Cordyceps is a fungus that lives on certain caterpillars in the high mountain regions of China. Most cordyceps supplements are made in a lab.
Concern Over Cordyceps
Despite their versatility in the kitchen and their cancer-preventing benefits, mushrooms have been getting some bad press lately. Most of this concern stems from the hit video game-turned HBO series, “The Last of Us,” in which a mutated form of the Cordyceps fungus infects humans and turns them into zombies. However, in real life, these plants won’t hurt you. In fact, eating them regularly can provide a bounty of health benefits.
Cordyceps are a staple of traditional Chinese medicine, and research suggests they may reduce inflammation, help control blood sugar and enhance your immune response, among other benefits. You can consume cordyceps in supplement form, or try brewing them in some mushroom coffee.
However, cordyceps aren’t the only fungi in town. Lion’s mane mushrooms have shown the potential to benefit cognitive function. If you’re looking to add more mushrooms to your diet, try topping your salad with dried shiitakes, or sautéing portobellos for your go-to pasta dishes. – Katie Bourque, Health Editor.