unusual foods can’t also be good for you?
around a Farmers’ Market in San Francisco, I spotted a
display that looked like a pile of fuzzy white brains. They
were wrinkled and looked less like food and more like
something you could use to scrub away dead skin in the shower.
A sign in the middle of these loofa-looking edibles read,
"Lion’s Mane, $12.50 a pound."
these? I asked the vendor.
he said. "They are supposed to have some kind of health
enough, my homework later discovered that these mushrooms —
also called Yamabushitake (scientific name Hericium erinaceus),
contain natural substances that show promise for their
possible beneficial effects on the body.
instance, animal studies have shown that this type of mushroom
contains substances that helped repair nerves after a brain
injury (in rats). Another study reported that older Japanese
men and women with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) — loss of
memory beyond what is normal for age — experienced
significant improvements in thinking ability after taking
supplements made from Lion’s Mane mushroom.
long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine, this type
of mushroom is perfectly safe to eat, say experts. And while
you’re enjoying this culinary adventure, your health may
benefit as well.
report that many types of mushrooms, including the funny
looking one I saw at the grower’s market, impart important
functions to humans, including favorable effects on blood
cholesterol and glucose levels, according to a review article
in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Reportedly,
more than 70 active compounds in lion’s mane mushroom have
properties that protect against infections, cancer, diabetes,
high blood pressure, heart disease, and dementia…quite a
it taste? Some say the taste and texture of Lion’s Mane is
similar to shellfish. Others say it is not as
"woodsy" as other types of mushrooms. Here’s a
recipe from Chef Michelle Moricone that’s sure to please:
Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
and slice mushrooms. Mince 1 small garlic clove. Slice 1
onion. Mince 1/4 cup fresh parsley. Heat 1 tablespoon olive
oil in a pan over medium heat; add ingredients with a pinch of
salt and fresh ground pepper. Lower heat and cook until
mushrooms are softened and caramel colored. Add a splash of
white wine and increase heat to medium. Cook off the wine and
finish with a teaspoon of butter. Squeeze lemon juice
over mixture, remove from heat and serve alone or as an
accompaniment to other dishes.