Mushrooms have been making headlines due to their many health advantages. They can lower one’s risk of cancer and premature death.
In a new study from Penn State, researchers found that these superfoods may benefit a person’s mental health.
They used data on diet and mental health collected from more than 24,000 U.S. adults between 2005 and 2016. They found that people who ate mushrooms had lower odds of having depression.
According to the researchers, mushrooms are the highest dietary source of the amino acid ergothioneine—an anti-inflammatory that cannot be synthesized by humans.
Having high levels of this may lower the risk of oxidative stress, protect against cell and tissue damage in the body.
Studies have shown that antioxidants help prevent several mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression.
The team says white button mushrooms, which are the most commonly consumed mushroom variety in the U.S., contain potassium, which is believed to lower anxiety.
In addition, certain other species of edible mushrooms, especially Hericium erinaceus, also known as Lion’s Mane, may stimulate the expression of neurotrophic factors such as nerve growth factor synthesis, which could have an impact on preventing neuropsychiatric disorders including depression.
The team concluded a strong association between mushroom consumption and lower odds of. They said, however, there was no clear additional benefit with relatively high mushroom intake.
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The study is published in the Journal of Affective Disorders. One author of the study is Djibril Ba.
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