Regular old mushrooms are good for your memory—here are 5 ways to eat ’em


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Photo: Stocksy/Alan Shapiro

Mushrooms may not have the star power of, say, kale, but they’re worthy of attention. New research out of Singapore suggests that, in addition to being great for your skin and immune system, mushrooms could also help prevent cognitive decline. (Wow, mushrooms, way to overachieve.) And not like, fancy adaptogenic mushrooms, though those have legit benefits, too. We’re talking your run-of-the-mill, basic ‘shrooms.

The study was conducted over the course of six years on 663 men and women over the age of 60. Researchers at the National University of Singapore tracked participants’ diet and lifestyle, running tests to determine cognitive abilities. They found that, compared to those who ate less than one serving (around 150 grams) of mushrooms per week, people who ate one to two servings of mushrooms per week had a 43 percent reduced risk for mild cognitive impairment (MCI). People with MCI have an increased risk of dementia.

Those who filled their plates with more than two servings of mushrooms per week saw greater results with a 52 percent reduced risk for MCI. The study focused on golden, oyster, shiitake, white button, canned, and dried mushrooms, but researchers say it’s likely that all other mushrooms would be beneficial.

It’s worth noting that the sample was relatively small, so the findings should be taken with a grain of salt. The researchers acknowledge that more work needs to be done to link mushrooms to cognitive abilities.

As someone who forgets where she puts her keys on an average of three times a day, these findings have convinced me to eat more mushrooms. I said please send help, and science answered.

5 mushroom recipes to help you add more fungus into your diet

Photo: My New Roots

1. Mushroom scallops in a warm pesto pool

Everything about that recipe name made my mouth water. King oyster mushrooms are used in place of scallops in this tasty vegetarian recipe.

Photo: Wu Haus

2. Yam noodles with miso-cashew-lime dressing

The best part about this recipe (besides the shiitake mushrooms, obviously) is that it tastes just as good cold as it does warm. Being a Very Busy Person, I need this kind of versatility in my life. (Also, laziness.)

Photo: Candice Kumai

3. Clean kale mushroom lasagna

Candice Kumai’s healthy lasagna is packed with both mushrooms and kale—a powerhouse duo if I ever saw one. Now to find some way to not eat the entire pan.

Photo: Minimalist Baker

4. Poblano and portobello fajitas

There is never not a great time to eat fajitas—especially when they’re made with brain-boosting mushrooms. Plus, guacamole. Enough said.

Photo: Fit Mitten Kitchen

5. Mushroom asparagus crustless quiche

This paleo quiche is the perfect meal-prep breakfast (and also proof you can eat mushrooms at every meal).

You know what else is good for your memory? Having sex. Do with that what you will.

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