(Mirror Daily, United States) – Researchers found that mushrooms contain two powerful antioxidants that can stave off aging and its effects. The Pennsylvania State University team claims that mushrooms are the largest dietary source of two substances linked to visible antiaging effects: glutathione and ergothioneine.
Scientists recommend eating the super-food on a daily basis for its antiaging properties. The findings appeared this week in the journal Food Chemistry.
In their study, researchers analyzed 13 species of mushrooms and laboratory tests showed high quantities of both antioxidants in nearly all species. Even though some mushroom species like the white button mushroom were not as rich in the two substances as their cousins, they were still richer in antioxidant content than other types of food.
The species that scored the best at antiaging properties were the so called wild porcini mushrooms. Another piece of good news is that mushrooms, unlike other foods, do not shed nutrients when cooked as non-mushroom foods do.
In addition, the two antioxidants keep free radicals in check, even those that can be toxic to the body. Yet, when the number of free radicals is too large, the tissues are damaged, which can lead to age-related conditions such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and cancer.
Mediterranean Countries Have Antioxidant-Rich Diets
The research team, however, acknowledged that the findings are only preliminary, and more research needs to be conducted to confirm them. But countries that routinely include the two antioxidants in their diets like Italy and France have lower rates of dementia and other neurodegenerative conditions.
In those two countries, an average resident consumes 3 milligrams of the two antioxidants on a daily basis, which is contained in around five white button mushrooms.
U.S. diets are usually rich only in ergothioneine, but this doesn’t seem to help keep Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s at bay.
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