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Magic Mushroom Therapy: Do mushrooms affect depression?

Hey there, readers! Be honest, how often do you eat mushrooms? Believe it or not, mushrooms help bring your A-game. Whether you’re eating them whole, or in the form of supplements, it’s a food you just don't want to miss out on. In today's post, let's discuss how you can use mushrooms to fight depression. How many mushrooms can you safely eat? What is the one special ingredient that makes them so helpful? We’re talking about all that AND more... Whether you follow a plant-based diet or not, try and include mushrooms in your cooking. You’ll get plenty of nutrients. Initially, nutritionists thought of mushrooms as a simple item you put on top of your dinner. But today, mushrooms are seen as having a ton of positive effects on your health.  

Photo by Andrew Ridley on Unsplash

So needless to say, their value has increased. Mushrooms are loaded with protein. They also have great fiber content, which helps your gut. As for their vitamins and minerals, mushrooms also carry beta-glucans, selenium, copper, and potassium. Nutritionists have now started to see mushrooms in a new light, as they’re free of fat, cholesterol, and gluten. They also have low calories and sodium. Which of these mushrooms do you use regularly in your kitchen? Sound off in the comments below and start a conversation with our ever-growing Healthy Mind - Think Big community. 

Another important ingredient in mushrooms is vitamin D. This increases calcium absorption, makes your bones stronger, and gives you a sharper brain. Some researchers believe that vitamin D can improve your heart health and decrease your chances of stroke, cancer, lung infection, skeletal disorders, dementia, and Alzheimer’s. But that’s not everything. Vitamin D has also shown promising results in patients with Osteoporosis, Tuberculosis, and Autism. If you’re low on Vitamin D, your chances of developing Parkinson's disease and diabetes are greater. Are you one of those people who’s always feeling aches and pains? Are you always tired? Then chances are you’re running low on Vitamin D. Now at this point, you’re probably wondering where this ties into depression. Well, lower levels of vitamin D are linked to it. 

Many factors directly influence your mental health, and Vitamin D is one of the most important. The more Vitamin D you have, the better you’ll feel. Both sadness and severe mood swings can be brought on by low Vitamin D among other things. Looking for answers on all the latest health and wellness news? Hit that “subscribe” button, and join our millions of followers. Stay up to date on all our great Health related content… Let’s focus on Vitamin D for another minute. 

It’s just so important for you... While mushrooms are terrific, the sun remains the most promising Vitamin D source. Its UV rays penetrate your skin, and begin a rapid formation of Vitamin D. This is why it’s called the “Sunshine Vitamin”. Despite having such a wide range of foods to choose from, countless people are still short on Vitamin D. Yes, most of them aren’t getting enough sun, but this is only one reason. Research has shown that chronically ill patients who remained indoors were significantly behind on their vitamin D levels. This is also the case for people during the winter months. Since we’re spending longer amounts of time indoors, we’re not getting as much Vitamin D. This makes many of us depressed and anxious. You need 600IU per day of vitamin D. But it doesn't come in one consolidated form. You can get vitamin D2 from various plant sources. Vitamin D3 is found in most animal products. The recommended dose for vitamin D2 according to research is 2000 IU. This is where eating mushrooms come in! But before we go ahead, here’s something that might interest you. Take a quick look at 08 Health Benefits and 06 Side Effects | Protein Powder. Now back to our discussion on mushrooms and depression... 

It does not matter whether you consume it in the form of fresh foods like mushrooms or supplements. Mushrooms that grow in the wild will naturally have more vitamin D. This is because these varieties are exposed to more UV light. A few experts believe in growing mushrooms in closed spaces. This keeps them well protected from the sunlight. Indoor varieties like portobello, shiitake, and button mushrooms have a compound called Ergosterol (erg-ost-err-all). This is essential for Vitamin D. But hold on! Consuming these mushrooms naturally will not give you enough Vitamin D. This is why they’ve developed a technique where you can increase the Vitamin D content on your own. It’s pretty interesting… I’m talking about Irradiated (irr-aid-iated) mushrooms! This technique is popular among 20% of mushroom growers in Australia. It’s also catching on in the US. The good thing is you don’t need to be a mushroom grower to benefit from this. You can do it yourself with mushrooms you buy from the store. This will increase your levels of Vitamin D, and make you much happier. The best time to try irradiated mushrooms would be spring, summer, or fall when there is a good amount of sunlight. Simply wash the mushrooms of all their dirt and slice them up. The slicing will increase the surface area of your mushrooms. If you realize you’ve bought too many mushrooms and are tired of cutting them up, no worries. Just expose the gill side of the mushroom up to the sun. Place sliced mushrooms in a tray under direct sunlight for at least 6 hours. The best time to do this would be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This can make the vitamin D content go from ​​100 IU per 3.5 oz to nearly 46,000 IU! Putting the tray on your lawn, or in your backyard would be a great idea.  If you're worried about possible bugs and dirt settling on your mushrooms, feel free to wrap them up in plastic. This might give you 20% less vitamin D, but it’s still pretty huge! Bring the tray indoors before dusk to prevent any dew from collecting over it. Repeat the same procedure for another 6 hours the following day. Dry these mushroom chips until they’re crispy. After all the moisture’s been evaporated, store it in sealed jars and containers. 

People have recommended adding a tablespoon of dry rice to the storage jar. This will soak up all the remaining moisture. Another method to infuse mushrooms with Vitamin D would be using UV light. This is a heck of a lot better and quicker than the natural sun-drying procedure. It also ensures a higher concentration of Vitamin D in mushrooms. The next time you’re craving mushrooms during the off-season, just use the bottled ones. The procedure for using bottled mushroom chips is very simple. Boiling them in hot water for about 20 minutes will rehydrate them without damaging the vitamin D content. Vitamin D is extremely stable and has even higher temperatures. Even 500 degrees Fahrenheit won’t be enough to break it down. You can never overdo Vitamin D from mushrooms, so have as much as you want. If you’re having trouble sleeping, or have been overwhelmed with depression, eating these mushrooms will be good for you. There are almost 2000 types of mushrooms you can eat. Now that’s variety! Try making a mouth-watering recipe with ground meat, or as a separate mushroom meal altogether. Mushrooms go great on toast, soup, burgers, sandwiches, etc. There’s no reason for you to stay away from these mushrooms unless you are allergic.

Learn more about how to become healthier. Have you tried cooking with dried mushrooms? Let us know in the comments below. 

The information I provided in this blog is for educational purposes only and does not substitute for professional medical advice. You should never use content in my writing as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or another qualified clinician. Please consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if indicated for medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. I am not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information in this blog. Thank you.

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