Mushrooms offer a double boost of the nutrients that may slow the aging process, according to researchers from Penn State University. The antioxidants ergothioneine and glutathione appear to help protect against oxidative stress, which occurs when , the body uses food to produce energy.
“What we found is that, without a doubt, mushrooms are the highest dietary source of these two antioxidants… and that some types are really packed with both of them,” said researcher Robert Beelman, PhD. Porcini mushrooms ranked highest for content of the two antioxidants. White button mushroom and other common types had smaller amounts of the substances, but more than most foods.
Dr. Bellman noted that countries that have more ergothioneine in the diets have lower incidences of neurodegenerative diseases (such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s) compared to the United States, where intake is low.