Mushrooms for memory
If you want to reduce your chances of developing memory and language problems in later life, it may be worth eating more mushrooms. Researchers at the National University of Singapore looked at data on 663 Chinese men and women age 60 and older, whose diet, lifestyle, and cognitive function were tracked from 2011 to 2017. They found that, compared with participants who ate less than one 5-ounce portion of mushrooms a week, those who consumed one or two portions had a 43 percent lower risk of developing mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and those who ate more than two portions had a 52 percent risk reduction. Considered a precursor to Alzheimer’s, MCI causes forgetfulness, memory problems, and other cognitive issues. “This correlation is surprising and encouraging,” study author Lei Feng tells BBC.com. “It seems that a commonly available single ingredient could have a dramatic effect on cognitive decline.” Feng and his team think the most likely explanation is that mushrooms contain ergothioneine—an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory—and other nutrients and minerals that protect neurons from damage.