Mushrooms are a true superfood.
While the use of mushrooms has deep cultural roots, modern science is only beginning to explore and explain just how useful they can be for our health.
With that in mind, here are 3 recent studies that shine a light on the importance of eating mushrooms for good health.
1. Reduce risk of depression
Analysing data on diet and mental health collected from more than 24,000 American adults between 2005 and 2016, a study from November 2021 found that people who eat mushrooms have a lower chance of experiencing depression.
The antidepressant properties of mushrooms is thought to be down to ergothioneine, an antioxidant that may protect against cell and tissue damage.
Lead researcher Djibril Ba says, “Mushrooms are the highest dietary source of the amino acid ergothioneine — an anti-inflammatory which cannot be synthesized by humans.
“Having high levels of this may lower the risk of oxidative stress, which could also reduce the symptoms of depression.”
While the types of mushrooms consumed was not reported in this study, previous research has shown hericium erinaceus, also known as Lion’s Mane, to stimulate nerve growth factor (NGF), which may help prevent or reduce depression.
2. Reduce risk of cancer
According to a meta-analysis of 17 cancer studies, published in March 2021, mushroom consumption is associated with a lower risk of cancer.
Researchers found that people who regularly ate any type of mushrooms had a lower risk of cancer. According to the findings, individuals who ate 18 grams of mushrooms daily had a 45% lower risk of cancer compared to those who did not eat mushrooms.
It was also found that the protective effects of mushrooms were most strongly associated with reduced breast cancer risk.
“Overall, these findings provide important evidence for the protective effects of mushrooms against cancer,” said coauthor John Richie.
3. Reduce risk of premature death
Another study from 2021 found that adults who ate mushrooms had a lower risk of premature death, regardless of their demographics, lifestyle choices and other dietary factors.
The study analysed the diets of more than 15,000 U.S. adults and found that individuals who consumed mushrooms had lower risk of death by all causes compared with those who did not eat mushrooms.
The researchers also observed a dose-response relationship between higher mushroom consumption and lower risk of all-cause mortality, suggesting the more mushrooms one ets, the less chance they have of dying of anything!
Mushrooms are powerful tools for preventing disease and enhancing overall health.
The above mentioned recent studies show how eating mushrooms protects against mental health disorders, cancer and even premature death.