6 Powerful Health Benefits of Shiitake Mushrooms

This week we welcome the Founder of Tiny Plantation, Ella Wilson, to the blog! In this post she shares the major health benefits of shiitake mushrooms.

Shiitake mushrooms have for years been a popular source of food in Asian culture. They are said to be the third most widely cultivated and second most popular mushroom that are edible in the world due to their versatile and meaty flavor. Shiitake mushrooms are known to have antibacterial, antiviral as well as antifungal properties, as well as many chemical compounds which provide protection of the DNA from oxidative damage. Read on to get the full list of health benefits from this powerful superfood!

1. Fights Obesity

Shiitake mushrooms have certain components that have hypolipidaemic effects (aka fat-reducing), for instance eritadenine and b-glucan which are also found in oats, barley, and rye. B-glucan is known to increase satiety, reduce food intake and also reduce plasma lipid (fat) levels. When shiitake mushroom is added to a high-fat diet, it can largely help in the deposition of fat and prevent the gaining of body weight.

2. Fights Cancer

Fighting against cancer and other chronic diseases is one of the most known benefits of shiitake mushrooms. It helps fight cancer cells by healing chromosome damage that is caused by the dangerous cells. Its ability to perform the task has been proven in laboratories, in which a component known as lentinan drawn from shiitake mushrooms has potent anti-tumor abilities. This component has also been approved and used in the making of drugs that extend human life, as well as making an improvement in the quality of life for all patients getting conventional cancer therapy. The characteristics that make shiitake mushrooms a cancer-fighting component are likely to be as a result of its ability to boost the immune system, which leads us to the next point.

3. Boosts the Immune System

Mushrooms have been known to have the capacity of boosting the immune system of individuals and combating many diseases by means of providing important minerals, vitamins, and enzymes. Shiitake mushrooms are vital in improving cell effector function, gut immunity as well as reduction of inflammation that occurs in the body.

4. Lowers Cholesterol

Shiitake mushrooms are very important in fighting heart disease, by lowering cholesterol and reducing blood pressure. There are compounds such as beta-glucans and eritadenine derived from these mushrooms that have been proven to lower cholesterol in a human body. Beta-glucans are forms of fiber that are soluble and are said to have high concentrations in shiitake mushrooms. It is known to interfere with cholesterol absorption in the blood stream. Eritadenine, which is an amino acid, is known to lower some lipid levels by simply making an alteration of how they are being produced by the liver. Some researchers have studied the effect of individuals with high cholesterol taking shiitake mushrooms and found they can reduce cholesterol levels anywhere from 7 to 10 percent.

5. Boosts Energy and Brain Function

Shiitake mushrooms are perfect sources for B vitamins, which are needed in a person’s body for adrenal function. They also convert nutrients from food consumed into usable energy, and can balance hormones naturally. Finally,they can also help maintain clear focus and brain function. 

6. Provides Vitamin D

Vitamin D is majorly known to come from the sun, but shiitake mushrooms are also known to provide a good source of this vital mineral. It maintains bone health as well as decreases the risks of heart disease, autoimmune diseases, diabetes and some cancer types. It is also helpful in the absorption and metabolism of phosphorus and calcium. Vitamin D can also maintain a healthy body weight, proper brain function depending on your age, immune system support, reduce arthritis in women and reduce the risk for multiple sclerosis.

In conclusion, these are just a few of the well-known benefits that shiitake mushrooms can have. There are other benefits such as maintaining healthy skin, as its components can help reduce the severity of acne and scarring. When compared to other mushroom types, it is seen to have some great benefits, and that is why it's recommended for all people to try. You can consume via Shiitake Mushroom Powder, or try growing at home!

About the Author

Ella Wilson is the founder of TinyPlantation.com. With a great interest in plants and gardens, and a fascination with fruits and vegetables, she shares her passion through her website. You can reach out to her anytime if you have questions here.

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