Vegan Foods

Mushrooms May Reduce Risk Of Depression, New Study Finds

People who eat mushrooms may have a lower risk of suffering from depression, according to a new study published in the scientific journal Affective Disorders Journal. For the study, researchers at Penn State University used diet (specifically to assess the frequency of mushroom consumption) and mental health data collected from more than 24,000 American adults between 2005 and 2016. Because that mushrooms contain many bioactive compounds that may be associated with reduced anxiety, including B12, nerve growth factor, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory agents, the researchers hypothesized that eating mushrooms is associated with risk lower depression.

“Mushrooms are the highest dietary source of the amino acid ergothioneine, an anti-inflammatory drug that cannot be synthesized by humans,” lead researcher Djibril Ba said in a statement. “Having high levels of this can reduce the risk of oxidative stress, which could also reduce symptoms of depression.”

The average age of study participants was 45, the majority (66%) of whom were non-Hispanic whites. Researchers observed a significant association between mushroom consumption and a lower likelihood of depression after accounting for socio-demographic factors, major risk factors, self-reported illnesses, medications, and other dietary factors. However, the study found that there is no clear additional benefit with relatively high mushroom consumption.

Replace meat with mushrooms to reduce depression?

The research team conducted a secondary analysis to see if the risk of depression could be reduced by replacing one serving of red or processed meat with one serving of mushrooms each day. But the results show that this substitution was not associated with a lower risk of depression.

The researchers noted some limitations that could be addressed in future studies, including the fact that the data used for the study did not provide details on the types of mushrooms consumed. As the researchers analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005-2016, food codes published by the United States Department of Agriculture were used to determine mushroom consumption. As a result, researchers were unable to determine the effects of specific types of fungi on depression.

Prior to this research, few studies examined the association between mushroom consumption and depression, and the majority of studies that were conducted were clinical trials with fewer than 100 participants. The researchers said the study highlights the potential public and clinical health importance of consuming mushrooms as a way to reduce depression and prevent other illnesses.VegNews.MensHealthPlantBasedFoods

The link between diet and mental health

While this study specifically focused on mushrooms, a number of other medical studies have examined the relationship between mental health and diet. A 2012 study found that converting to a vegetarian diet can actually improve mood. Out of 39 participants, the researchers found that omnivores reported experiencing more negative moods, such as anxiety, stress, and depression, than vegetarians, possibly due to the meat’s higher arachidonic acid content. a component that creates brain changes that impact the disposition.

What’s more, another study found that frequent consumption of fast food and processed candy can increase the risk of depression. Of the nearly 9,000 participants, the researchers found that the subjects who ate the most fast food (like burgers and pizza) and baked goods (donuts, croissants, and other pastries) were 51% more likely to develop depression.

To learn more about mushrooms, read:
Mushrooms are as hearty as meat, study finds

4 mushroom superfoods to add to your daily routine

Will These 8 Trendy Vegan Foods Really Make You Healthier?

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