A new study has found that mushrooms contain compounds and properties that can help you ward off devastating dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. 

The findings of this new study were published in the  Journal of Medicinal Food.

According to researchers, funghi helps boost the production of a chemical called nerve growth factor, or NGF, which, in turn, helps up the brain’s gray matter.

Although further research is needed into the matter to clarify exactly how it works, these findings could put mushrooms in the category of neuroprotective, meaning they help the body fight off diseases that atrophy the brain’s function.

Researchers came to this conclusion by feeding 11 different types of mushrooms to mice with neurodegenerative issues and recording how it affected their cognition.

It was found that D. indusiata mushrooms increased gray matter in rodents most significantly, while C. militaris helped them navigate a maze.

Professor Vikineswary Sabaratnam of Malaya University, and lead author of the study, stated:

“Regular consumption of the mushrooms may reduce or delay development of age-related neurodegeneration. However, extensive animal and human clinical trials are warranted, which may then lead to designing functional food or novel therapeutic drugs to prevent or mitigate the effects of neurodegenerative diseases.”

Research also suggests that eating a large amount of mushrooms can help boost your body’s immune system and ward off viruses and bacteria.

Sabaratnam says that he hopes that this discovery will lead doctors to use complementary medicine techniques that use food to help curtail the effects of certain diseases.

While he does not propose that eating mushrooms will cure dementia or Alzheimer’s, he thinks that using them in tandem with traditional medication might help those who are suffering reduce their symptoms.

Mushrooms are also incredibly healthy vegetables aside from their prospective neuroprotective properties.

They are high in niacin, which helps control blood pressure.

They are also loaded with vitamin D, which helps your body process calcium and also have anti-inflammatory properties which help those with asthma, arthritis and other related conditions.

A serving of mushrooms can also count toward your recommended five fruits and vegetables for the day.

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