“In food, excellent medicine can be found.” – Hippocrates
- Lion’s Mane smart mushrooms can reduce depression, anxiety, and speed recovery from nervous system injuries
- University study shows that 2 servings of mushrooms a week reduce odds of cognitive impairment by 50%
- Mushroom extract promotes the growth and repair of nerve cells
- Research shows Lion’s Mane mushrooms can improve fat metabolism, lower blood sugar, and reduce the risk of heart disease
What are Lion’s Mane mushrooms?
Lion’s Mane mushrooms are beautiful, white mushrooms with long, shaggy spines that resemble a mane. According to a Japanese study, lion’s mane mushrooms (Hericium erinaceus) have been known for their health benefits since ancient times. Like other edible mushrooms, they are used in cooking as well as medicine throughout Asia. They can be eaten raw, cooked, steeped in tea, or used in prepared foods and supplements.
What are the proven mental health benefits of Lion’s Mane mushrooms?
These smart mushrooms have been studied for their positive impact on everything from Alzheimer’s to heart disease. There is a great deal of evidence that shows lion’s mane mushrooms improve mental health by combatting depression, anxiety, cognitive decline, and brain injuries. They contain two special compounds, hericenones and erinacines, which stimulate the growth of brain cells.
So many people who suffer from mild anxiety or depression, difficulty concentrating, or mild memory issues prefer to find natural ways to combat these symptoms. Could lion’s mane be a natural, safe solution to these problems? Studies are showing that lion’s mane mushrooms provide a great impact without negative side effects typically seen in pharmaceuticals. As always, ask your doctor before making any changes to your diet or healthcare practice.
I have no health concerns, but I want to improve my mental focus – can mushrooms help?
The evidence shows that yes, lion’s mane mushrooms improve memory and cognitive function. Increased sales of stimulants and energy drinks show that Americans are looking for ways to “wake up” and stay focused throughout long workdays and at school. Lion’s mane mushrooms when taken as a supplement or eaten raw or cooked provide a healthy, safe alternative for people who want to avoid the overstimulation and subsequent crash of high caffeine or high sugar products that are used as an energy source. Products that can provide calm mental focus and elevate mood but without harmful side effects or risk of dependency are a necessary alternative to a market flooded with dangerous products that have health risks, especially for young people.
There are so many studies to look at, what are a few key points?
- One study showed that taking lion’s mane mushrooms as a supplement for 12 weeks “significantly improved cognitive functions” and prevented deterioration.
- The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry published findings that lion’s mane mushrooms contained “neuroprotective properties” for the “improvement of anxiety, cognitive function, and depression.”
- Lion’s mane is a safe and convenient alternative for anyone who wants to improve their mental fitness, lower their risk of dementia, combat depression, and alleviate mental fatigue.
- Several sources list mushrooms as a superfood with mental and physical health benefits.
How should mushrooms fit into my diet?
Like any other nutritious food, mushrooms should be a part of a balanced diet including leafy greens, berries, legumes, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Fortunately, if you do not enjoy the taste of mushrooms in your salads or stir-fry, you can still get their benefits by taking them in supplement form or protein bars that contain mushroom extract. Lion’s mane mushrooms are not as common in American cuisine as they are in Asia, so supplements and bars may be the best way for most Americans to enjoy the benefits.
We have always known that our diets should contain lots of fruits and vegetables to prevent disease and improve physical health, but now we know that mental health and cognitive function is also influenced by the foods we eat. If you could benefit from a calmer, more focused mind, explore easy ways to add some superfoods like lion’s mane mushrooms to your daily routine.