Mushrooms may lower risk of depression
A study conducted by Penn State College of Medicine has revealed that people who consume mushrooms have lower rates of depression.
But its not just about prevention alone. Several studies have shown that edible mushrooms such as the reishi mushroom, could decrease anxiety and depression and improve overall quality of life.
Past studies have shown that antioxidants can help prevent some mental disorders like depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Antioxidants characteristically protect against tissue and cell damage.
And according to the authors of this study by Penns State College of Medicine, mushrooms contain ergothioneine, a powerful antioxidant. And there's evidence that antioxidants can help prevent some mental disorders like depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. But that's not all.
According to the lead author Djibril Ba, mushrooms are the highest dietary source of ergothioneine. "Having high levels of this may lower the risk of oxidative stress, which could also reduce the symptoms of depression," he said.
P. cubensis, also called “golden halos", is the most widely used mushroom for fighting depression. Other species like lion's mane have also been shown to have antidepressive effects.
Consuming more than enough mushroom may not improve its antidepressive effects
In the study, the average age of the participants was 45, with 66% being non-Hispanic whites. This was to help eliminate any physiological, demographic, or socioeconomic factors that may influence the results. The study discovered a significant relationship between mushroom consumption and lower rates of depression. However, a higher intake of these bulbous superfoods did not lead to any further benefits.
Also, the researchers tried to replace mushrooms with red or processed meat to see if there was any effect. The results showed that the meat didn't reduce the risks of depression to any extent. Clearly, the mushroom was key.
The mental health benefits of mushrooms are not far-fetched. It's all in its constituents. In addition to ergothioneine, white button mushrooms also contain potassium, believed to help with anxiety. White button mushrooms are the most commonly consumed species in the US.
Other less known species, such as the Hericium Erinaceus (Lion's Mane), could help prevent neuropsychiatric disorders like depression. It works by stimulating the expression of neurotrophic factors such as nerve growth factor synthesis.
The study also discovered that college-educated, non-Hispanic white women were the largest consumers of mushrooms.
This study has added one more benefit to the growing list of mushroom's health benefits. Without a doubt, this is one treat you want to consider adding to your diet if you experience depression or anxiety symptoms.