According to a research done in Singapore, consuming mushrooms more than twice per week may help us avert memory and language issues happening after the age of 60.
Namely, it’s believed that a one-of-kind antioxidant found in mushrooms is the ‘culprit’ for their brain-protective benefits.
The researchers concluded that the more mushrooms the participants in the study consumed, the better they scored in their thinking and processing tests.
However, they explain they couldn’t prove a direct link between mushrooms and brain function.
Mushrooms Positively Influence the Brain
According to the National University of Singapore that led the study, their findings are based on 663 adults from China over the age of 60 with a lifestyle and diet tracked closely in the period between 2011 and 2017.
During this six-year period, the researchers discovered that consuming mushrooms helped reduce mild cognitive impairment in the participants.
Roughly nine out of 100 people who consumed more than two portions per week were diagnosed compared with 19 out of 100 among the people who consumed fewer amounts.
MCI can cause slight forgetfulness in people and affect their memory negatively. Moreover, it can cause issues with attention, language, and locating objects; however, these can be subtle changes and not severe enough to be characterized as dementia.
These Findings Are Surprising & Encouraging
The scientists asked the participants to tell them how often they consumed six distinct types of mushrooms, i.e. shiitake, white button, oyster, golden, tinned, and dried.
Those who ate more mushrooms had better brain test scores and their processing speed was better. This was especially emphasized in the participants who ate more than two portions weekly or more than 300 grams.
For Assistant Professor Lei Feng who’s also the head of the study, this is a surprising and encouraging connection.
The researchers emphasize the fact that mushrooms are one of the most abundant sources of ergothioneine, an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory which our body can’t produce on its own.
Moreover, mushrooms also supply us with other essential nutrients, including selenium, spermidine, and vitamin D.