Posted on Feb 28, 2019, 7 p.m.
Mushroom have been used in traditional medicines in a variety of ways for many years. It was the mushroom fungus Penicillium that was used to develop the antibiotic penicillin that has saved countless lives around the world that turned the medical world over.
Mushrooms have been proven to be more than just a fungus that can also enhance food dishes. Research shows that eating mushrooms has many benefits, now recent research suggests they may be the key to the nation’s growing dementia rates, as published in the Journal of Medicinal Food.
This study has found 11 different types of fungi to boost brain gray matter by elevating the production of nerve growth factor; meaning a diet rich in mushroom may have a preventive effect when it comes to dementia. The researchers note that additional human clinical trials are required, but their findings thus far are indeed very promising.
Mushrooms are affordable, widely available, and do not have any side effects making them a great choice for those looking to avoid dementia and improve their odds to be more favorable. Several types of edible mushrooms have been found to contain beneficial compounds.
Lion’s Mane mushroom, H. erinaceus can help those with mild cognitive impairments. Reishi mushrooms have been found to boost cognitive function, prevent proliferation and growth of tumors, boost immunity, and help to improve heart health. Cordyceps have anti-inflammatory properties that can help to stave off death of neuronal cells to prevent memory loss, stunt the growth and division of cancer cells, and help to reduce negative effects of stress on the mind and body.
Professor Vikineswary Sabaratnam of the University of Malaya suggest mushrooms may turn out to be functional foods with benefits for health extending well beyond basic nutritional value due to their cognitive and neuro-protective qualities. “Mushrooms contain diverse exclusive bio-active compounds not found in plants; dietary intake is very likely to have beneficial effects in human health and improve brain function.”
This is further evidence of the wonderful healing powers of nature. For all we know about nature’s powerful remedies there are likely to be countless more just waiting to be found. Conventional medicines have their place and do save lives, but they often have side effects. When nature provides something that can be used to treat and/or prevent a disease the right choice is clear, mushrooms may well prove to serve that function for some 13.8 million Americans projected to have Alzheimer’s disease by 2050.
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