signal of darkness.”4 Because melatonin synthesis is triggered by darkness, its levels are typically very low during the day. The rhythm of melatonin secretion is regulated by light entering the retina in the morning, which inhibits the conversion of serotonin to melatonin. But as nights become longer in the fall and winter, melatonin synthesis increases in response. Increased daytime melatonin levels have also been observed in people with SAD. This helps explain why individuals with SAD feel sleepy and lethargic.

    Circadian Rhythms and Fatigue

    The combination of decreased serotonin and increased melatonin impact your circadian rhythms or your body’s internal 24-hour clock. Circadian rhythms are synchronized to respond to light and darkness, indicating that they are remnants of the days when our ancestors’ behaviors were dictated by weather.5 In other words, winter was once a time of rest and sleep. But with the invention of the lightbulb and other technologies, our modern lifestyle enables and requires us to act against nature’s rhythms. We now act as if it’s summer all the time, demanding high levels of productivity from our bodies. It’s no wonder our biological “clocks” get thrown off by the constant demand and resists it in the form of chronic fatigue. And for some of us, it results in SAD.

    The good news is that SAD is treatable. Some individuals may need to seek treatment with a healthcare professional; however, others respond positively to lifestyle changes and supplements like the ones we describe below.

    What Traditional Chinese Medicine Says About Fall and SAD

    Traditional Chinese Medicine follows the Five Element Theory, which is used to describe the relationship between everything in the universe. The five elements (fire, metal, water, earth, and wood) are the basic elements of the world and can be used as a blueprint that shows how nature interacts with the body. Unlike summer, which the fire element dominates, the metal element governs the fall. The qualities of the metal element include organization, precision, boundaries, and structure. Just as wild animals get their “affairs” in order, humans must also shift our priorities from the carefree days of summer to a structured routine and introspective energy in preparation for the winter days ahead.

    Metal also governs respiration, and fall is a time when many people get sick with cold and flu that affect their airways. TCM associates the lungs with the feelings of grief and of letting go; for people who love summer, the transition to fall can be difficult. Lungs are also considered to be tender organs in TCM for their ability to “grasp” qi (life force) from the heavens and draw it inwards. As your qi becomes unstable during the transition from summer to fall, your lungs are especially susceptible to wind and cold.

    fall health tips

    In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the metal element dominates the fall (the other 4 elements being fire, earth, wood, and water). The qualities of the metal element include organization, precision, boundaries, and structure. Just as wild animals get their “affairs” in order, humans must also shift our priorities from the carefree days of summer to a structured routine and introspective energy in preparation for the winter days ahead.

    According to TCM, each organ in the body is paired with another, acting as either yin or yang. Health is achieved when yin and yang are in harmony. Each organ pairing is also associated with seasons of the year. For fall, the organ pairing is the lungs (yin) and large intestine (yang) meridians. While the lungs bring in qi from the heavens, the large intestine is responsible for letting go of waste and keeping only what’s important. Imbalance in the lung and large intestine meridians can create feelings of sadness and elimination problems like constipation.

    Fall health tips from a TCM perspective focus on keeping your qi balanced: prioritize breathing, self-care, rest, and reflection. Structure and routine in your daily life can also keep the metal element balanced. At the same time, soften your boundaries by allowing yourself to be supported with connections to family and friends.

    Finally, part of the difficulty with transitioning between summer and fall is the mental resistance to the change. Giving yourself permission to slow down, embracing different routines, and accepting that this is naturally a lower-energy time of year will help you remain balanced during this transitional season.

    “Total Load Theory” of the Fall Health Funk

    Think of your body as a bridge. Most bridges can handle a lot of stressors or “loads.” Still, each bridge has a load limit. Once the bridge reaches that limit, it can collapse.

    Enter the total load theory.

    For your body, stressors come from just about anywhere: from your environment to emotional trauma to insufficient sleep and exercise. Yes, even past infections can contribute to the body load. The accumulation of stressors — which begins even before you’re born — takes your body that much closer to its threshold. At some point, the body can no longer handle the cumulative effect of the load and begins to show signs of chronic illness or disease.

    Fall is a great time to pay attention to your toxic load, especially with the added burden of pathogens (like viruses), allergens, and lack of sunlight. We must be proactive not only to reduce our total stress load but to expand our immune system’s capacity to adapt and deal with the stresses that come with fall. Keep reading to discover simple fall health tips you can implement in your daily life.

    7 Best Fall Health Tips

    Many people enjoy cooler weather and bold colors of fall, although they might not all enjoy the health challenges that come with the transition. Stress from the COVID-19 pandemic has brought even more hardships to an already challenging time.

    The good news is that there are many things you can do from home to keep yourself healthy this fall.

    Keep Your Body Moving

    Exercise can lift your mood as it cleanses your body of toxins and increases energy and circulation. It also helps keep you looking your best, which is a huge confidence booster. Going to the gym may be hard during the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep your body moving! The act of integrating exercise into your daily routine will do wonders for your mood. When you’re feeling low, one of the most instantly effective fall health tips is to go for a quick walk around the block or among the colorful autumn trees for an immediate shift in your energy and a boost to your endorphins.

    Get Quality Sleep

    Proper sleep is essential to keeping your immune system strong and is one of the most important of our fall health tips. It’s during slumber that our bodies heal and repair, and lack of quality sleep is associated with poor stress management, weight gain, depressed moods, and poor cognitive function. Try to aim for seven to nine hours of sleep every night to ensure you’re well-rested.

    Sleep hygiene is just as important as getting enough sleep. Here are some of the tips for optimizing your sleep, which can also be found in our article, How do Mushrooms Support the Immune System?

    • Use a white noise machine to drown out any noise that may interrupt sleep
    • Keep your bedroom temperature between 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit
    • Keep your bedroom dark
    • Limit daytime naps to 30 minutes max
    • Avoid doing anything stimulating (e.g., exercise) close to bedtime. Exercise during the day to relieve stress and balance cortisol levels
    • Keep a consistent sleep/wake time, even on weekends on holidays
    • Avoid alcohol and caffeine before bed

    fall survival guide tips

    To help regulate your sleep and mood, limit your exposure to screens at least an hour before bed and become mindful of how many hours you spend “binge-scrolling”

    Practice Self-Care

    In the age of social media, we’re pressured to be “on” all the time. It’s time to put your phone down and take some time for self-care. Whether you choose to listen to music, journal, meditate, take a bath, or get a massage, engage in activities that make you feel good and calm. If you journal, you can track your moods to get more in touch with how you feel every day.

    Learn How to Manage Your Stress

    Unsurprisingly, stress is closely associated with depression. Chronic stress can create hormonal imbalances, triggering effects such as insomnia, depression, mood swings, and fatigue. Practice stress reduction techniques like Progressive Muscle Relaxation, 4-7-8 breathing, yoga, or meditation.

    Eat a Balanced Diet

    There’s no question about it: your diet affects your brain health. As the seasons shift, our diets must also shift. Some optimal foods for fall include pumpkins, squash, eggplant, kale, beets, broccoli, and root veggies like onions, garlic, and scallion. Avoid inflammatory foods such as sugars, processed and refined foods, dairy, and gluten. Lean proteins, omega 3-rich foods, and healthy fats like nuts and seeds will keep your blood sugar levels balanced to prevent fatigue and mood swings.

    mushrooms for fall

    The drop in temperature during fall triggers your body’s self-preservation mode and its appetite for high caloric foods. Comfort your cravings in healthy ways with warm, comforting foods, such as stews and soups, that take advantage of the season’s root vegetables and fresh mushrooms.

    Your diet can also affect the health of your lungs. Excessive consumption of cold and raw foods can create dampness or phlegm. In general, eating more warming foods is helpful. This is an ideal time of year to make comforting stews, soups, and broths from the abundance of root vegetables and fresh mushrooms.

    Being proactive with your diet is one of the under-valued fall health tips. How we eat affects how we sleep, and vice versa. Investigators in a 2017 study reviewed data on 172 participants between 11 sleep studies and found that after just one night of limited sleep, people consumed an average of 385 extra calories the next day. The participants also chose foods with more fat and less protein.6

    A drop in temperature triggers a self-preservation mode in your body, resulting in cravings for high-calorie, high-carbohydrate foods that will warm your body up quickly. It’s no wonder we all feel the need to hit the gym when spring comes back around. Fall is a great time to adjust your body to better eating habits that will regulate your blood sugar levels, which will help to curb the food cravings and their intensity.

    Try Light Therapy

    Light therapy involves exposing yourself to bright white light using a box or lamp specially designed for this purpose, thereby making up for the diminished sunshine. Clues that light therapy might help alleviate SAD symptoms were first documented in a 1984 study, in which patients exposed to bright white light reported improvements in their sleep quality and depression.7 Since then, many clinical trials have been conducted worldwide, and light therapy has become the preferred first-line treatment of SAD.

    fall survival guide

    Fall Health Tip: Light therapy is one of the preferred first-line treatments for SAD

    The strategy for the administration of bright light therapy for SAD has been refined and optimized over the years. The Center for Environmental Therapeutics recommends using a fluorescent lightbox (10,000 lux, preferably white light) with a diffusion screen that filters ultraviolet (UV) rays. Try using the lightbox for 30 minutes every morning, ensuring that the angle of the box is at approximately 30° from the line of gaze. Alternatively, a lower-intensity lightbox (e.g., 2,500 lux) may be used with a longer exposure time (1 to 2 hours).8,9

    People with certain pre-existing eye and skin conditions and those who are taking photosensitizing medications (e.g., some antibiotics) may need to seek the guidance of an ophthalmologist or a dermatologist before trying light therapy. While this is one of the fall health tips that require a little monetary investment, it is well worthwhile if you’re one of the millions of people who suffer from this seasonal mood slump.

    Start Taking a Vitamin D Supplement

    Vitamin D is essential for our health, so much so that nearly every single cell in your body has a vitamin D receptor.10 Many people may know vitamin D is something that keeps their bones healthy. Not as many people know that vitamin D influences over 2,000 genes in our bodies. And Mother Nature seems to agree on its importance, as she has provided an incredibly easy way for us to get most of the vitamin D we need: the sun.

    But as daylight hours get shorter during the fall and winter, people in the Northern Hemisphere are at risk of developing vitamin D deficiency, a condition that has been associated with:

    • Cardiovascular disease11
    • Osteoporosis12
    • Muscle weakness12
    • Autoimmune diseases12
    • High blood pressure12
    • Infectious diseases, including viral infections12,13
    • Sleep disorders and poor sleep quality14,15

    The good news is that supplementing with vitamin D is one of the easiest and most accessible fall health tips to combat the symptoms above. If you’ve been shopping for vitamin D supplements, you’ve likely seen two different forms — D2 and D3. What are the differences? And is one form better than the other?

    To compare the two, we have to briefly look at how vitamin D is converted for use in the body. Irrespective of the source, vitamins D2 and D3 undergo a 2-step activation process, first in the liver and then in the kidneys, to turn the vitamin D into the calcitriol the body needs.16

    Shop Mushroom Extracts

    Although a single high dose of vitamin D3 appears to be more effective at raising levels of the precursor of calcitriol in the body (according to one research study), this difference in effect is lost with daily supplementation. So, the vegan-friendly D2 vitamin sourced from mushrooms will provide the body with the levels of calcitriol it needs when it is taken daily, as you would with any vitamin D supplement.16

    This is good news for vegans and vegetarians. Most D3 is made from irradiating sheep lanolin, a source that will be a cause for concern for individuals interested in animal rights. At Real Mushrooms, we believe that when it comes to your health, it’s important to question the quality and source of just about everything. That’s why we provide a whole-food, plant-based source of vitamin D2: mushrooms.

    Real Mushrooms D2Z

    The vast majority of Vitamin D supplements on the market are made of lanolin from sheep’s wool. Mushroom supplements are an animal-friendly and immune system-boosting alternative.

    Vitamin D in Mushrooms

    Wild mushrooms only have small amounts of vitamin D2 and almost no D3; however, they also have the ability to absorb UV light and convert ergosterol, a fungal sterol, into vitamin D2. Researchers found that mushrooms exposed to UV light have increased concentrations of vitamin D2. This suggests that mushrooms can become a non-animal based, unfortified food source of vitamin D.17

    Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that can build up in the body, so it is important not to over-supplement. For most people of ages 9 to 70, up to 4,000 IU per day has been shown to be safe.18 Real Mushrooms’ D2Z contains 2,000 IU of vitamin D per serving (2 capsules), so the risk of overdoing it is very low. If your levels are chronically low, it may be best to work with a medical practitioner to determine the appropriate dosage.

    For a more extensive discussion on vitamin D and mushrooms, check out our article Vegan Vitamin D from Mushrooms.

    Medicinal Mushrooms for a Whole-Body Fall Health Boost

    Main Health Benefits of Medicinal Mushrooms

    Medicinal mushrooms have been used for centuries, but recent health trends have resulted in a resurgence of interest in these superfoods. And for good reason. Mushrooms are powerful sources of nutrients that provide a wealth of health benefits:

    • Potent antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties
    • Activates & regulates the immune system
    • Increases energy and stamina
    • Supports brain health and cognition
    • Supports liver function
    • Helps control blood sugar
    • Improves sleep quality
    • Supports lung health
    • Improves and regulates gut health

    …and much, much more. This means that mushrooms can also play a critical role in helping your biorhythms ease into the autumn transitional period. That’s why, as far as fall health tips go, medicinal mushrooms should also be on your self-care list.

    Mushrooms have such a myriad of health benefits because they are adaptogens. They work to counteract the harmful effects of stress in the body, whether it be physical, biological, or chemical. Adaptogens are meant to bring balance, or homeostasis, back to the body. This is done by interacting with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and the sympathoadrenal system. By tweaking hormone production and physiological responses, adaptogens like mushrooms keep your body functioning optimally, and they have a natural intelligence to modulate these systems as needed.

    You can find out more about the health benefits of mushrooms by reading 7 Medicinal Mushroom Benefits for Health and How do Mushrooms Support the Immune System?

    The Real Mushrooms Quality Makes a Difference

    Mushrooms are trending, but the fact is that not all mushroom supplements are the same. And despite having been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years, there are few control standards in the Western market. In short, there’s a good chance that the “mushroom” supplement you see at the supermarket contains little to no mushroom at all.

    When shopping for mushroom products, you might come across the word “mycelium.” Mycelium is the underground network that feeds on organic plant matter known as the substrate. If conditions are right, the mycelium will produce the mushroom which is also known as the fruiting body.

    Fall Health Tips

    Lion’s Mane mushroom from our organic farm. Real Mushrooms supplements are made only from 100% whole mushrooms (the fruiting body), not the mycelium, and they contain no grain or other fillers

    It is important to note that a mushroom is not mycelium, and mycelium is not a mushroom. These are two very different and distinct parts of these fungal organisms.

    Now that we know mycelium and mushroom are not interchangeable terms, do you know what’s in your mushroom supplement? For most mushrooms, the majority of the immune-boosting compounds, like beta-D-glucans and triterpenoids, are in the fruiting body.

    Polysaccharides in Medicinal Mushrooms

    You may also see the polysaccharide content on a medicinal mushroom supplement label. Companies often point to their high polysaccharide levels to promote their products as being the most efficacious. Polysaccharides are the main active compounds in mushrooms, so the more the merrier, right?

    Not so quick. While the important polysaccharides in mushrooms are beta-D-glucans, they are not the only type of polysaccharide. Polysaccharides are complex sugars and include things like cellulose, glycogen and starch. So while high polysaccharides may sound good, they could actually be inactive starches in the form of fillers. This is why it is important to look for beta-glucan content when selecting a mushroom product.

    Many mycelium products grow on grains like rice and oats. The grain eventually becomes inseparable from the mycelium, leading to high amounts of starch and diluted amounts of beneficial compounds. This means that mycelium products grown on grain, which contain starches, can have elevated levels of polysaccharides. Although misleading, many companies choose not to disclose the actual beta-D-glucan content of their products. An in-depth discussion of this topic can be found in Medicinal Mushroom Benefits: Mycelium vs. Fruiting Body.

    To ensure that you are getting the most potent medicinal mushroom supplement, Real Mushrooms only uses extracts from the mushroom grown organically in natural environments.

    Best Functional Mushroom Supplements for Fall Health

    D2Z: A Powerhouse of Vitamin D and Zinc

    D2Z is the newcomer to the Real Mushrooms product line, and we believe it’s the perfect supplement to support the immune system during the transition to fall. As already discussed earlier in the article, getting adequate amounts of vitamin D is crucial to staying healthy both physically and mentally.

    We take sleep seriously at Real Mushrooms, which is why we paired vitamin D2 with zinc, the second most abundant trace mineral in the human body. Found in all body tissues, zinc plays an essential role in many biological processes.

    Zinc deficiency affects two billion people worldwide and can lead to:19

    • Growth inhibition
    • Loss or diminished sense of smell and taste
    • Poor wound healing
    • Hair loss
    • Loss of libido
    • Canker sores
    • Lethargy
    • Lack of alertness
    • Inefficient immune system
    • Poor sleep quality

    With the possible exception of the pancreas, the brain contains the highest levels of zinc in the body. Studies have found that zinc and pathologies of the central nervous system are highly connected — in other words, disturbances in the brain zinc homeostasis are associated with a wide range of neurological disorders, including depression.20

    There is a growing body of evidence that zinc supplementation may help reduce the severity of depression and benefit antidepressant therapy.21,22

    Zinc is also a critical factor in a healthy functioning immune system. Researchers have found that zinc-deficient individuals had a higher risk of pathogen infections.23,24,25,26

    But we didn’t stop there. We’ve included Reishi and Chaga mushrooms in D2Z to help keep your immune system in tip-top shape. To read more about the health benefits of mushrooms for health and sleep, check out 7 Medicinal Mushroom Benefits for Health and The 3 Best Mushrooms Supplements for Sleep.

    Mushroom D2Z

    Pairing (an animal-friendly source) of Vitamin D and of Zinc is a powerhouse combination for fighting the fall health funk

    5 Defenders: 5 Ways to Support Your Immune System

    Interested in starting a mushroom supplement but not sure which one to choose? We’ve got your back. 5 Defenders is our best-selling, 100% organic blend of five mushrooms with powerful immune system supporting compounds — Reishi, Shiitake, Maitake, Turkey Tail, and Chaga. Our 7 Medicinal Mushroom Benefits for Health post discusses the benefits of each. Beyond our fall health tips, this blend is a staple for mushroom lovers.

    Did you know that your pets can also benefit from medicinal mushrooms? Many Real Mushrooms customers report seeing positive changes in their pets after starting them on medicinal mushroom products. To learn more about how medicinal mushrooms can benefit animals, check out our article Medicinal Mushrooms for Pets.

    medicinal mushrooms for pets

    Pets are also susceptible to illness and an immune-boosting mushroom blend like 5 Defenders can help protect your furry loved ones.

    Cordyceps: A Boost for Energy and Respiration

    Real Mushrooms’ Cordyceps-M is extracted exclusively from Cordyceps militaris and has more than 25% beta-glucans, the polysaccharides renowned for their health benefits. C. militaris produces much higher concentrations (up to 90 times more!) of the compound cordycepin (3’-deoxyadenosine) than other Cordyceps species.

    Cordycepin has potent immune-boosting, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties.27 It is also known to help boost energy levels and exercise performance.

    Our article, Cordyceps Mushroom Supplement Types Explained + The Health Benefits, gives a more extensive discussion on cordyceps mushrooms.

    fall health tips

    Lion’s Mane extract helps support brain function and a healthy nervous system. When taken regularly, it can help alleviate mental fatigue, as well as enhance mood, memory and focus

    Lion’s Mane: Keeping Brain Fog and Fatigue at Bay

    Lion’s mane is a white, shaggy mushroom that looks, well, like a lion’s mane. It is rich in antioxidants and other chemical compounds that strengthen your immune system, but it is perhaps best known for its neuroprotective properties. It may not be the obvious choice, but this mushroom deserves a spot on our fall health tips.

    Animal studies have found that those given lion’s mane extracts had reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression.28,29 In a small study conducted in Japan, women with menopause who ate cookies containing lion’s mane reported feeling less irritable and anxious than those who did not.30 Other researchers have found that lion’s mane may have the potential to mitigate cognitive decline.31,32,33,34

    Other mushroom products that may help your immune system and mood throughout fall and winter include Real Mushrooms’ chaga (capsules and powder), reishi (capsules and powder), and turkey tail (capsules and powder).

    Healthy Fall Recipes With Mushrooms

    1. Vegan Golden Milk with Mushroom Extract

    To help get your circadian rhythm back on track, we’ve created two vegan golden milk recipes, one for morning and one for night. The morning recipe contains Lion’s Mane, well known for its ability to support healthy brain function and fight oxidative stress. Combined with ashwagandha, ginger, black pepper, cinnamon, and turmeric (a.k.a. the “healing spice” responsible for the golden color), this golden milk with Lion’s Mane is a powerful way to start your morning to provide you with sustained mental energy.

    Reishi may be the best known for its immunostimulating abilities, but it’s also a potent sleep aid.35 Support the immune system, reduce stress, and improve sleep? Including reishi in our nighttime golden milk recipe was a no-brainer!

    fall health tips

    2 recipes for golden milk: one will help you perk up in the morning and stay focused during the day, the other will help soothe you to sleep and renew the mind overnight

    2. Keto Stuffed Mushrooms

    The keto diet is widely used as a weight-loss tool, but did you know it could also affect the brain? Research has shown that the keto diet may benefit individuals with migraines,36 Alzheimer’s disease,37 and yes, mood disorders like depression.38,39,40

    Now you can give your keto diet an extra boost with our highly versatile and very popular Keto Stuffed Mushroom recipe. If you’re a vegan, don’t worry! We included tips for vegan substitutes.

    fall health recipes

    Our stuffed mushroom recipe is a crowd favorite, and bonus, it’s Keto!

    3. Flu Season Mocha

    Winter is coming, and that means the flu season will also be in full swing soon. The lack of sunlight leads to low levels of vitamin D, which in turn compromises our immune systems. Functional mushrooms are the ideal supplements to boost your immune system and help safeguard you and your family members from nasty viruses.

    Chaga, for example, has been included in our Flu Season Mocha recipe for its potent antiviral properties41 and makes a great addition to any coffee. Not a fan of chaga? Not a problem. Like many of our recipes, the Flu Season Mocha recipe is highly versatile and will work well with any of our mushroom extracts.

    4. Keto Donut Recipe: Cinnamon “Sugar” With Brain-Boosting Lion’s Mane

    Who knew donuts could be good for you? The heavenly aroma of this donut recipe is sure to give your mood a huge boost. Treating yourself to the comfort of sweet mini donuts comes with few downsides when you make them using this keto recipe with a healthy twist: the addition of Lion’s Mane for your brain.

    real mushrooms recipes

    Our baked donut hole recipe is a healthier alternative to store-bought treats when you want to indulge those carb-cravings that hit hard during the fall.

    5. CBD Hot Chocolate With Mushroom Extracts

    Hot chocolate is amazing on its own, but we have a recipe that might just make it even more so: CBD Hot Chocolate. CBD has generated much interest for its potential health benefits, including its anti-inflammatory effects.42 Studies indicate that chronic inflammation may contribute to depression;43 thus, taking CBD to ease inflammation could boost your mood. This recipe works very well with our Real Mushrooms Reishi Extract.

    Medicinal Mushrooms for a Healthy Fall: Final Thoughts

    Fall is a beautiful time of year, but it can also be a challenging one for many people. Holidays are also coming up, which only adds to the stress. But with these health tips, fall doesn’t have to be a season of misery and gloom. Mushroom supplements and lifestyle changes are safe and effective ways to get through the transition.

    fall health tips

    Part of being well during the fall is accepting the changing energy it brings, embracing the comforts of the season and the slower pace of life as we transition into winter.

    Be gentle with yourself this fall and take extra time to practice self-care. However, if you find yourself unable to shake off the depressive feelings, be sure to seek the help of a healthcare professional. Please do not simply dismiss depressive symptoms as “winter blues.” Seasonal Affective Disorder is a complex condition that needs to be taken seriously.

    As always, talk to a healthcare professional before making any drastic changes to your diet or supplements. While medicinal mushrooms are generally very safe, they may not be right for you. Let us know about your favorite fall health tips in the comments below!

    *Disclaimer: The statements made in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information in this article is intended for educational purposes. The information is not intended to replace medical advice offered by licensed medical physicians. Please consult your doctor or health practitioner for any medical advice.

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    Iced Mushroom CoffeeReferences

    1. American Psychiatric Association 2017, “Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD),”, viewed 3 October 2020, <>.
    2. McMahon, B., Andersen, S.B., Madsen, M.K., Hjordt, L.V., Hageman, I., Dam, H., Svarer, C., Da Cunha-Bang, S., Barré, W., Madsen, J., Hasholt, L., Frokjaer, V. & Knudsen, G.M. 2014, “P.1.i.037 Patients with seasonal affective disorder show seasonal fluctuations in their cerebral serotonin transporter binding,” European Neuropsychopharmacology, vol. 24, p. S319, <>
    3. Miller, A. 2005, “Epidemiology, Etiology, and Natural Treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder,” Alternative Medicine Review, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 5–13, viewed 4 October 2020, <>.
    4. Lewy, A.J., Lefler, B.J., Emens, J.S. & Bauer, V.K. 2006, “The circadian basis of winter depression,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 103, no. 19, pp. 7414–9, viewed 4 October 2020, <>.
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Real Mushrooms

Real Mushrooms

Real Mushrooms is the premier provider of organic mushroom extracts, verified for the beneficial medicinal compounds like beta-glucans and free from starchy fillers like grains. With over 40 years of mushroom growing experience, Real Mushrooms prides itself on providing a transparent source of medicinal mushrooms that you can trust.