Researchers at Penn State University have put the spotlight on mushrooms. Not the magic kind, but the food fungus found in grocery stores and foragers' baskets. Earlier this year their studies showed eating mushrooms may help lower your risk of cancer and premature death. A new study shows mushrooms may also help to lower your odds of developing depression.
They say mushrooms contain high amounts of an antioxidant called ergothioneine, which may protect against cell damage. And that antioxidants have been shown to help prevent mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression. When they analyzed data on diet and mental health collected from more than 24,000 U.S. adults between 2005 and 2016, they found that people who ate mushrooms had a lower chance of having depression. That data did not include info on types of mushrooms, so they can't say which types might have the most benefit. And they didn't analyze exactly how much is best to eat.
They say more research is needed to figure out the mushroom and depression connection, but also that their study adds to the growing list of the potential benefits of eating mushrooms.
The study is published in the Journal of Affective Disorders.
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