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Brain & Mental Health

5 Best Mushrooms for Brain Health


5 Best Mushrooms for Brain Health

The best mushrooms for brain health contain higher percentages of glutathione and ergothioneine, the two most potent antioxidants that protect the brain. Ergothioneine, a naturally-occurring amino acid, protects the body and brain against tissue and cell damage. It reduces oxidative stress and cognitive decline, preventing depression and other mental health problems.

Glutathione (GSH) is a tripeptide containing glutamine, cysteine, and glycine. This super-potent antioxidant rummages and counteracts free radicals to protect your brain’s mitochondria from oxidative damage. Glutathione works as a recycling system, putting other antioxidants into reuse to improve your body’s detoxification process and support the brain’s optimal functioning.

How Can Mushrooms Improve Brain Health?

Growing mushrooms from an old tree

A National University of Singapore (NUS) study found a link between eating mushrooms and improved cognitive function during early adulthood. Mushrooms have high contents of ergothioneine and glutathione, antioxidants that protect the brain and reinforce its optimal functionality.

Glutathione is a potent non-protein thiol, essential for supporting our antioxidant defense system and preserving redox homeostasis in neurons. Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases lead to lower GSH levels, meaning more glutathione could help stabilize and improve our cognitive functions.

GSH counteracts free radicals and supports the body’s ability to fight them. It is essential for protecting the brain against cognitive decline. Glutathione also prevents cell damage and keeps recycling other antioxidants to improve the brain’s functionality.

Ergothioneine, a naturally-occurring amino acid, improves brain function by promoting neuronal maturation, neurogenesis, and antioxidative activity. It improves your system’s ability to fight oxidative stress and its damaging effects.

Ergothioneine is one of the strongest eliminators of free radicals, therefore effectively reducing chronic inflammation, a contributing factor behind most mental health problems. Similarly, this amino acid supports brain cell and nerve growth, improving concentration and memory retention.

Taking the best mushrooms for cognitive health, rich in ergothioneine, could protect you from anxiety, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Nootropic Mushroom Formula

Best Mushrooms for Brain Health

The best mushroom extracts stimulate the elongation of neurites, nerve cell extensions responsible for releasing neurotransmitters. Longer neurites promote neuron stability and make it easier for the neurotransmitters to function efficiently. The following are the five best mushroom supplements for the brain; they improve memory, stress relief, and cognition levels.

1. Lion‘s Mane Mushroom for Brain Health

Lion‘s Mane Mushroom

This edible mushroom, native to Asia, North America, and Europe, grows in summer, especially on American maple and beech hardwoods. Known as Hericium erinaceus, the lion’s mane mushroom is saprophytic and feeds on dead trees. Due to its scarcity, it’s one of the most legally protected mushrooms in the United Kingdom. An adult lion’s mane mushroom is white with a shaggy look, and its extracts could be taken as a capsule, powder, or tea supplement.

It’s the best mushroom supplement for brain health, rich in neuroactive compounds and neurotrophic properties, which promote nerve cells’ growth. Its neurotrophic properties support the activation of nerve growth factor (NGF), protein-like molecules responsible for neuron regeneration, production, and protection. This helps the maintenance of brain health and minimizes the extent of inflammatory reactions.

Intake of lion’s mane mushroom also relieves symptoms of depression and anxiety and boosts executive brain functions in both men and women. More studies have shown that this mushroom can significantly improve the cognitive function of people with dementia.

However, not all lion’s mane supplements contain safely extracted ingredients, so be wary of what you consume. The best mushroom supplement for brain health is one with all-natural ingredients and proven safe for human use by responsible bodies and past consumers.

2. Reishi Mushroom for Brain Health

Reishi Mushroom

The reishi mushroom, native to East Asia, has a long-established reputation for being a powerful traditional Chinese medicine. The polypore fungus, known as Ganoderma lingzhi, has a kidney-shaped cap and fan-like appearance.

The primary way reishi mushrooms promote brain health is by reinforcing immunity. They support white blood cell production to prevent inflammation of pathways that can block the cells. As anti-inflammatory adaptogens, the mushrooms activate mediators and pro-inflammatory pathways to keep inflammation levels low and improve overall brain functions.

As an adaptogenic herb, the reishi mushroom acts on the HPA axis to modulate stress responses. It supports the adrenal glands and balances the secretion of stress hormones. This reduces cortisol resistance and relieves the chronically overworked nervous system.

The reishi mushroom is common in traditional Chinese medicine to restore memory and balance shen (or spirit) disturbances. Its stress-relieving properties support the brain’s resistance to stressors, ultimately reducing oxidative stress damage, neuroinflammation, and free radical creations.

3. Chaga Mushroom for Brain Health

Chaga Mushroom

The chaga mushroom or Inonotus obliquus is a highly potent antioxidant with higher oxygen radical absorbance capacity. Consumption of a chaga-rich diet helps to balance the antioxidant system and protect cells. The antioxidants in this mushroom promote cell and DNA function and protect against free radicals and brain cell degradation.

One of the best mushrooms for brain function, chaga has shown potent protective properties against neurodegeneration and Alzheimer’s disease. They can upregulate the Nrf2 pathway to stimulate anti-inflammatory compound protection. Similarly, the mushrooms can thwart apoptosis processes while suppressing the buildup of reactive oxygen species between cells.

The last potent benefit of chaga mushrooms on your brain health is the promotion of a healthy gut microbiome. Studies have linked a leaky gut to a faulty blood-brain barrier and dozens of brain-related problems. Restoring gut barrier balance also corrects the blood-brain barrier balance.

4. Cordyceps Mushroom for Brain Health

Cordyceps Mushroom

Cordyceps mushroom (Dongchong Xiacao) is an edible mushroom primarily grown in Asia and widely utilized in traditional Chinese medicine for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It’s one of the best mushrooms that are good for your brain, packed with various supporting compounds.

This type of mushroom has high bioactive compounds that support a brain’s well-being. Its brain-boosting effects are similar to caffeine’s, meaning it helps you stay focused and awake after the intake. Similarly, this mushroom alleviates brain fog and supports the immune system for optimal performance.

5. Shiitake Mushroom for Brain Health

Shiitake Mushroom

As some of the best mushrooms for brain health, shiitake contains high natural copper content, making it effective for boosting immune and bone health. This mushroom is rich in ergothioneine, the most potent amino acid for restoring cognitive and memory function and reducing cases of dementia. Results show that intake of this mushroom leads to a reduction in symptoms and severity of mild cognitive dementia in both men and women.

Shiitake mushrooms contain anti-microbial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties, which support overall immune response and brain health. Therefore, ingesting these mushrooms can help boost gut immunity, which links directly to your immune and mental health.

Nootropic Mushroom Formula: A Supplement for Brain Health

The Nootropic Mushroom Formula is a proprietary mushroom formula by PureHealth Research that is great for protecting the nervous system, boosting focus, and improving cognitive function. It blends nine time-tested and evidence-based brain boosters, clinically proven to prevent oxidative stress and support body health.

The Nootropic Mushroom Formula, recommended by Dr. Holly Lucille, ND, offers the optimized blend of four organically sourced brain-boosting mushrooms, including reishi, lion’s mane, chaga, and shiitake. Double-extracted for potency and purity and properly formulated in the US, this formula supports various mental health functions. It’s formula contains the best mushrooms for brain health for everyone who wants: 

  • Razor-sharpen focus and decision-making skills
  • Fatigue-and-anxiety-free mental health
  • Improved mood, memory, and cognitive function
  • Boosted memory retention of appointments and facts
  • Optimized learning skills and sharper attention to details
  • Protection against neuron breakdown and related brain and mental health problems 
Nootropic Mushroom Formula

How do the nine highly potent ingredients in this formula work? Let’s take a gander. 

  • Vitamin B6 works by balancing the levels of homocysteine to improve brain functions. Imbalanced vitamin B6 levels in our body lead to mental health problems such as depression, dementia, peripheral neuropathy, and confusion.
  • Lion’s mane mushroom has oligosaccharides, essential carbohydrates that improve multiple cognitive functions.
  • Vitamin B12 is necessary for the optimal functioning of nerves and brain cells and red blood cell formation.
  • Reishi mushroom contains polysaccharides, highly potent carbohydrates for moderating neuronal decline and boosting brain cell growth.
  • Chaga mushroom decreases free radical oxidative cellular damage and improves brain messenger acetylcholine, helping to support healthier memory and learning.
  • Shiitake mushrooms contain high levels of beta-glucans polysaccharides that strengthen immune and gut microbiome health. They also improve and regulate cognition and mood.
  • Bacopa monnieri extract is known to enhance the speed of language and visual processing, reduce anxiety, and streamline your emotions.
  • Rhodiola rosea extract boosts brain function, reduces depression and confusion, and improves audio and visual perception speed.
  • Ginkgo biloba extract sharpens your focus, improves attention and executive functions, and speeds up your brain’s processing abilities. 

Final Thoughts

It’s time to take control of your mental health by adopting diets and supplements that support your cognitive health. The best way to improve your cognitive health is to eat the right foods and engage in healthy lifestyles.

Mushrooms are continually undergoing research as some of the best ingredients for improving overall brain health and functions. Listed above are the best mushrooms for brain health, and we recommend them to everyone who wants to optimize the functionality and efficiency of their cognitive system.

If you’re searching for an all-natural, safe, and effective mushroom supplement for brain health, the Nootropic Mushroom Formula is the perfect product. It’s formulated with your mental health needs in mind, blending all-natural ingredients to boost your brain power.

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