A study by Penn State just justified our go-to pizza order. Mushrooms, like the kind your local pizza delivery lays beneath gooey, drool-worthy layers of cheese, contain high concentrations of rare anti-aging compounds. Two antioxidants, ergothioneine and glutathione, have been linked to a decrease in wrinkle-causing free radicals.
Free radicals are harmful substances that roam the body. They’re increased by stress and worsen the likelihood of wrinkles and age-related medical conditions. These free radical-fighting compounds exist in the body naturally, but the more you have of them the better protected you are from disease.
“What we found is that, without a doubt, mushrooms are [the] highest dietary source of these two antioxidants taken together, and that some types are really packed with both of them,” explained Robert Beelman, professor emeritus of food science and director of the Penn State Center for Plant and Mushroom Products for Health.
Not all mushrooms fight aging equally, however — some ‘shrooms have higher concentrations than others. The researchers did a deep-dive into the molecular breakdown of the world’s favorite fungi to find which vegetable helps stave off aging the best.
The mushroom that packs the most punch is porcini, a favorite of Italians and pizza lovers everywhere.
White button, portabellas, and other popular mushrooms contained significantly fewer antioxidants, but still provided a few.
Mushroom-haters everywhere might want to rethink their aversion. These little (fun)guys make an amazing complement to your otherwise greasy Italian dinner — especially when paired with an antioxidant-filled glass of rich, red wine.