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Protecting Your Brain

A new study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that
eating more mushrooms could help to protect your brain from cognitive impairment.

Researchers found those people who had the highest intake of
edible mushrooms also had the lowest risk of mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The researchers at the National University of Singapore explored the possibility that eating more mushrooms could protect cognitive
abilities later in life. Researchers studied 663 people aged 60 for over 6
years focusing on the most common mushrooms eaten in Singaporean
cuisine, which included: golden, oyster, shitake, white button, dried or canned button mushrooms. They counted ¾ of a cup of cooked mushrooms as a single portion, and measured the participants’ cognitive abilities
throughout the study, using a variety of techniques, including: the
Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (to assess IQ), interviews and a series of physical and psychological tests. Weight and height were measured, as well as blood pressure, hand grip and walking speed. The study
participants were also assessed for cognition, depression and anxiety,
and rated on a dementia symptom scale. Astonishingly, the researchers
found that eating two or more servings of mushrooms per week was
sufficient to reduce the risk of mild cognitive impairment by 50 percent. They believe that a compound known as ergothioneine (ET), a potent
anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compound found in mushrooms, may be responsible for the impressive results. Mushrooms are among the
best sources of this powerful brain protective compound. ET may not be the only factor as mushrooms contain a diversity of healing compounds
known as hericenones, erinacines, scabronines and dictyophorines, all of which could contribute to the growth of bran cells. While it is not clear which of the compounds, or whether all of the compounds, are to thank
for mushrooms’ memory protective properties, it is easy to start
benefiting from them by simply eating more mushrooms in your diet

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