Mushrooms Are Superfoods That Can Fight Depression, Stress, and Cancer

Ready for more good news about mushrooms?

Aside from lowering a person’s risk of cancer and premature death, mushrooms have nutrients that help to fight against stress and depression!

“Unlike some healthy-hype foods, mushrooms actually deserve all the nutritious hype as they are powerhouse produce full of vitamins, minerals, and concentrated antioxidants,” said Laura Burak MS, RD, Founder of GetNaked® Nutrition and author of Slim Down with Smoothies.

Photo: YouTube/National Geographic

Citing a study that was conducted by researchers at the Penn State College of Medicine, Burak explained that the body could adapt to stress better and more easily produce a state of homeostasis with mushrooms as part of a person’s diet. Mushrooms also have certain antioxidants that can boost mental health, enabling the mind and body to maintain internal balance despite external pressure and stress.

The Penn study, which showed that those who ate mushrooms regularly had a lower risk of depression, was published in the Journal of Affective Disorders. The researchers made use of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of 2005–2016, involving 24,699 participants. Mushroom intake frequency was assessed, while a Patient Health Questionnaire was utilized for measuring depression. The results were as positive as an earlier Penn study whose findings have also established that higher mushroom consumption lowers cancer risk.

Photo: YouTube/National Geographic

“Mushrooms are the highest dietary source of the amino acid ergothioneine — an anti-inflammatory which cannot be synthesized by humans,” said lead researcher Djibril Ba, who graduated from the epidemiology doctoral program at the Penn State College of Medicine. “Having high levels of this may lower the risk of oxidative stress, which could also reduce the symptoms of depression.”

Other research has shown that antioxidants also help to prevent certain types of mental illnesses like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Photo: YouTube/National Geographic

Burak further mentioned that mushrooms contain glutathione, which, in combination with ergothioneine, help boost brain and cognitive health, as well as an individual’s external wellbeing markers, like healthier skin.

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