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7 Reasons Why Shitake Mushrooms Are Good for You?

Sep 22

Mushrooms aren’t just delicious; they also contain nutrients that help fight cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and even Alzheimer’s. But how do you get these health benefits from eating shiitakes?

There are many reasons why shiitakes are great for you. They provide powerful antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds, and immune system boosters. In addition, they promote healthy digestion, boost energy levels, and protect against certain types of cancers.

But most importantly, shiitakes are a complete protein source. This means that they contain all 9 essential amino acids needed for human nutrition. And since they’re rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, they make a perfect food for anyone looking to live longer and healthier.

I’ll go over 7 reasons why shiitake mushrooms are awesome, plus share my top picks for where to buy them.

What are shiitake mushrooms?

healthy shitake growing on hard wood

Shiitakes are fungi found throughout North America. They grow in clusters called “piles” which look like large caps on  hardwood trees. Shiitakes are edible and delicious when cooked.

They are also known for their medicinal properties. In Japan, they are used extensively in traditional medicine. They are believed to help prevent cancer and boost immunity.

The Japanese name for shiitake mushrooms is “dried wood ear” because of its resemblance to the shape of an ear.

Serving Shitake Mushroom for Delicious Meals

Shiitake mushrooms are known for their rich flavor and texture. Because they are so flavorful, they are often eaten raw in salads or stir-fries. However, they can also be cooked like any other mushroom. In addition to their delicious taste, they contain many nutrients, including vitamin D, B vitamins, zinc, iron, selenium, copper, potassium, magnesium, manganese, fiber, protein, and antioxidants.

The nutritional value of these mushrooms varies depending on how they are prepared. For example, when they are grilled, they lose some of their moisture and become drier than when they are boiled. When they are fried, they absorb oil from the frying pan. Boiling them causes them to release water, making them lighter and easier to eat. Grilling them removes some of the natural oils that give them a savory flavor. Soaking them in milk makes them softer and less chewy.

The best way to cook shitake mushroom is to saute them first then add other ingredients such as garlic, onion, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, etc. Then you can serve this dish with rice or noodles.

Shitake are a type of edible fungus native to East Asia. They grow underground and have been cultivated since ancient times. In Japan, they are known as "golden needles" because of their shape. The most common variety of golden needle is called shiitake (or Chinese black pine) and grows up to 20 centimeters long. It has a white cap and stems. It tastes like mild chicken meat. This is what Japanese call earthy flavor or "umami flavor".

When cooking shiitakes, remember that they should always be added toward the end of the cooking process to ensure that they don't get mushy. You can add them to soups, stews, casseroles, pasta dishes, rice dishes, and vegetable dishes. If you want to use them in place of meat, make sure to sauté them first to bring out their flavor.

In Japanese cuisine, they are used in soups, stews, stir fries, salads, miso soup, tempura, grilled dishes, and omelets. They are often served with rice. Their flavor improves when cooked slowly at low temperatures.

Other popular mushrooms are:

  1. cremini,
  2. portobello,
  3. oyster,
  4. enoki,
  5. button,
  6. king oyster,
  7. shimeji, and
  8. others.

 Shitake are packed with essential nutrients

They contain nutrients such as:

  • vitamin D,
  • B vitamins,
  • calcium,
  • iron,
  • potassium,
  • zinc,
  • copper,
  • manganese,
  • selenium,
  • magnesium,
  • phosphorus,
  • niacin,
  • riboflavin,
  • thiamine,
  • folate,
  • pantothenic acid,
  • biotin,
  • molybdenum, and
  • choline.

B vitamins are essential for healthy skin, hair, nails, teeth, bones, muscles, nerves, blood cells, immune system, metabolism, digestion and energy production.

They help maintain normal growth and development and support the nervous system.

The best way to ensure you are getting enough b-vitamins is to eat foods rich in them such as whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, leafy greens, eggs, fish, poultry, dairy products and dark chocolate.

You may also find that taking a daily supplement containing B vitamins helps keep your body strong and healthy.

What are the benefits of using Shitake Mushrooms as Health Supplements?

The main benefit of using these mushrooms as health supplement is that they provide you with essential minerals and proteins that your body requires. This helps prevent diseases like osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and some cancers.

In addition, they also contain antioxidants that help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, which are harmful molecules produced when oxygen interacts with certain chemicals. Free radicals cause cell damage, making them responsible for aging and chronic diseases. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, protecting our bodies against oxidative stress and helping us live longer.

Moreover, they increase immunity and strengthen bones and joints. Studies show that people who eat a lot of mushrooms tend to suffer less from allergies  than those who don't consume any at all.

The health benefits of these mushrooms include:

  1. improved digestion,
  2. enhanced immunity,
  3. reduced inflammation,
  4. increased energy levels,
  5. improved sleep quality,
  6. decreased risk of heart disease,
  7. improved mood, and even
  8. improved sexual performance.

Blood Pressure and Cholesterol

Shitake mushrooms are an excellent source of potassium which is essential for maintaining normal heart function. Potassium also lowers blood pressure and reduces stress levels.

They contain a substance called lentinan which acts as a natural anti-inflammatory agent. This means that they help reduce inflammation in the body and therefore lower blood pressure.

Shitake mushrooms are an excellent source of protein and fiber. They also contain selenium which is known for its antioxidant properties. Selenium is essential for healthy thyroid function and is used by the body to produce T3 hormone. This hormone regulates metabolism and helps maintain normal blood pressure levels.

The fact that they are rich in vitamin D also makes them beneficial for those suffering from low blood pressure. Vitamin D increases calcium absorption and improves bone health.

They also contain antioxidants such as beta-glucans which help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.

It's been proven that these mushrooms can improve heart health and diabetes.

Natural Anti-Cancer Agent

Mushrooms contain compounds called polysaccharides that activate macrophages which kill tumor cells.
Mushrooms also contain substances that stimulate the immune system. This means that mushrooms can help prevent cancer and boost immunity against infections.
The fact that mushrooms are rich in antioxidants makes them useful for preventing heart disease and diabetes.
They may even protect against Alzheimer's disease.

Final Thought

In conclusion, mushrooms are actually pretty amazing. They contain lots of nutrients like B vitamins, vitamin D, iron, calcium, zinc, and selenium. In fact, they're packed with so many nutrients that they were recently ranked number two on the list of foods with the highest antioxidant content.
And because they're such a versatile food, they can be used in a variety of dishes from salads to soups to stir fries. So whether you want to add some flavor to your next meal or you're trying to boost your immune system, mushrooms are definitely worth adding to your diet.