Recent studies revealed that eating mushrooms twice every week reduced the risk of brain decline. The fungi were recognized to prevent the development of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), so researchers now recommend them to people who have low levels of the amino acid ergothioneine in their system.

New data from the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine found that consuming at least 300 grams of cooked mushrooms per week reduced the risk of brain decline by up to 50 percent. Researchers from the Department of Psychological Medicine and Department of Biochemistry in Singapore also claimed that the consumption prevents MCI, New York Post has learned.

Those who suffer from MCI have low levels of the amino acid ergothioneine. Mushrooms are said to contain this rare antioxidant that also functions as an anti-inflammatory agent. The human body is unable to synthesize this component which may only be sourced from food, such as mushrooms.

The report indicated that the study was conducted for six years before researchers confirmed the health benefits of mushrooms in people aged 60 years old and above. Feng Lei, an assistant professor at NUS Psychological Medicine, noted that the findings were surprising and encouraging. He added that the discovery of a commonly available single ingredient which could prevent cognitive decline is an achievement in the practice.

MCI is a medical condition wherein a person experiences a decline in their mental abilities associated with memory and thinking. Its symptoms do not significantly affect one’s daily life but those diagnosed with MCI who are 65 years old and above have higher risks of developing dementia, according to Alzheimers.org.

People with MCI often forget life events and find it difficult to repeat questions. Their problem-solving and reasoning abilities are also defective and they are easily distracted. They also struggle to interpret visual objects and experience language problems. These symptoms are easily detected by the person suffering the condition especially when they need to exert more effort in completing daily tasks.