Mushrooms and Mental Health: An Unexpected Connection

Mushrooms and Mental Health: An Unexpected Connection

It's Kinoko, back with another interesting discussion about our beloved mushrooms. Today, we're diving into the remarkable connection between mushrooms and mental health. Surprised? Let's unearth these details!

Mushrooms have long been known for their nutritional richness. High in protein, packed with essential vitamins and minerals, and abundant in antioxidants, they've earned their place in the superfood hall of fame. However, recent research suggests that these fantastic fungi might also hold potential benefits for mental health.

Let's start with the 'sunshine vitamin', or Vitamin D. Mushrooms are one of the few non-animal sources of this essential nutrient1. Studies have shown that Vitamin D plays a significant role in mood regulation and can help stave off depression2. So, just like basking in a bit of sunshine, enjoying some mushrooms could potentially help to lift your spirits.

Selenium is another mineral that's important for brain health and guess what? Mushrooms are a good source of selenium3. Selenium deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of depression, anxiety, and fatigue4. Incorporating more mushrooms into your diet might be a tasty way to support a healthy, balanced mind.

Additionally, recent research has been exploring certain types of mushrooms for their potential neuroprotective properties. For instance, Lion's Mane mushroom has been found to stimulate the production of nerve growth factor, which could improve cognitive function and potentially slow the onset of dementia5.

Of course, it's important to approach these findings with a sense of perspective. While the potential benefits are exciting, we need more research to fully understand the role mushrooms can play in supporting mental health. And remember, mental health is a complex field, and there's no one-size-fits-all solution. But adding a serving of mushrooms to your diet is one small, delicious step (like our mushroom jerky) you can take towards supporting your overall wellbeing, including mental health.

Until next time, stay curious and keep your meals mushroom-filled!


  1. Simon RR, Borzelleca JF, DeLuca HF, Weaver CM. Safety assessment of the post-harvest treatment of button mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus) using ultraviolet light. Food and Chemical Toxicology. 2013 Jun 1;56:278-89. 

  2. Eyles DW, Smith S, Kinobe R, Hewison M, McGrath JJ. Distribution of the Vitamin D receptor and 1 alpha-hydroxylase in human brain. Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy. 2005 Jan 1;29(1):21-30. 

  3. White PJ, Broadley MR. Biofortification of crops with seven mineral elements often lacking in human diets – iron, zinc, copper, calcium, magnesium, selenium and iodine. New Phytologist. 2009 Jan;182(1):49-84. 

  4. Benton D. Selenium intake, mood and other aspects of psychological functioning. Nutritional neuroscience. 2002 Dec 1;5(6):363-74. 

  5. Mori K, Inatomi S, Ouchi K, Azumi Y, Tuchida T. Improving effects of the mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) on mild cognitive impairment: a double‐blind placebo‐controlled clinical trial. Phytotherapy Research: An International Journal Devoted to Pharmacological and Toxicological Evaluation of Natural Product Derivatives. 2009 Mar;23(3):367-72.

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