They’re certainly delicious sautéed and served with a nice filet, or as the other principal ingredient in beef stroganoff, but there are more reasons than taste to help yourself to a generous portion of mushrooms.
Research has recently revealed that the tasty fungi are the greatest source of the antioxidants ergothioneine and glutathione, both which offer significant anti-aging properties. Another serving, please!
Researchers from Pennsylvania State University found that all mushrooms contain a great deal of both, with some types containing more of these substances than others. Ordinary white button mushrooms, for example, have relatively low levels, but still more than other types of food. The wild porcini mushroom offers the biggest bang for the buck. Even better, the antioxidants are affected by heat so you can feel free to bust out the garlic and butter and sauté away.
The free radical theory of aging posits that when we oxidize our food to produce energy, the process produces free radicals that are toxic. While the body has mechanisms to control them, enough eventually build up to start causing trouble. They’ve been associated with all manner of age-related diseases, including cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.
While there has been much made of antioxidants in “junk science,” there is now reliable research suggesting that they can indeed help combat oxidative stress and the associated free radicals, which are oxygen atoms that have unpaired electrons. These free radicals treat the body like a big singles bar, and they float around looking for other single electrons to hook up with. In the process, they can do a lot of damage to cells.
Research has observed that countries with a lot of ergothioneine in their diets, France and Italy, for example, have lower rates of neurodegenerative disease. However, research has not yet determined whether this is correlation or causation.
For more information, please read:
Why Mushrooms May be the Best Food to Help Fight Aging | Newsweek