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Discovered: Eating mushrooms keeps our memory busy

Discovered: Eating mushrooms keeps our memory busy



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Do mushrooms protect our brain functions?

Physicians have now found that eating mushrooms regularly appears to prevent memory and language problems from occurring in people over the age of 60.

The University of Singapore scientists found in their current study that people over the age of 60 who eat mushrooms more than twice a week are less likely to suffer from memory and language problems. The experts published the results of their study in the English-language journal "Journal of Alzheimer's Disease".

Study had 663 subjects

The study examined 663 Chinese adults over the age of 60, whose diet and lifestyle were monitored from 2011 to 2017. Over the course of the six-year study, the scientists found that eating mushrooms appeared to reduce the likelihood of mild cognitive impairment. About nine out of 100 people who ate more than two servings of mushrooms a week developed mild cognitive impairment, compared to 19 out of 100 people who consumed less than one serving of mushrooms a week. A slight cognitive impairment, for example, can affect people's memory and cause problems with language, attention and the localization of objects in rooms.

Combining many factors reduces cognitive decline

Mushroom users have had better results in brain tests and have shown faster processing speeds. This has been particularly noticed in people who consumed more than two servings of mushrooms per week (more than 300 g). It seems that even this single ingredient can have a significant effect on cognitive decline. A combination of many factors has an even more positive effect on cognitive decline. Tea, green leafy vegetables, nuts and fish are also beneficial here, the scientists explain.

Why do fungi protect the brain?

The experts point out that mushrooms are one of the richest sources of food for ergothionein, an anti-inflammatory antioxidant that the human body cannot manufacture itself. Fungi also contain other important nutrients and minerals such as vitamin D, selenium and spermidine, which protect the neurons from damage. The unique antioxidant found in the mushrooms could have a protective effect on the brain. The more mushrooms the subjects ate, the better they did in the study for brain teasers. However, the researchers found that there was no direct link between mushroom consumption and improved brain function.

Lifestyle affects the risk of dementia

The study relied on self-reported information about fungal intake and other dietary factors that may be too inaccurate. There are many factors that contribute to the development of dementia, and it is estimated that lifestyle changes, including diet, can prevent up to a third of cases. More studies are needed to find out more about how mushroom consumption affects the risk of developing cognitive decline or dementia. Eating a lot of fruits and vegetables, including mushrooms, is certainly a good place to start protecting your brain. In addition, the experts recommend reducing the intake of sugar and salt, being physically active, drinking only small amounts of alcohol and not smoking. (as)

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