The humble mushroom has been utilized as a core ingredient in a variety of recipes for as long as people have been cooking. It’s rich flavor has led it to become the second most popular pizza topping, and one of the most sought after delicacies for gourmet meals.
For years, scientists have praised mushrooms as healthy – largely because of the unhealthy things that they lack. They have no gluten or cholesterol, and are extremely low in sugar, sodium, calories and fat. But recent research indicates that there is a lot more to love about mushrooms – most notably that they can be an excellent source of four micronutrients that assist in healthy aging – selenium, vitamin d, glutathione and ergothioneine. All 4 of these micronutrients are antioxidants and help mitigate oxidative stress – the leading factor in a variety of diseases associated with aging, including dementia, heart disease and cancer.
Ergothioneine, or Ergo, is particularly useful in helping to stave of neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimers. Mushrooms contain at least 10 times the level of ergo than any other food source. Ergo is found primarily in fungi in the soil. Studies have concluded that a standard human diet severely lacks in the necessary intake of Ergo, further compounded by modern agricultural practices reducing fungal populations the soil.
So what’s the moral of this story? Eat more mushrooms – they’re super!