A study found that mushrooms are not only perfect toppings for pizza or garnish for gourmet food. Mushrooms can contribute more positive effects to the body than most have previously known.
According to DR. Robert Beelman, food scientist and Professor Emeritus of Food Science at Penn State University, mushrooms have four key nutrients – vitamin D, selenium, glutathione, and ergothioneine – that are all important to healthy aging. They act as antioxidants that lessen oxidative stress which normally happens to the body while converting food into energy and producing free radicals.
Vitamin D boost one’s mood and weight loss and reduces the risk of developing multiple sclerosis. Meanwhile, selenium has been known as a detoxifier. It helps combat free radicals and is good for your cardiovascular health.
High levels of glutathione and ergothioneine are found in some specific kinds of mushrooms. Researchers stated that among 13 species of mushrooms tested, the porcini species contains the highest amount of these nutrients that are both known to be great natural antioxidants.
Dr. Beelman explained:
“The body has mechanisms to control most of them [free radicals], but eventually, enough accrue to cause damage, which has been associated with many of the diseases of aging, like cancer, coronary heart disease and Alzheimer’s.”
Many of us may be familiar with glutathione, vitamin D, and selenium. However, the nutrient ergothioneine, commonly know as ergo, may be unfamiliar to us.
Sufficient Amount Of Ergo Is Needed By Our Body
Dr. Beelman’s team focused their study on the possibility that ergo can prevent or reverse neurodegenerative disease which is common among older adults. In a study conducted in Singapore, it was revealed that ergo content in the bloodstream declines as people age. This case has been associated with cognitive impairment, which enables the researchers to suggest that deficiency of this nutrient “predispose individuals to neurological diseases.”
The result of another study with 13,000 elderly Japanese subjects showed that those who ate mushrooms leisurely had less incidence of developing dementia as compared to those who consumed fewer mushrooms in their lifetime.
Researchers also found that there were lower cases of neurodegenerative disease development for countries with higher consumer rate of ergo, like Italy and France. While countries who consume fewer mushrooms, like the U.S., have a higher possibility of contracting a disease such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Ergo get passed down in the food chain, according to studies. The fungi carrying the nutrient leaves traces of ergo in the soil and other plants grown in the same area absorb it.
This particular type of fungus was found in the past to be good for the health because it has no gluten, no cholesterol, and is low in calories, sodium, fat, and sugars. Today, food scientists are sharing their knowledge that mushrooms are not only excellent sources of the vitamin D, selenium, glutathione, and ergo but also with B vitamins, fiber, protein, immune-enhancing sugars and other bioactive compounds.