Reishi Mushroom and Weight Loss

There is no shortage of fads within the diet and fitness industry – from low-carb diets to low-fat diets and back again, from weight training to CrossFit to HIIT, and the list goes on. 

Now, everyone’s talking about mushrooms, and about the reishi mushroom in particular, more often than not. But is this just another bogus trend or is there actually something to it? Read on below to learn more about the relationship between reishi mushrooms and weight loss.

What is Reishi Mushroom?

You might not have heard of the reishi mushroom before, but chances are you might have seen a few without noticing it already. Also known as the lingzhi, this tree-borne fungus is readily identifiable by its broad, red, disc-shaped fruiting body. 

Since it grows in most temperate and moderately humid forests on both hemispheres, it remains a very common sight worldwide. Perhaps because of that fact, the reishi is among the earliest known mushroom species to be cultivated for its health benefits. 

The oldest evidence we have to attest to that fact stems from ancient China, more than 2,000 years ago. Already then, the lingzhi was praised as “the mushroom of immortality” in the poetry of the time, and its supposed medical effects were highly revered. 

But, how can reishi mushroom and weight loss be connected? Below, learn some of the benefits of this mushroom.

Reishi Benefits and Side Effects

The powerful benefits of reishi mushrooms have been confirmed time and time again by modern science. The reishi is known as one of nature’s great immunomodulators – herbs that can energize and amplify our immune response, making our bodies more efficient at warding off disease.

It has also been shown to fight tumorous growths in the body and assist in the treatment of multiple types of cancer, notably that of the prostate. Furthermore, reishi can boost your energy levels, leaving you more awake and reducing the likelihood of depression, anxiety, and similar conditions developing in the brain. However, unlike caffeine, this doesn’t come at the cost of a crash afterwards.

And on top of all that, reishi is also an amazingly healthy nutritional source – with plenty of protein, next to no fat or carbohydrates, and lots of essential minerals, this mushroom is one of the few that can measurably improve blood cholesterol, decrease triglycerides, and thus promote a healthier cardiovascular system and a fitter body overall.

Does Reishi Mushroom Help With Weight Loss?

The above benefits of the reishi mushroom beg the question: does it perform when used as a weight-loss supplement? Well, one thing is for sure: reishi won’t make you gain weight unless you start consuming it in dizzying amounts. 

Like most other edible mushrooms, this one is incredibly light on calories, which makes it easy to incorporate it into your existing diet.

However, reishi’s capabilities to encourage healthy weight loss go far further than that. In studies, reishi has been shown to positively affect the structure and balance of our gut flora, which can affect how we metabolize our food. 

Over the long term, this can greatly inhibit, if not outright prevent weight loss from happening before it even starts.

There is also further evidence supporting the use of reishi for weight loss: that rush of energy you sometimes feel within the few hours of your daily mushroom dose? It’s not just mental, it turns out. Reishi actually ramps up our bodily metabolism, making us expend more energy over a shorter period of time, and thus burning more calories!

Combined, these benefits make reishi mushrooms and weight loss one of the best combos you can think of.

Reishi Mushroom Dosage for Weight Loss

If you want to try reishi for yourself to help you along with your weight loss goals, one serious question to consider is that of the proper dosage. 

How much reishi is enough? How much per day is too much?

Unfortunately, there are no clear-cut answers. It ultimately depends a lot on your metabolism, lifestyle, age, and many other factors besides plain old personal preference.

But by far, the biggest factor to consider is how you plan to consume your reishi. If you’re going for raw fruiting bodies, then a single dose can be anywhere from 50 to over 100 grams, as individual mushrooms vary a lot in size and nutritional content.

However, most people, especially beginners, are more likely to start off with powdered reishi mushroom extract. Here, a single daily dose is generally quoted as somewhere between 3 and 10 grams. 

Reishi Mushroom Powder and Weight Loss

Reishi mushroom powder is by far the most widely-used reishi-based supplement for weight loss, and for a good reason! Powders can be neatly added to nearly any choice of food or beverage, and they allow you to fine-tune your individual dosage on a daily basis.

Powders are also very cost-effective! Gram for gram, they generally outpace other forms of mushroom supplements, and in some cases, might even be better value than buying raw reishi in bulk.

Reishi Mushroom Tea Weight Loss

One method of using reishi for weight loss stems from ancient Chinese traditions – the preparation of reishi mushroom tea. 

While not as potent as some other kinds of mushroom supplements, reishi tea can nonetheless allow you to benefit from the mushroom’s long list of positive health effects. 

And compared to eating raw reishi, there’s one particularly important difference: reishi tea is light and pleasant on the palate! By comparison, raw (or even lightly cooked) reishi is known for its bitter flavor, which can be off-putting.

Making reishi mushroom tea by yourself doesn’t have to be hard. You have to cut some fresh reishi into thin slices and let them steep in boiling water for at least a few hours. Following that, you can strain out the mushroom pieces and enjoy your reishi tea like any other!