Why Functional Mushrooms Improve Brain Function
The brain isn’t an easy thing to understand. In fact, it’s probably the most complicated organ we own. If you think about it, when a scientist, doctor, psychologist, or anyone else researches the brain, it’s really only the brain trying to understand itself.
How does your brain know what neurons to fire? Which actions to take? What to think and what to do? We could go into the existential meaning of all of this, but today, we’re going to stick to what we do know and learn some more along the way.
As the world catches up to the exponential growth that the era of technology has gifted us, we’re learning more about brain function and things that could potentially help better it.
The basics are still as true as they were decades ago: taking care of your body is the best way to take care of your brain. Exercise, eating a nutritious diet, and adopting healthy habits are imperative to keeping your mind and body happy as a clam.
Talking about eating food that helps keep your brain working at 100% capacity, we might as well mention how mushrooms could potentially be a great way to boost and maintain beneficial brain health.
- The brain is a complicated organ, and researchers are still learning more about it, especially with the emergence of new technology.
- Taking care of one’s body is crucial to keep the brain healthy. A nutritious diet, exercise, and adopting healthy habits are essential in keeping the mind and body healthy.
- Studies have shown that certain medicinal mushrooms, like lion’s mane, reishi, and chaga, may help improve brain function, memory, and cognitive function. Each mushroom provides different benefits and should be consumed in the correct form to be safe and effective.
How Do Mushrooms Work on the Brain?
So, are mushrooms actually beneficial to brain health? Studies show promising and hopeful results.
Before we get into the science of it all, it’s important to cover our historical bases, too. After all, our long-lost ancestors were the first to use them in their day-to-day lives, whether that meant employing them for traditional medicine, ritualistic and religious purposes, or just to get a full day’s meal in.
Although the use of mushrooms is centennials old, it’s also something that’s just now emerging in general culture. Mushrooms are being used increasingly to boost brain health and mental well-being, as well as potential support for mild cognitive impairment.
With a rise in neurological diseases affecting millions of people around the globe, it’s good to hear people talk about alternative ways to help potentially prevent or support neurological health. Potential benefits for men and women are being studied, with exciting results.
Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, sleep disorders, anxiety, and depression are some of the most common neurological conditions that might be able to benefit from adding mushrooms to daily habits.
So how does this all work?
Basically, medicinal mushrooms might be able to act as powerful antioxidants that sustain the body’s own synthesis of endogenous antioxidants, shielding neurons from deterioration and reducing oxidative stress, which ultimately supports brain health.
Can Mushrooms Help to Improve Memory?
Many people struggle with memory loss. In fact, it’s almost a given in a world driven by instant gratification. Because of this, it’s becoming increasingly common to have people forget what they had for breakfast, have important events slip their minds, or slowly feel like they’re losing precious memories.
Where do mushrooms fit in? Well, a recent study from Singapore found that of 663 men and women over 60, those who ate mushrooms as part of their regular diet showed a lower chance of developing mild cognitive impairment and MCI, a precursor of Alzheimer’s disease and other kinds of dementia.
When we look at these studies, we’re allowed to be excited about the potential benefits that it proves for mushrooms. Still, it’s important to still be realistic.
After all, the golden rule of science is clear: correlation isn’t causation. While this study proves that mushrooms may benefit memory and brain health, it doesn’t mean that they will.
Still, we’ll take wins whenever we can get them. If anything, this research is a promising precursor to more studies that all seem to highlight mushrooms as a superfood that’s worth the hype.
What are the Best Medicinal Mushrooms for Brain Health?
While it would be great if you could just go into your backyard and grab any mushroom growing in humid corners, it’s not that simple. First of all, that’s very dangerous. No one wants to end up getting poisoned, right?
Not all mushrooms are the same. Different mushrooms may provide different benefits, so let’s get into some of our favorite mushrooms and why we love them.
Lion’s mane (Hericium Erinaceus ) is the OG when it comes to functional mushrooms, without a doubt.
This mushroom has been widely studied to uncover potential neuroprotective benefits people make the most of. From modulating the immune system and improving gut health to balancing the nervous system and promoting anti-aging, the possible effects are compelling.
Common Benefits of Lion’s Mane for Brain Function
- Lowers cellular stress in the brain
- Boosts antioxidants in the liver
- Decreases plaque formation associated with neurological diseases
- Improves mental health symptoms relating to anxiety and depression
- Enhances cognitive function
- Improves memory and concentration
Reishi (Ganoderma Lucidum) is known as the “anti-stress herb” within the world of medicinal mushrooms, which is great news considering that everyone deals with tension and pressure.
By decreasing the activation of pro-inflammatory pathways that could potentially be linked to neurodegenerative diseases, this mushroom is highly regarded as a great way to protect brain health.
Common Benefits of Reishi for Brain Function
- Relieves stress
- Boosts the immunity system
- Provides lung support
- Decreases inflammation
- Helps deal with insomnia
- Anti-aging benefits
- Potential support for autism
We’re on to the chaga (Inonotus Obliquus) mushroom, considered a strong antioxidant by the mushroom community and by people who swear by it. By incorporating food rich in antioxidants into your diet, you’ll potentially be able to support and balance the cells that help bring your mind to life.
Common Benefits of Chaga for Brain Function
- Helps lower cholesterol levels
- Provides support for the immune system
- Reduces blood sugar
- Fights against inflammation
Tips to Support Focus Without Caffeine
Caffeine is the most widely-used “drug” on the planet, and that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good thing. While caffeine can help boost energy and focus, prolonged use of it might not be up everyone’s alley. Plus, it makes some people too anxious to be productive!
In the spirit of finding alternatives, here are some ways you can help support your focus and concentration without turning to a hot cup of joe.
We’ve been told to stay hydrated so often that the phrase has almost lost meaning. However, we shouldn’t let the cliché stop us from drinking liquids whenever we’re thirsty (and sometimes even when we’re not). Staying hydrated helps keep your body and mind in check, and who doesn’t want that?
If you’ve been around since the 80s (or have a sense of general culture), you definitely remember aerobics. Well, move over aerobics. The new craze is neurobics!
Neurobics are mental activities and exercises that help stimulate the brain and prevent memory loss, helping you stay on top of the world. We’re not surprised that the brain needs exercise, considering it’s also a muscle (kind of).
Doing physical exercise is another no-brainer when it comes to brain health. You don’t have to spend hours in the gym, get a trainer, or suffer through endless hip thrusts.
Sometimes, exercise is as simple as taking a 15-minute walk a day. While some people like to get pumped up, the important thing is to stay active. Find your favorite activity, whether that’s hiking, lifting, crossfit, running, walking, swimming, or playing a sport.
While we are all susceptible to those midnight cravings that beg for pizza, hamburgers, fries, and cake, the best thing is to keep it balanced. Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to swear off your favorite foods, rather that you need to keep it all in check.
When it comes to protecting and supporting your brain, you’ll want to include a lot of leafy greens like spinach and broccoli, healthy fats like avocados and fish, proteins like beans and walnuts, and anything containing vitamin B.
Use Mushrooms for Focus Support
Using functional mushrooms is one of the best ways you can easily support your brain health. Cognitive function is one of the most important things we have, so watching over the health of our mind is imperative to living a full, happy life.
How to Add Functional Mushrooms to Your Daily Routine
If the whole “you should add mushrooms into your routine” sounds appealing, we have an idea for you.
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We all know that caffeine gets you going. But does caffeine help with focus? Click here for the answer.
Read on and discover how to optimize your rest and wake up refreshed with the best nootropics for sleep.
The management of ADHD can be done through prescription meds or with natural supplements. Click here for the full guide on lion's mane vs. Adderall for ADHD.
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