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Carolina Oliveira
5 months ago
Nordic Superfoods: Nature + Biotechnology = Better Health in DIY Form


Every person that has looked up online health-related topics must have encountered the term "superfood." Not more than a tool to make people recognize nutritious foods that can improve health, it goes from olive oil to green tea, fishes to yogurt, nuts to seeds, and more. 


So, the importance of diets, such as the famous Mediterranean Diet, is to assemble all those nourishing fruits, vegetables, and legumes (such as kidney beans, available at, to improve health and even to reduce the risk of diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain cancers. 


However, some foods have a special recognition for being a powerful tool of good nutrients, so the term "superfood" is indeed deserved by some mighty-might foods. Some of those are - not only popular - but abundant in Finland. Berries are the number one example. Blueberries and bilberries are packed with antioxidants and vitamins A, C, and K. Lingonberries are naturally high in fiber and polyphenols. Sea buckthorns contain tons of vitamin C, flavonoids, and amino acids.


The "Nordic superfoods" category in which berries play an essential part is understood as a natural, pure, and unique ecosystem of foods. As Finns have a special connection to nature, and mostly, with forests, it's important to have this in mind when thinking about superfoods in Finland. The abundance of forests and fields, as well as the Everyman's Right – under which every person is allowed to pick wild berries and mushrooms in public land – means that it's easier to eat fresh and wild mushrooms, herbs, and of course, berries.


Besides berries, mushrooms from Lapland are also significant for the "Nordic superfoods." Known as Chaga or Pakuri, the mushroom that grows on the bark of trees is a powerful natural medicine to boost immune systems (read here all about Chaga mushrooms). Kääpä Biotech, a Finnish company pioneer in the large-scale cultivation of the fungus, wants to improve humans and ecosystems' health. Otso Mursula, commercial director of the company, says that "We (at Kääpä) try to have a holistic picture in any solutions that we do because humans and ecosystems have an inter tangible link."


And the use of mushrooms by Kääpä and other biotech companies is to extract (in the most literal sense of the word) the best of these little fungi. These extracts, or tinctures, used daily in small doses intend a potential improvement of health, sleep, and to take away fatigue or depression. Five mushrooms are used, chaga, shiitake, lion's mane, reishi, and maitake, farmed (and harvested) exclusively to prepare the tinctures. The promotion of the pack of four of these products, called "biohacker special," is on a very new and trendy wave of "do it yourself biology."


For many "biohackers," this consists of making small changes in diets and lifestyle to improve health and well-being. The adaptation of mushrooms to a daily diet enters the nutritional aspect of biohacking, the ''personalized nutrition'' approach tailored to each individual. Key nutrients include folate, choline, and vitamins A, B2, B6, and B12. 


But the use of medicinal mushrooms is not a novelty. In fact, they are used for thousands of years in Asian countries. Kääpä Biotech knows that the main market for its nordic tinctures is the Asian market, but not only. "Mushrooms have been listed as trendy foods, and that includes medicinal varieties, especially in the US and Europe, mostly in the last decade. The US and Asia are now the largest consumers of medicinal mushrooms, which means people in these places are taking charge of their own health and taking more supplements to improve their immunity," concludes Otso.


It is important to remind that there is no shortcut for a fast improvement of human health. We all need to sleep well, drink water, eat good food, be in contact with nature and our loved ones (and pets, why not?). The search for better health starts with natural ways to improve our own well-being, with supplements helping this path to a fitter life.




Photo: Nataliya Vaitkevich on Pexels

Edited 5 months ago
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