Health & Wellness

Can Lion’s Mane Mushroom Improve Your Mental Focus?

What is Lion’s Mane?

Lion’s mane is a type of mushroom that gets its name from its large, white, shaggy appearance that resembles the mane of a lion.

Lion’s mane mushrooms have been used for many years in Asian countries for both culinary and medical purposes. In recent years, lion’s mane mushrooms have gained popularity in the western world as a prominent food and supplement.

Lion’s mane mushrooms have been touted for their many impressive benefits, particularly as it pertains to brain health.

Continue reading this article to understand how lion’s mane mushrooms can improve your cognition.

Does Lion’s Mane Promote Mental Function?

Perhaps the most well-known benefit of lion’s mane mushrooms is their ability to enhance mental function.

There are specific compounds in the mushrooms that help to not only stimulate brain cell growth, but it can also protect brain cells from damage.

There are even some studies to suggest that lion’s mane mushrooms may help protect against Alzheimer’s disease, due to their ability to reduce memory loss (al). Although most of these studies have been done on mice, the studies are promising to suggest that lion’s mane can boost mental functioning in humans, too.

It’s also been found that adults who consumed 3 grams of lion’s mane daily for four months experienced enhanced cognitive functioning while taking the supplement (sup).

Can Lion’s Mane Help With Focus?

In addition to enhancing mental function, lion’s mane can also help sharpen focus.

As the human brain ages, memory loss and lack of focus often result. These brain changes are largely due to impaired brain cells and neurons, which is a natural part of aging.

However, lion’s mane has been shown to stimulate brain compounds such as nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which can reduce these symptoms of an aging brain.

NGF and BDNF helps strengthen brain cells as well as create new ones. As a result, the ability for the brain to focus is heightened.

What’s more, lion’s mane has impressive anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which directly support brain health by boosting focus, and even mood. Lower levels of inflammation lead to improved blood flow, therefore allowing the brain to receive more oxygen. As a result, the brain is more equipped to perform optimally.

Plus, the antioxidants in lion’s mane can also promote learning and memory.

Can I Take Lion’s Mane Instead of Coffee?

Many people rely on coffee or other caffeinated beverages to start their day and energize them for the day ahead. However, coffee can often leave people feeling jittery.

When you need a quick morning or afternoon boost, lion’s mane is a great mushroom to turn to.

Lion’s mane mushrooms have been used for thousands of years to improve energy and focus – without the jitters.

However, many mushroom supplements have an earthy and bitter taste, which is why blending it with coffee can be a good idea.

Not only will mixing lion’s mane with your coffee help mask the bitter taste, but you’ll get the added benefit of caffeine as well as avoid the inevitable caffeine crash.

You may also choose to simply take lion’s mane by itself without mixing it into coffee. You’ll definitely still reap the benefits of feeling alert and energized. Plus, you might even feel a sense of calmness when you forgo the caffeine altogether.

What are some Other Benefits of Lion’s Mane?

Lion’s mane is a special superfood mushroom that packs a punch. Perhaps its most notable benefits are enhanced mental functioning and improved focus. However, that is not all lion’s mane can do. Here’s a list of some other benefits of lion’s mane:

  • Mental health benefits: Studies suggest that taking lion’s mane mushrooms can reduce symptoms of anxiety in depression, however, more research is needed (anx).
  • Anti-inflammatory properties: The extract from lion’s mane mushrooms contains potent anti-inflammatory compounds that have the impressive ability to reduce inflammation throughout the body (inf).
  • Powerful antioxidant properties: Lion’s mane mushrooms contain antioxidant compounds that can be helpful to keep the immune system strong and reduce the impact and onset of illness.
  • Reduces symptoms of menopause: Some studies suggest that lion’s mane mushrooms can improve self-reported symptoms of irritability and depression associated with menopause (m).
  • Boosts immune health: There is some preliminary research to suggest that lion’s mane mushrooms can help enhance the immune system.

What are some Easy Ways to Include Lion’s Mane in My Day?

Luckily, it’s easy to add lion’s mane into your daily routine.

Some people may choose to prepare and cook lion’s mane as a side dish. You can simply cook lion’s mane like any other meaty mushroom by chopping and sauteeing in olive oil, for example. However, unless you live near a farmer’s market that sells these unique mushrooms, they may be difficult to find.

Perhaps the easiest way to include lion’s mane in your day is by taking it in powder form.

Be sure to do your research to make sure your lion’s mane supplement is coming from a reputable company that doesn’t add any artificial ingredients or fillers.

For example, this recovery mushroom supplement from Naked Nutrition is a powdered supplement that can boost energy, mood, and performance, while enhancing cognition and promoting recovery. It not only contains lion’s mane mushrooms, but it contains several other powerful mushrooms, along with tart cherry and lemon balm extract to give a pleasant flavor.

Naked Recovery is quite versatile as well as it can improve your mental and physical health whether you are at work or at the gym.

Another great way to consume lion’s mane mushrooms is in tea form. There are many companies that sell lion’s mane powder or extract form that can be simply made into a tea.

However you choose to add lion’s mane into your wellness routine, it’s important to remember to stay consistent with your daily lion’s mane supplement. After all, as with most dietary supplements, consistency is key to see the best effect.

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