My friend Juan searches for superfoods and has tried everything from seaweed to exotic seeds. He’s always concerned about eating what he calls “pure energy.” One day, he invited me to his house to show me his latest acquisition: a bright-green powder that looked like something out of a fairy tale. He explained that it was a mixture of seaweed and other herbs and had antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The intense flavor and aroma of the sea took me surprised, but in just a few minutes, a surge of energy and mental clarity washed over me. It was an experience I had never felt before.
Professionals advise a well-rounded diet that includes proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, vitamins, minerals, and water, in addition to embracing a healthy lifestyle involving regular physical activity. In this context, superfoods have emerged as highly nutritious, rich in nutrients, and bioactive compounds beneficial to health.
One is “Ganoderma lucidum,” popularly known as Reishi and called Lingzhi in China. This superfood, considered the “mushroom of immortality,” has been used in traditional Chinese medicine and is associated with longevity and happiness. Reishi is low in calories and fat but rich in plant proteins, essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.
For therapeutic purposes, Reishi is antiviral to prevent cancer and reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. It acts as an immune system activator and reduces histamine production, which improves asthma and bronchitis. Chinese researchers also suggest that Reishi benefits blood circulation, reducing the heart’s oxygen consumption and protecting it against disease. Reishi offers several benefits to the body:
1—Strengthens the immune system. Polysaccharides and beta-glucans present in Reishi stimulate the immune system and help fight infections.
2—Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These properties of Reishi prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, and cancer. Antioxidants also protect the body against free radicals, which can damage cells and cause infection.
3—Goodbye stress. Reishi contains compounds that improve mood and even lower cortisol levels, the stress hormone, promoting relaxation.
Several fields are currently developing futuristic foods to tackle pressing global issues such as climate change, population growth, and scarcity of natural resources, among which Reishi is just one example. Some foods of the future include: