Mushrooms linked to 35% lower risk of death from all causes
Centenarian reveals SURPRISE drink that helps her live longer
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Avoiding disease is a key component of longevity, but as the body ages its vulnerability to disease increases. Fortunately, some studies have discovered a potential link between the intake of certain functional mushrooms and increased longevity. When added to the diet, it’s believed the protein source may protect against memory loss, brain shrinkage, neutron cell death and low blood flow.
In 2021, research published in the Nutrition Journal revealed several important benefits of medical mushrooms.
The study of nearly 15,000 people, who were followed for nearly 20 years, established that those who consumed mushrooms in their diet and a 16 percent lower mortality risk.
The scientists noted: “Mushroom consumption was associated with a lower risk of total mortality in the nationally representative sample of US adults.”
The findings showed that replacing just one daily serving of processed meat with mushrooms could reduce the risk of all-cause mortality by 35 percent.
Matt Kelly, Founder of functional mushroom supplement Brain Space Foods, explained that mushrooms “are […] loaded with vitamins that can help promote immunity and boost energy”.
He added: “This doesn’t apply to all mushrooms, however, the term ‘functional mushrooms’ refers to the mushrooms celebrated for their health benefits beyond their nutritional composition.”
One of the principal nutritional benefits of eating mushrooms is the amino acid, L-ergothioneine, found in several varieties of fungi.
Observational studies have suggested the amino acid may be critical to healthy ageing, as countries that consume the highest amounts have considerably longer average lifespans.
Three species of mushrooms in particular, like cordyceps, Chaga, and Lion’s mane, have been linked with a reduced risk of age-related disease and increased longevity.
“For example, the Chaga mushroom is also known as the immunity mushroom because numerous studies have documented its valuable role in activating the immune system, fighting harmful bacteria and inhibiting the growth of viruses,” noted Mr Kelly.
It is also rich in antioxidants and has been found to help suppress inflammation due to its potent antioxidant activity.
Mr Kelly added: “Another popular functional mushroom is Lion’s mane mushroom, also called the ‘brain mushroom’ due to its stimulating nerve growth and ability to improve memory, focus and clarity.
“In fact, several studies have found that a patient’s cognitive function scale score increased after digesting lion’s mane mushrooms.”
Some preclinical studies have gone as far as to suggest that Lion’s mane has a role in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.
It is believed it may achieve this by increasing the release of nerve growth factor, a protein that increases the length of nerve cell processes.
Cordyceps mushrooms may also benefit brain function due to their antioxidant activity.
Mr Kelly explained: “The cordyceps mushroom, or the ‘energy mushroom’ is known for its ability to boost blood flow, stamina and energy by increasing the body’s adenosine triphosphate levels 3.
“This can improve the way your body uses oxygen, especially during exercise, helping to deliver energy to the muscles and inhale physical stamina.”
While the taste might put some people off, thankfully, functional mushrooms can be combined with other ingredients.
A simple way to add the super mushrooms into the diet is to take them as supplements in pill form or add them to meals and drinks in a powdered form.
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