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April 09, 2022 3 min read
Sauteed, stuffed, or grilled, mushrooms are one of the most versatile ingredients in your kitchen. Beloved for their earthy, umami flavor, mushrooms are an excellent side dish or as the focal point of your meal. But did you know that compounds found in mushrooms can also have a beneficial effect on your health? By supporting healthy cognitive function, mushrooms are not only delicious, but they’re also a dietary superstar.
Mushrooms are chock-full of vital nutrients like antioxidants, dietary fiber, protein, vitamins (like B vitamins, which help support heart health, digestive system, and healthy skin,) and minerals.
So, not only can they support your brain health, but they also can provide a wide range of other health benefits. According to Medical News Today, mushrooms may support cardiovascular health, help manage health conditions like diabetes by regulating blood sugar, and can even be part of a healthy lifestyle to reduce the risk of cancer!*
More and more evidence is emerging that mushrooms also play a role in cognitive performance.For example, the choline found in mushrooms can support memory, and the abundance of B vitamins present in mushrooms support a healthy brain.*
So, TL:DR: Are mushrooms good for your brain? YES!
In general, mushrooms contain important nutrients, but the nutritive value does vary based on the type of mushroom. Some mushrooms are better known to support brain health, and generally, these would fall into the functional, or superfood mushroom category due to their specific health benefits.
Best known for their immune system-supporting properties, Chaga mushrooms have long been revered in Eastern herbalism. Particularly high in antioxidants, Chaga mushrooms can have a beneficial influence on the immune system’s first-line defenses, but these antioxidants also protect your body against free radicals. Free radicals can cause oxidative damage in the brain (which will happen naturally when you age,) but consuming foods high in antioxidants like Chaga mushrooms will support healthy brain function.*
Considered the “mushroom of immortality” in East Asian herbal medicine, Reishi mushrooms are known to help the body adapt to stress and promote a sense of calm in both the body and the mind. We know that stress can have a negative impact on our cognitive performance, so supporting the vital health systems like the brain that are disturbed by stress can help your body and mind bounce back from whatever life throws at you.*
Last but certainly not least, Lion’s Mane mushrooms are best known for the benefits they have on cognitive health and function. Known as a nootropic, (compounds that support mental health and acuity,) Lion’s Mane mushrooms promote mental agility and focus, and can support optimal cognitive performance. Read more about all the brain benefits associated with Lion’s Mane mushrooms here.
If you are looking to support healthy brain function, it is our humble opinion that you look no further than the Lion’s Mane mushroom. When asking the question, ‘are mushrooms good for your brain?’ consider that Lion’s Mane mushrooms are best known and most extensively studied for the benefits they have on cognitive performance because they contain polysaccharides that support a healthy brain.* In fact, a 2013 study of the effects of mushrooms on neuronal health concluded that Lion’s Mane mushrooms have neurotrophic properties that promote nerve and brain health and may have applications in the reduction of age-related neurodegenerative disease.*
While even a small serving of mushrooms may help to support brain health, it is most important to add mushrooms into your routine regularly to experience the maximum benefits.
Lion’s Mane mushrooms in particular can be added to your culinary repertoire because they are one of the tastier of the superfood mushrooms, and are quite versatile for everyday cooking. However, if you aren’t a big fan of the taste of mushrooms, or you would rather not source fresh Lion’s Mane mushrooms on the reg (they can be difficult to find, particularly in winter and spring,) mushroom powder can be a good alternative.
To add icing to the cake, Lion’s Mane mushroom powder is often combined with other adaptogens and herbs to supercharge the benefits. At Rritual, we include Rhodiola root, which enhances the natural compounds of the Lion’s Mane powder. We also add Bacopa, which supports memory and the brain’s stress response.*
Always consult your doctor before beginning a new regimen. If you’re interested in giving lion’s mane mushroom powder a try, shop our selection of Lion’s Mane products here.
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any disease.
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