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Home > Newsletters > April 2008 > Mushrooms: The Ultimate Longevity Food

Mushrooms: The Ultimate Longevity Food 

By Dr. Maoshing Ni, L.Ac., D.O.M., Ph.D.

In Asia, mushrooms are favored for their earthy flavor and their therapeutic properties. Ancient Chinese lore is filled with legends of mortals that stumbled upon a 1,000-year-old mushroom and attained immortality.

Not too long ago, I was in Kunming, China, and in an underground stalactite cave, I discovered a reishi mushroom that measured four feet in diameter and was carbon dated to be 800 years old!

There are over 100,000 varieties of mushrooms in existence, about 700 of which are edible. Some of the excellent anti-aging mushroom varieties include: maitake, reishi, shiitake, and tree ear. Mushrooms have been discovered to contain a wealth of nutrients.

Depending on the type of mushroom, they may contain amino acids, antioxidants, coumarin, polysaccharides, sterols, as well as many other vitamins and minerals that boost your immunity, lower bad cholesterol, balance blood sugar, and protect your body from cancer and virus.

The next time you are in the mood to search for an elixir, you don't have to dig for mushrooms in the mountains; you can readily find them in your local health food stores. Try oyster mushrooms, chanterelle, Portobello, or even truffles, and the star of the recipe below: porcini mushrooms.

Dr. Mao's Immune Boost Borscht with Porcini Mushrooms

Here is a recipe from one of my patient's mother, a woman who recently passed away at age 100. She came from Poland and traditionally celebrated Christmas dinner with a clear broth borscht soup. I have modified the recipe slightly by including the whole mushroom instead of just the broth because porcini mushrooms are such a wonderful healing food, both tasty and good for your immune system.

Also, beets, the colorful vegetable that Russian centenarians have in common, contain powerful antioxidants and nutrients that help protect against heart disease, birth defects and cancer, especially colon cancer. And don't forget about the greens that are attached to the root! Beet greens are delicious and also rich in vitamins and minerals.

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 medium-sized bunches of beets with leaves
2 medium onions
3 medium carrots
3 stalks celery
2 to 3 garlic cloves
8 ounces dried porcini mushrooms
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
1 tbsp powdered chicken bouillon
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions:

1. Peel beets and push through a juicer along with the leaves, onions, carrots, celery and garlic; reserve. Remove pulp from juicer, transfer to a skillet and fill with enough water to cover; simmer 20 minutes. Strain liquid into a bowl and discard pulp. Combine with reserved juice. Set aside.

2. Place mushrooms in a skillet and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until tender, about 30 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer mushrooms to a cutting board, let cool and finely chop; return to skillet. Add liquid beet mixture, tomato sauce and bouillon to skillet; bring to a boil, then simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and serve.

I hope you make room for mushrooms and enjoy the longevity benefits! I invite you to visit often and share your own personal health and longevity tips with me.

May you live long, live strong, and live happy!

-Dr. Mao

This Month's Articles

April 2008
Volume 6, Number 4

Mushrooms: The Ultimate Longevity Food  

Constipation is an Imbalance

What Happened to Mississippi House Bill 724

Recent Research

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