Posted on Apr 02, 2019, 9 p.m.
You’ve probably tried most of the conventional advice to boosting brain power such as sleep, meditation, exercise, and puzzles, but have you heard of mushrooms improving cognitive function, however not all mushrooms are created equal.
Reishi mushrooms have been used for thousands of years to signify well being and longevity in Asian cultures, and are gaining attention for their ability to boost cognitive function. These mushrooms don’t exactly taste the best but the neuroprotective properties make them well worth the effort and seeking them out. A study published in Neuropharmacology showed them to have strong therapeutic effects on neurodegenerative disease and to give moods a boost.
Anti-inflammatory properties of Cordyceps can help to prevent the death of neuronal cells which causes memory loss. Though technically not mushrooms they are often mentioned with mushrooms as they are a type of fungus. Cordyceps can help to reduce negative effects of stress on the mind and body; they can restore energy, reduce fatigue, and are said to enhance libido.
With their shaggy appearance Lion’s mane mushrooms are known for their effects on the central nervous system. These mushrooms can improve focus due to their ability to stimulate neuropeptide nerve growth factor; help to improve short and photographic memory; and improve cognition in those suffering from mild cognitive impairment. Due to their neuroprotective polysaccharides they are also believed to have positive effects on neurodegenerative diseases.
Chaga mushrooms have been shown to help protect against age related memory loss and give the immune system a boost. Researchers have found them to provide significant improvements in memory and learning in mice with amnesia. Used for centuries in Russian traditional medicines and in other countries in Northern Europe chaga mushrooms have only recently gained attention from scientists and several studies are ongoing.
Many of these mushrooms are not widely available in most supermarkets, however they can be found in specialty shops or in formulations such as teas, tinctures, extracts, or capsules. Keep in mind that one should never eat a mushroom unless you are 100% for sure what it is as it is easy to mistake poisonous mushrooms for edible ones on your mushroom hunts.
Along with mushrooms there are other foods that can help you obtain your brain power boosting goals such as fatty fish, walnuts, berries, and green leafy vegetables. When it comes to health of the body and mind the benefits of exercise can not be understated, as well as getting adequate amounts of sleep, social interaction, and keeping stress in check.
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