Not a vegetable but conspicuously placed among them, mushrooms are a blessing in disguise. They provide much of the same nutrients as vegetables apart from nourishing us with the benefits of meat, beans and grains. Low in calories, sodium, cholesterol and fat and gluten-free these have been given a ‘superfood’ status owing to their different benefits. Fitness and health experts recommend adding mushrooms as a regular part of a vegetarian diet. Know more about mushrooms and learn to differentiate between the healthy and the poisonous ones with the help of tips from the website www.firsteatright.com. Soft when cooked these delights can be easily consumed by older adults too. Moreover, we’ve heard about exercise and brain activation to keep yourself safely away from cognitive impairment and diseases such as Alzheimer’s. What if you are blessed enough to reduce the risk of mild cognitive impairment by adding mushrooms as a regular part of your diet?
Grooming Your Brain in a Better Way
Mushrooms have become an indispensable ingredient in various cuisines around the world, nutritious and full of antioxidants. A new study has come up with the fascinating fact that a unique antioxidant present in mushrooms can have a protective effect on the brain. Researchers have come up with the fact that seniors who consume more than two standard portions of mushrooms every week are at a 50% reduced risk of suffering from mild cognitive impairments (MCI). One portion is 3/4th cup of cooked mushrooms that weighs about 150 grams and two portions is about half a plate. The study was based on more than 600 Chinese adults over the age of 60 whose diet and lifestyle were monitored from 2011 to 2017.
MCI is somewhere in between mild cognitive decline and dementia. Individuals with MCI show signs of forgetfulness, memory loss and decline in skills such as language, attention and visuospatial abilities. The major difference between MCI and other serious forms of dementia is that MCI does not affect daily activities or impair living as seen in Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. When that’s the case, the researchers tried to gauge the brain health of the participants with neuropsychological tests that can measure various features of a person’s cognitive abilities.
As the research was done in Singapore, six mushrooms that were common to the country-golden, oyster, shiitake, white button mushrooms, dried mushrooms and canned mushrooms-were taken up for study. Consuming any of the mushrooms is beneficial for cognitive skills and this invoked the researchers’ curiousness in the magic ingredient in these fungi that enabled decreased cognitive risk. And, their answer is ergothioneine (ET). ET is an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory agent that humans fail to synthesize on their own and mushrooms are a versatile source of this nutrient. We’ve had studies previously showing that individuals with MCI had ET levels lower than the rest in the group and also studies revealing that decreased ET levels might be a risk factor for neurodegeneration. Hence, consuming mushrooms that help us increase ET levels in our body might promote cognitive health. Researchers say that certain other compounds such as bioactive compounds, dictyophorines, erinacines and scabronines might add additional value to cognitive health.
Eat not one but two or more portions of mushrooms every week to sharpen your cognitive skills and stay away from neurodegeneration.
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
+91 7846 800 800
Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.