Shiitake Mushrooms

Introduction

Shiitake is an edible mushroom indigenous to East Asia but widely grown and eaten worldwide today. It’s also called sawtooth oak mushroom, black forest mushroom, oakwood mushroom, black, or golden oak mushroom. It’s a culinary favorite with many chefs and also with food lovers.

Besides being immensely delicious, shiitake mushroom was also popular as a medicine. So, even today, people use supplements for various ailments. The fungus contains many ingredients that are essential for your body.

People also believe that shiitake mushrooms can offer many health benefits, so let’s check out the coming sections and learn a few facts.

What Does Shiitake Mushroom Contains?

Like other edible mushrooms, shiitake also contains many elements that offer positive effects to your body. They include:

  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin B6
  • Riboflavin
  • Niacin
  • Copper
  • Potassium
  • Selenium
  • Thiamin
  • Folate
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Iron
  • Phosphorus

The mushroom has tiny amounts of sodium, fats and sugar.

Shiitake Mushrooms

Health Benefits Of Shiitake Mushrooms

With shiitake mushroom having many elements, it naturally has many things to offer.

It may prevent obesity and manage weight

Obesity is a cause of death among millions of people across the globe. Several factors are responsible for gaining weight like improper diet, inactivity, lifestyle choices and some health conditions.

If you don’t start changing your lifestyle and seek help early, it can lead to several issues like:

  • Stroke
  • Heart diseases
  • Gallbladder stones
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • High LDL “bad” and low HDL “good” cholesterol
  • Cause of death
  • Osteoarthritis

Along with proper diet, exercise and a healthy lifestyle, taking supplements can also help you to reduce weight and get back to normal.

Shiitake mushroom is one of the ingredients that is believed to contain elements that can help deal with obesity. Research suggests that eritadenine and b-glucan, two chemical components in shiitake mushrooms, can help to reduce fat.

B-glucan also makes you feel full and satiate your cravings faster when you eat something.

Studies showed that when shiitake mushroom was given to rats fed with a fat-rich diet, it prevented weight gain.

Experts are also researching to find out if shiitake mushrooms can treat obesity and other related issues.

It may support the immune system 

Your body becomes vulnerable to germs if you have a weak immune system. You may frequently suffer from

  • Skin infections
  • Pneumonia
  • Bronchitis
  • Blood disorders
  • Inflammation
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Delay in growth and development in infants

Though a weak immune system can cause many problems, it’s reversible. Eating the proper diet and using supplements can be very helpful in boosting immunity.

Shiitake mushroom supplement may help improve immunity. Studies have indicated that people who took shiitake mushroom for some time had improved gut immunity than those who didn’t.

The experiment also indicated that gut inflammation was reduced in those volunteers who took the mushroom.

It may fight and destroy cancer cells  

Cancer is a disease that often kills people before they realize it’s gotten worse. If diagnosed and treated early, there is an excellent chance to beat the disease.

Now there are several treatments and drugs that can help fight cancer. Some initial research has shown that chemical components present in shiitake mushrooms may help fight and even destroy cancer cells.

An element like polysaccharide lentinan activates the immune system and fights tumor and cancer cells. The study also showed that the mushroom might initiate apoptosis, a process of programming cell death.

So, it’s likely that shiitake mushrooms will be helpful for cancer prevention treatment in the near future.

It may support heart health  

The heart is one of the most important organs in your body. It needs to stay strong and healthy to function correctly.

LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol is one of the culprits which can make your heart sick. When its levels go up, many things can happen. The LDL cholesterol can increase due to a bad diet and inactivity.

If you start to take care of the problem early, your heart will have more HDL or good cholesterol, and it will be healthy and strong again.

Some studies have also shown that shiitake mushrooms may lower LDL cholesterol. It also showed that shiitake mushroom contains sterols, compounds that control cholesterol production in the liver.

The mushroom also contains phytonutrients, which prevent blood cells from sticking to blood vessels’ walls. It helps inhibit plaque accumulation, and so your heart remains strong and healthy.

It may boost energy and brain functions  

Lack of energy can cause fatigue and other issues. Since shiitake mushroom contains several B vitamins, it helps make the adrenal function as smooth and efficient as possible.

The vitamins also help break food and nutrients into energy. Besides, the vitamins also improve hormonal balance, focus and brain functions.

Including shiitake mushroom supplements in your diet can help increase B vitamins and boost the functions above.

It’s a good source of vitamin D

Sunlight is the best source of vitamin D. Several foods have vitamin D, but the quantity is minimal. Shiitake mushroom is among the few foods that contain a decent amount of vitamin D.

Vitamin D is good for the skin, bone, and teeth. It also lowers the risk of heart disease, autoimmune disease and diabetes.

Vitamin D also supports the immune system, brain function, metabolism and reduces the risk of rheumatoid arthritis in women. It also reduces the extremity of asthma attacks.

Adding vitamin D to your diet via shiitake mushroom can benefit your health as it can offer multiple benefits.

What do you learn from the above?  

After going through the several health benefits which shiitake mushroom offers, it’s clear that the mushroom can be very useful.

You can add it to your diet as it’s a versatile ingredient. You can cook it in different ways and enjoy its flavor and goodness.

If you don’t want to eat it directly, you may take a good-quality shiitake mushroom supplement.

Dosage

While moderate quantities of shiitake mushrooms are safe, they can be harmful if you take a lot. So, consult your doctor and ask for a recommended dosage.

You may also follow the dosage provided on the product’s pack but never take more than mentioned.

Conclusion

Shiitake mushroom is delicious and versatile. It’s also a nutritious fungus that offers many health benefits.

While there is much research to be done, a good shiitake mushroom supplement can be an excellent addition to your diet. As mentioned above, take the recommended dosage for excellent results and well-being.

 

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I've been a bodybuilder and fitness enthusiast for over 15 years. I'm also a Karate black belt and personal trainer with a PHD in sports nutrition.