January marks the beginning of Veganuary, the now annual campaign to encourage people to eat a Vegan diet for the month and maybe beyond. Veganuary aims to make Veganism more accessible with recipes, meal plans and health tips, and many restaurants doing special Vegan menus throughout January.
What is a Vegan diet?
Vegans eat a plant-based diet, avoiding all animal foods including meat, dairy, eggs and honey, as well as clothing/household products and any products tested on animals. Enough about what you can’t eat though- as going Vegan opens up your taste-buds to a whole world of flavours and textures. A Vegan diet is diverse and includes fruits, veggies, nuts, grains, seeds, beans and pulses and a multitude of ways to combine them- from curry to pizza, and burgers to risotto. Fortunately, there are now so many easily accessible and affordable options, that it’s likely you can still eat all your favourite foods, but just made with plant-based ingredients.
Are Mushrooms Vegan?
Mushrooms are from the fungi not animal kingdom, so they are suitable for Vegan diets, and make a great addition to them. They can provide valuable nutrition and despite their beige appearance they are packed with nutrients and should be included regularly in your diet. Mushrooms are rich in protein, fibre, minerals like selenium, potassium, zinc and iron, and antioxidants. Mushrooms are also rich in B-vitamins and are the only non-fortified source of Vitamin D in plant-based foods. They also add an excellent umami flavour to your meals- and work great in anything from vegan burgers to stir-fries.
Medicinal mushrooms offer a whole array of nutrients and benefits, like beta-glucans to support our immune system, anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants to balance and restore health. Our full range of mushroom capsules and mushroom powders are Vegan friendly and certified by the Vegan society, including our Cordyceps supplement which traditionally in the wild is not Vegan friendly as it grows on and consumes an insect host. Fortunately, scientists found a way to develop strains of Cordyceps that provide similar health benefits to the wild form. Our Cordyceps supplement includes two strains of Cordyceps providing a Vegan friendly, sustainable and ethical alternative to the rare and extremely expensive wild cordyceps.
We are always told that the more colourful the plant foods, the healthier they are for us, but mushrooms truly are the exception to the rule, and are one beige food that you should include regularly for their rich nutritional value and nutrients that are very beneficial when eating a Vegan diet.
Mushrooms pack a serious nutrition punch and make a great addition to all diets for their nutritional value. Try adding mushrooms like shiitake and portabello to your recipes, making hot chocolate with our reishi powder, or adding a scoop of cordyceps powder to your morning coffee. Check out our other blogs for some fun(gi) ways to incorporate mushrooms into your Veganuary challenge.