Shiitake mushrooms may have a funny name, but the health benefits they provide are no joke. These mushrooms also have a nice, meaty flavor, making them an excellent addition to almost any dish.
Health Benefits of Shiitake Mushroom
Below you will find some of the most impressive benefits for your health that these mushrooms offer.
1. Fight Cancer Cells
It is believed that shiitake mushrooms can actually fight cancer cells and heal chromosomal damage resulting from cancer treatment. One 2006 study found in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine showed that shiitake mushrooms could inhibit tumor cells in breast cancer strands, and also initiated cell death.
2. Increase Energy and Cognitive Function
The incredible amount of B vitamins found in shiitake mushrooms make them an excellent remedy for low energy and brain fog. Many of the energy drinks we often turn to are effective only because of the B-vitamins in them. Skip the sugar and unhealthy ingredients and get your B-vitamins and that boost of energy from a healthy source, like shiitake mushrooms.
3. Immune System Support
Shiitake mushrooms are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and all essential amino acids, which makes them great supporters of your immune system. A study published in 2015 in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition implied that consuming these mushrooms can help improve cell effector function and gut immunity, as well as reduce inflammation throughout the body.
4. Excellent Source of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a vitamin that most adults are deficient in. Sure, you can get some of it from the sun, but of course sun exposure comes with its own risks. This vitamin helps support bone health and also fights heart disease and diabetes. Getting enough vitamin D will also help keep your immune system strong and healthy.
5. Weight Loss Aid
Consuming shiitake mushrooms can help you lose weight and maintain a healthy weight because of the hypolipidemic effects of the mushrooms. The shrubs get this credit primarily due to the b-glucan, a dietary fiber that helps you feel full longer. Studies on rats have suggested that consuming shiitake mushrooms with an otherwise unhealthy diet can help prevent weight gain and fat deposition.
6. Heart Health
Shiitake mushrooms have components that can help reduce the amount of cholesterol produced in the body. These mushrooms can also help prevent plaque buildup by keeping cells from sticking to the walls of your arteries. This, in turn, helps improve circulation and maintain a healthy blood pressure.
7. Improves Skin Health
These mushrooms can act as a natural acne treatment because of the high amounts of selenium. Zinc, found in shiitakes, also helps fight acne and promote skin renewal, reducing the appearance of acne scars.
How to Use Shiitake Mushroom
There are a variety of different mushrooms, each with a unique flavor and an assortment of nutritional advantages. Shiitake mushrooms, however, are one of the big winners with their incredible health benefits and exciting potential to fight cancer and heart disease (two of the biggest killers).
Cleaning the mushrooms involve using a mushroom brush or wet paper towel—never use water. Mushrooms are a kind of fungi and therefore are very porous; using water would only make them lose their texture.
To prepare fresh shiitake mushroom, lay it upside-down and cut off the stem to separate it from the cap. You may want to keep the stems for stock as they are highly nutritious, however the cap is what we generally use.
To prepare dried shiitake mushroom, place them in a pot of hot water and soak for approximately 10 minutes. The mushrooms should be soft and easy to cut. Next, squeeze out the excess water and separate the stems from the caps. The stem is usually too hard to eat so you may throw them out or save to make stock later.
Try incorporating these mushrooms into more of your dishes, from omelets to salads. These mushrooms are low in calories and rich in nutrients, making them an excellent addition to any diet.
Shiitake mushroom may flare up symptoms associated with autoimmune diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, or even cause the immune system to become overactive. Shiitake mushroom might also make eosinophilia (a blood disorder) worse. If you have any of these conditions, please consult a doctor or holistic practitioner before consuming it.