Updated: Feb 20
Mushrooms are more than just a pizza topping. According to research published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, mushrooms may be a potential superfood that can reduce or delay the development of dementia. Who knew that eating mushrooms could benefit your body and brain?
As you may know, mushrooms come in a wide range of flavours, including Button, Portabella, Oyster, Reishi, Lion's Mane, Maitake, Shiitake, Cordyceps, King Trumpet, and many more. We all know mushrooms are a delicious addition to any meal, but what makes them so healthy? They contain essential nutrients such as dietary fibre, protein, complex carbohydrates, vitamins D and B, selenium and potassium, minerals, antioxidants, and other micronutrients. Here are five reasons you should eat more mushrooms to improve your brain health.
REASON NO. 1
Niacin and copper, found in mushrooms, help the nervous system function properly and keep the nerves healthy. Mushrooms contain vitamin B5, which is required to produce various hormones essential for the proper functioning of the brain.
REASON NO. 2
Fungi, particularly Reishi mushrooms, stimulate nerve growth and promote communication among neurons in the brain. Reishi mushrooms have been shown in studies to help protect the brain from seizures.
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REASON NO. 3
Mushrooms are high in antioxidants, which help reduce inflammation, which has been linked to neurodegeneration. They're also one of the few non-animal sources of vitamin D, essential for brain and neuron health.
REASON NO. 4
Lion's Mane is one type of mushroom that has been shown to protect cognitive health. It promotes healthy brain cells by stimulating nerve growth factor, a protein. "Lion's Mane is a cognitive enhancer, and it helps creativity, motivation, memory, and brain function," says Stepfanie Romine, a health coach in Asheville, North Carolina, and author of Cooking With Healing Mushrooms: 150 Delicious Adaptogen-Rich Recipes that Boost Immunity, Reduce Inflammation, and Promote Whole Body Health.
REASON NO .5
Cordyceps mushrooms have been linked to a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Cordyceps has been shown to improve memory and promote healthy aging.
As you can see, mushrooms are essential to try and incorporate into your diet to improve your overall brain health. Here are a few easy and quick ways to add mushrooms to your diet. Include mushrooms in your daily diet by chopping them and adding them to a meat or vegetable dish. Make an omelet or scrambled eggs with chopped mushrooms. Mushrooms are also delicious in soups, stews, and stir-fried dishes. Alternatively, add mushrooms to your pasta sauce! Some people dislike the taste of mushrooms, so if you are one of them, consider consuming the benefits of mushrooms in powder form. Whatever you do, remember to incorporate mushrooms into your diet throughout the week. Your brain will be grateful.