Although most supermarkets only offer a few types of mushrooms in their produce departments, you may notice that there are numerous types of mushrooms found in supplement form. Whether you love or hate these fungi, there is no doubt that they provide a wealth of nutritional and health benefits.
Mushrooms are high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. They have been shown to help prevent different types of cancer and manage heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Research related to mushroom nutrition also shows that even small amounts of mushrooms can help improve cognitive impairment, which lowers the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Mushrooms and Brain Health Benefits
Cognitive decline refers to a wide variety of brain issues that begin to crop up as people begin to age. There are two classifications of decline: mild cognitive impairment and dementia. Mild cognitive impairment refers to a decline in memory, and an average of 15% of people over the age of 65 suffer from it. Dementia is a more advanced deterioration of cognitive abilities including memory, communication, mobility and reasoning.
Researchers have been studying dementia and Alzheimer’s disease for years, and a six-year long study in Singapore showed promising results that mushrooms can lower the risk of MCI by 50%. The study’s authors believe this may be due to one compound found in mushrooms, called ergothioneine, which is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that is not found naturally in the human body. Other compounds are also suspected to contribute to neuron growth and inhibit toxic proteins that are associated with dementia.
It only takes three or more regular portions of mushrooms a week to affect cognitive decline. Not everyone enjoys the flavor of mushrooms, so fortunately there is a supplement form that delivers the same nutritional and medical punch.
Other Cognitive-Enhancing Plants
When mushrooms are combined with other ingredients that help improve cognitive function, the results are even more effective. Bacopa is often used in Ayurveda and is thought to increase the chemicals in the brain that affect learning, thinking and memory. This plant is used in brain support supplements for those suffering from Alzheimer’s, ADHD and anxiety.
Lavender flower is another plant that helps support brain function and can delay dementia as well as fight anxiety and depression. Additional plants that have been shown to improve brain health are kava root, lemon balm and night blooming cereus.
Mushrooms in Supplement Form
When you are looking for the most effective way to boost your brain health, a supplement contains a variety of health-enhancing ingredients and is easy to take regularly. Stress Support and Serene Support combine mushroom species with bacopa, lavender flowers and other plants that help support the brain. If you have questions about the brain support properties mushrooms provide, contact The Herban Shaman.