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New research finds that seniors who ate mushrooms twice weekly had 50% reduced odds of having mild cognitive impairment. 

Mushrooms have remarkably high amounts of two potential antiaging antioxidants.

In a six-year study, the researchers found that seniors who ate just two portions of cooked mushrooms a week were half as likely (than those who ate mushrooms less than once a week) to have mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Someone with MCI is at an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s or another dementia

The association was independent of age, gender, education, cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, physical activities, and social activities.

A portion was defined as around three-quarters of a cup of cooked mushrooms with an average weight of 150 grams

The study was conducted from 2011 to 2017, and was based on data from more than 600 Chinese seniors over the age of 60 living in Singapore.

The research included six popular mushrooms including golden, oyster, shiitake and white button mushrooms, as well as dried and canned mushrooms. However, the study notes, it is likely that other mushrooms would also have beneficial effects.

Researchers believe this is due to a specific compound found in almost all varieties. called ergothioneine (ET).  ET is a unique antioxidant and anti-inflammatory which humans are unable to synthesise on their own. But it can be obtained from dietary sources, one of the main ones being mushrooms – in remarkably high amounts.

Herbal brain boosters include gingko, brahmi, schisandra, ginseng, gotu cola, withania and Condonopsis.