You may have heard that healthy fats feed the brain. You may also be aware that a plant-based diet rich in antioxidants protects the brain. But, did you know that mushrooms have been linked to a reduction in age-related cognitive impairment?
A recent study published from the Department of Psychological Medicine and Department of Biochemistry at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore (NUS) found that seniors who consumed more than 300 grams of “mushrooms weekly may have 50 percent reduced odds of having mild cognitive impairment (MCI).” The studied spanned six years, took into account 600 participants, and focused on “golden, oyster, shiitake, and white button mushrooms, as well as dried and canned mushrooms.”
How do mushrooms accomplish this brain-protecting feat?
Researchers believe that it has something to do with a specific mushroom-based compound called ergothioneine (ET). Per Dr. Irwin Cheah, Senior Research Fellow at the NUS Department of Biochemistry, “ET is a unique antioxidant and anti-inflammatory which humans are unable to synthesise on their own … But it can be obtained from dietary sources, one of the main ones being mushrooms.”
Mushrooms also happen to be a staple in plant-based eating. They are not only rich in flavor, but their thick, tough texture is essential for many meatless recipes and can provide bulk to otherwise limp meals.
Want to get your infusion of cognitive function-boosting mushrooms? Here are some recipes from the Food Monster App to get you started!
Source: Portobello Eggplant Stacks
Alongside eggplant, portobellos are one of the meatiest of the mushrooms! This Portobello Eggplant Stacks recipe by Ashley Hankins pairs these two juicy plant-based meatless substitutes and pairs their neutral flavor with spicy eggplant and a sweet balsamic glaze.
Source: Creamy Mushroom Stroganoff
Looking for a filling classic dish to quench your hunger? This Creamy Mushroom Stroganoff recipe by Julie Zimmer is not only filled with mushrooms but its creamy beer and herb-based sauce pairs wonderfully with a healthy neutral pseudocereal such as quinoa.
Sick of that avocado toast? Want to try something new? This Truffle Oil Mushroom Bruschetta With Fermented Garlic by Cara Carin offers up a dose of truffle oil smothered cognitive-boosting mushrooms with a smear of hummus, smattering of bitter arugula, and sweet and powerfully flavored fermented garlic.
Source: Tahini Shrooms Chocolate Spread
This Tahini Shrooms Chocolate Spread recipe by Katrine van Wyk is the perfect example of mushroom’s incredible diversity when it comes to the kitchen! Rich in adaptogenic cordyceps mushrooms, healthy fat, calcium, minerals, and antioxidants, this sweet spread can take the place of Nutella or jam and is also free of unhealthy oil and processed sugar.
This Lentil Loaf and Mushroom Gravy With Mashed Garlic Cauliflower recipe by Desiree Rodriguez is a return to one of the most loved American dishes, yet with a healthy spin! This meatless ‘meat’ loaf is loaded with aromatic herbs, plant-based milk, vegan butter, cruciferous cauliflower, and baby bella mushrooms.
Bowls are simply the bomb when it comes to getting a powerful punch of vitamin, minerals, and healthy fats in one meal! This Soft Polenta and Mushroom Bowl with Walnut-Kale Pesto recipe by Sapana Chandra is the perfect example of nutrient-dense cohesiveness with powerful basil, nutritious kale, fatty walnuts, soft polenta, and savory mushrooms.
Source: Pink Oyster Mushroom Maki Rolls
These Pink Oyster Mushroom Maki Rolls by Kirsten Kaminski are a fun and unique dish for your next dinner party! With a natural pink hue sourced from pink pitaya, these rolls can be created in 30 minutes and offer a dose of oyster mushrooms paired with crunchy purple cabbage.
If sweet isn’t your jam, this Savory Mushroom Steel Cut Oatmeal by Lauren Smith may be the perfect breakfast recipe. A handful of baby bella mushrooms are paired with nutrient-dense steel cut oats and topped off with savory garlic, onion, and veggie broth. Add an optional dash of vegan parmesan and protein-rich peas to really finish off this dish!
Source: Portabella Mushroom Gyro
Super simple and easy to pack for your workday, this Portabella Mushroom Gyro recipe by Ginny McMeans offers a high protein mid-day meal to give you that pick-me-up. Stuffed with brain-friendly portabella mushrooms, healthy fat-filled coconut oil, omega-rich hemp seeds, and iron-rich spinach, this is the perfect brain-boosting lunch to try out.
Source: Mushroom Ceviche
An incredibly unique take on seafood-based ceviche! This Mushroom Ceviche recipe by Desiree Rodriguez relies on the meaty, yet tender texture of trumpet royale mushrooms, doused in sweet and sour lime and lemon juice, and mixed with tomato, cilantro, onion, and jalapeno for that traditional fresh ceviche flavor.
Source: Creamy Mushroom Hand Pies
This Creamy Mushroom Hand Pies recipe Trine Rask is a savory dessert that you can take on-the-go or serve as a fun appetizer or after dinner snack at your next party! Rask stuffs these dairy-free and vegan hand pies with brown mushrooms to achieve that meat-like meatless filling infused with warm thyme and oregano, creamy non-dairy cream, and puff pastry to hold it all together.
Oyster mushrooms are well-known in the plant-based world as one of the best substitutes for scallops! This Oyster Mushroom Scallops with Nasturtium Pesto recipe by Rachel Carr takes these oyster mushrooms to the next level of tastiness with a nut and nasturtium-filled pesto.
Source: Mushroom and Garlic Tacos
This Mushroom and Garlic Tacos recipe by Alejandra Graf is a super simple, yet delicious meal that can be served for one or multiplied for a family or dinner party. Graf infuses this mushroom mixture with a bit of jalapeno-derived heat, cilantro, garlic, and fresh lemon juice.
Think rutabaga can only be cubbed? This Rutabaga Carbonara with Shiitake Mushroom Bacon recipe by Phoebe Douglas offers a whole new way to enjoy your favorite veggies including a delicious ‘bacon’ made from shiitake mushrooms.
Source: Gooey Mushroom Quesadillas
This Gooey Mushroom Quesadillas recipe by Frugal Vegan is the perfect dish to trick your kids into eating those brain-boosting baby bella mushrooms! Plus, this recipe calls for a helping of protein-rich tofu and an optional topping of pico de gallo and guacamole to boot.
We also highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 15,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!
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