Mushrooms are versatile ingredients that can be used in various recipes, and some companies seek out psilocybin—which users report experiencing positive mental health effects—for use in products such as sprays.

Here is what scientists have discovered about the benefits and risks of consuming mushrooms.

Health Benefits of Mushrooms

Mushrooms are rich in both polysaccharides and antioxidants—properties that can help the body fight disease. Some of their most important health benefits include:

  1. Mushrooms provide prebiotics, which feeds probiotics, beneficial bacteria in the human gut.
  2. Mushrooms are a good source of potassium, which helps maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
  3. Eating mushrooms that contain the antioxidant ergothioneine and glutathione may reduce cancer risk.
  4. Eating mushrooms as a meat substitute can decrease your risk of disease and death due to their low-calorie, fat-free content.
  5. Consumption of mushrooms is associated with a 57 percent lower risk of mild cognitive impairment.
  6. Mushrooms exposed to ultraviolet light may help with bone health and immunity.

Side Effects of Mushrooms

The effects of eating wild mushrooms can vary greatly depending on the type of mushroom, species of mushroom, and condition in which the mushroom is harvested. Some common symptoms of mushroom poisoning include profuse salivation, sweating, tearing, delusions, and convulsions. However, the severity and type of poisoning depend on which type of mushroom is eaten.

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