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By Beth Doane, Features Editor

Tero Isokauppila spent his childhood foraging for mushrooms in his native country of Finland, and today he is a foremost authority on how they can transform our health. He shares with us today some top tips for using mushrooms to get the best beauty and health results and how his company, Four Sigmatic, is helping people worldwide. Below, we asked him some more questions about why fungi are so good for us.

  1. What type of mushroom should young women (ages 20 and up) be taking and how much daily?

The TOP 10 most studied mushroom –like reishi, chaga, cordyceps, turkey tail, maitake, shiitake – are all good for women to help support the immune system and balance hormones. Typically reishi and chaga are the best ones to start out with. Reishi – the Queen of Mushrooms – can help lower stress and improve sleep quality. Chaga – the King of Mushrooms – can help reduce inflammation and improve skin quality. An ideal dosage is 500-1,500 mg per day of fruiting body mushroom extracts. These are considered food so overdosing is not a major risk.

  1. What’s the best mushroom for clear skin?

Most skincare products focus on treating skin from the outside-in. While this is useful, our skin – as our biggest organ – also needs food from the inside. We already mentioned chaga for this purpose. It’s one of the highest sources of antioxidants in the world. You’d have to eat 30 pounds of carrots to get the equivalent amount as you would from one cup of chaga – no offense carrots. It’s also the highest source of melanin, which is vital for our skin. Another great product is our Beauty Superfood Blend. It contains Acerola, Milk Thistle, Astragalus and Schisandra to help your skin glow, eyes shine, and liver feel great.

FOUR_SIGMATIC_MUSHROOM_COFFEE3.  What’s the best mushroom for digestion?

Recent studies from San Francisco show that reishi mushroom can help alter your gut bacteria for the better. Our gut microbiome is vital for good digestion. In general, the top mushrooms tend to all help with digestion and their main active ingredients polysaccharides are often absorbed in our gut. We’ve also made a very digestion-specific product called Digestion Superfood Blend (surprise, surprise!). It contains Maitake mushroom, ginger, rosehips and the sacred herb tulsi to really help with bloating and food assimilation.IMG_5729

  1. Three facts that people would be very surprised to find out about mushrooms and how they can heal the body.

About 40% of pharmaceuticals are derived from fungi, making them some of the world’s most studied superfoods.

Humans share 30-50% of our DNA with mushrooms. This seems to help make the mushroom medicine more bioavailable.

The top mushrooms can have a nasty bitter taste, but when you add even a little bit of coffee or cacao to them, they turn into yummy and healthy coffee tonics and hot cacaos.