If you have been on the low FODMAP diet for a while, then you know that for the most part mushrooms are off limits. But did you know that there are some mushrooms that may be low FODMAP safe. These types of mushrooms are called adaptogenic, or medicinal mushrooms. Certain types of these mushrooms, in certain serving sizes, may be the solution to solving all your meal-related mushroom needs. Therefore, let’s talk about what exactly adaptogenic mushrooms are, types of adaptogenic mushrooms, and how you can safely add some into your low FODMAP lifestyle.
What are adaptogenic mushrooms?
Medicinal mushrooms, also known as adaptogenic mushrooms, have been used for hundreds of years, especially in Asian countries for health enhancement. They have been used for treatment of infections as well as pulmonary diseases. These mushrooms are thought to positively impact immune health, and therefore could be a great addition to any healthy lifestyle.
Types of adaptogenic mushrooms
There are several types of adaptogenic mushrooms you can add to your diet for enhanced health. Some better known adaptogenic mushrooms include:
- Turkey tail
The beneficial properties of adaptogenic mushrooms are suggested to come from their high content of such compounds as polysaccaharides and triterpenes, as well as many other bioactive compounds. Triterpenes in particular have shown to have anti-inflammatory properties that can help lower risk of chronic diseases like heart disease. Meanwhile, polysaccharides are thought to have immune-enhancing properties.
More specifically, research shows that Cordyceps may help benefit liver and kidney health and could also be an effective treatment for increasing insulin sensitivity. Also, Shiitake is thought to boost life energy, while reishi mushrooms, which are high in triterpenes, reveal anti-allergenic and anti-hypertensive properties.
In particular, research shows that reishi mushroom contains a notable quantity of flavonoids, which are a type of antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation in the body. In fact, other research shows that medicinal mushrooms like reishi may help to act as a prebiotic that can stimulate a healthy balance of microbiota in the gut, and therefore may play a role in improving digestive health and related conditions.
Low FODMAP servings of adaptogenic mushrooms
Unfortunately, only one adaptogenic mushroom, the Shiitake mushroom, has been officially tested by Monash University for its FODMAP content. Fresh shiitake mushrooms are considered of moderate FODMAP content at 2/3 of a mushroom and are considered high FODMAP in a 4-mushroom serving. This is because these Shiitake mushrooms contain the polyol known as mannitol. However, dried Shiitake mushrooms are considered low FODMAP safe in a 2-mushroom serving but are considered high FODMAP in a 4-mushroom serving. If you have a question about a specific adaptogenic mushroom and its FODMAP content, ask someone at Monash University so you can let them know what foods they should consider testing next.
Take home message
Although some mushrooms are off limits on a low FODMAP eating regimen, this doesn’t mean that all mushrooms are off limits. There are several mushrooms that may potentially safe on the low FODMAP regimen. However, just like any food on the low FODMAP diet, everyone’s body will react differently to different foods. So, if you are going to add in some adaptogenic mushrooms to your eating plan, start with a very small serving size. In the hours after eating mushrooms, be aware of any digestive issues or other symptoms, if any, you may experience.
If you are unable to tolerate Shiitake mushrooms, but want to enjoy their medicinal properties, you may want to try a mushroom extract supplement. Again, you should try one dose first to check for tolerance before adding a supplement like this to your daily regimen. For more information on the low FODMAP diet, visit the Casa de Sante website.