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Mushrooms,​ ​with​ ​their​ ​earthy, umami​ ​flavor, dense chewiness, and culinary versatility,​ ​have​ ​long​ ​been​ ​used​ ​in​ ​cuisines​ ​all​ ​over​ ​the world—they’re​ ​a​ ​staple​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Japanese​ ​diet,​ ​in​ ​numerous​ ​European​ ​regions​ ​they​ ​serve​ ​as​ ​the center​ ​of​ ​recipes such as risotto and Chicken Marsala,​ ​and​ ​in​ ​the​ ​U.S.​ ​they’ve​ ​long​ ​been​ ​a​ ​popular​ star ​ingredient in dishes ranging from mushroom ragout to portobello burgers. Mushrooms have been such a longtime favorite there​ is even​ ​a mushroom-centric​ ​cookbook, titled “One Hundred Mushroom Recipes,”​ ​that​ ​dates​ ​back​ ​to​ ​1899.

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Recently,​ ​the​​ ​other​ ​kind​ ​of​ ​mushroom—those​ ​with​ ​medicinal​ ​properties—have​ ​been attracting​ ​the​ ​attention​ ​of​ ​wellness​ ​communities​ ​so​ ​much​ ​so​ ​there​ ​is​ ​now​ ​a​ ​crop​ ​of​ ​new companies​ ​that​ ​sell​ ​blends​ ​and​ ​singular​ ​varieties​ ​of these​ “ancient”,​ ​healing​ ​mushrooms​ ​in​  accessible,​ ​on-trend​ ​manners:​ ​infused​ ​into​ ​chocolate,​ for example, ​in​ ​colorful,​ ​single-serving​ ​packages,​ ​and even​ ​in​ ​coffee.​ ​All​ ​of​ ​these​ ​products ​are​ ​readily​ ​available​ ​at​ ​health​ ​food stores.​ ​The​ ​mushrooms,​ ​when​ ​combined​ ​with​ ​ingredients​ ​like​ ​coffee​ ​and​ ​stevia,​ ​are​ ​convenient (you​ ​can​ ​easily​ ​throw​ ​a​ ​few​ ​packets​ ​in​ ​your​ ​bag)​ ​and,​ ​quite​ ​surprisingly,​ ​delicious​ ​(assuming you​ ​have​ ​a​ ​pallet​ ​that​ ​parallels​ ​your​ ​conscience).

So, is​ ​this​ ​another​ ​wellness​ ​hype,​ ​or​ ​should​ ​we​ ​pay​ ​attention?

​Medicinal​ ​mushrooms​ ​have wide-ranging health and wellness​ ​properties​—they​ ​can​ ​be​ ​beautifying,​ ​energizing,​ ​disease-fighting,​ and ​anti-inflammatory.​ ​Numerous​ ​brands​ ​also​ ​make​ ​mixed-mushroom​ ​concoctions​ ​now,​ ​i.e.​ ​beauty​ ​blends​ ​and energy​ blends—and​ ​they’re​ ​well​ ​worth​ ​a​ ​try.​ ​Depending​ ​on​ ​your​ ​tastes,​ ​it’s​ ​recommended​ ​that you​ ​experiment​ ​with​ ​various​ ​ways​ ​of​ ​incorporating​ ​the​ ​mushrooms​ ​into​ ​your​ ​diet.​

​If​ ​you​ ​don’t mind​ ​semi-bitter,​ ​and​ some ​very​ ​strange​ ​flavors,​ ​each​ ​can​ ​be​ ​taken​ ​plain.​ ​For​ ​those​ ​who​ ​cringe​ ​at​ ​the thought​ ​of​ ​consuming​ ​something​ ​that​ ​tastes​ ​a​ ​bit​ ​“off,”​ ​try​ ​the​ ​chocolates​ ​(or​ ​make​ ​your​ ​own!)​ ​or blend​ ​the​ ​mushroom​ ​powders​ ​with​ ​your​ ​morning​ ​coffee.

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