Eating just five button mushrooms may halt dementia in its tracks, slash the risk of heart disease and even prevent cancer, scientists claim.
Researchers have found the fungi are abundant in two antioxidants that fight ageing and bolster health.
Ergothioneine and glutathione combat ‘free radicals’ – damaging molecules highly linked to dementia, multiple forms of cancer and even heart disease.
And the new study shows, ‘without a doubt’, that mushrooms are the highest dietary source of the combination of antioxidants.
Lead researcher Professor Robert Beelman, from Pennsylvania State University, said: ‘Some types are really packed with both of them.’
As the body uses oxygen, it releases free radicals. Scientists have long suspected that the toxic by-products fuel the diseases.
These travel through the body looking to pair up with electrons, causing damage to cells, proteins and DNA – known as oxidative stress.