Effects of Shiitake mushroom*

Shiitake Mushroom Effects:

Originally cultivated in Japan, Shiitake mushrooms are classified in the genus castantonopis, known as “shi” in Japanese. Shiitake mushrooms are visually classified based on their brown color, umbrella-shaped cap and cream stem, and unique texture. The mushroom’s delicious, velvety flavor ranks it as one of the most widely harvested worldwide. More than a great taste, shiitake is recognized for its immense benefits. This popular mushroom dates back thousands of years and was used in ancient Chinese herbalism as a health tonic.*

You may have first heard of “shiitake” on TV when an actor replaced the word with a common verb expression or phrase used by parents or family friends. Fast forward over a decade and this mushroom has become a favorite cooking fungus in the culinary world. Shiitake goes well with so many dishes from pasta, pizza, rice dishes. It’s a very pleasant surprise that this versatile mushroom can also contribute to many health benefits.* Whether you decide to cook with Shiitake or use it as a supplement, here are a few reasons why it’s worth including in your arsenal your health.*

Shiitake for the cardiovascular system*

One factor to consider for heart health is dietary fiber levels.* When people think of fiber, they may immediately think of powdered supplements that dissolve in water. It’s a pleasant surprise that these buttery mushrooms can also be a source of dietary fiber.* Shiitake’s fibrous nature can be a great addition to a healthy diet and exercise routine.*

Shiitake mushrooms also contain vitamin D.* Vitamin D is an important nutrient for supporting heart health and bone health.* On days when you’re not enjoying the sun’s rays, consider soaking some shiitake in your favorite sauce to support your vitamin D levels.*

Shiitake for Immune Support:*

Mushrooms are often touted for their immune support properties. This umami mushroom can also help support a healthy immune system.* Shiitake is one of the most widely known adaptogens, in part because of its culinary demand. Adaptogens help support the body’s natural processes and maintain homeostasis. During times of occasional stress, adaptogens serve as a cushion for a healthy immune response within normal limits.* Shiitake mushrooms are sourced as one of our ten ingredients Daily Ten Tinctureour tincture made to help support immune function and overall wellness.*

Shiitake also contains polysaccharides, a carbohydrate that when properly extracted can contribute to a healthy immune response.* Fun fact: the polysaccharide that builds the cell wall of shiitake is known as chitin, which for some can make the mushroom a little difficult to digest, so always cook Shiitake mushrooms and chew well! The most common healthy polysaccharides found in mushrooms are beta-glucans. A beta-glucan in the body of the shiitake fruit is Lentinan (B-1,3-glucan), which may contribute to its immune support properties.* If you’re curious about beta-glucans, read on our post explaining some common beta-glucans found in mushrooms.

Shiitake and essential amino acids:*

For vegetarians and vegans, shiitake holds its greatest interest, and not just for its meaty texture.* Shiitake contains 18 amino acids, giving it the ability to potentially support the body’s amino acid reserve.*

100 grams of shiitake mushroom has 6.7 grams of arginine, an essential amino acid found in fish and poultry and eggs. Just four mushrooms contain over a gram and a half of protein, a dense amount for plant matter!*

Shiitake promotes metabolic function:*

Shiitake may help support healthy metabolic function.* The abundant mushrooms contain B vitamins such as pantothenic acid (B5) that may help promote good metabolic function.* Pantothenic acid is an active component of a metabolic enzyme (coenzyme A), an enzyme that may be essential for a healthy metabolism.* Vitamin B is often supplemented in vegetarian diets, and these mushrooms may provide additional support to a daily B supplement.*

Shiitake, as previously mentioned, can be a source of vitamin D.* Vitamin D plays a role in the metabolism of certain nutrients such as calcium.*

Take away:

This delicious mushroom is growing as a kitchen staple and it’s great to know about its benefits. Shiitake’s effects in supporting the maintenance of a healthy body vary widely.* The next time you’re at the store, you might want to consider getting your hands on this wholesome junk.

Author: Melody Pezeshkian

More information:

DOI: 10.1016/S0065-2164(08)70595-1

doi: 10.3390/nu6020650

Doi: 10.1080/01904160701555093

PMCID: PMC1057970

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