Shiitake mushrooms are one of the most popular health promoting mushrooms in the world. For centuries they have been used for boosting the immune system, supporting heart health, helping with weight management, fighting cancer, and supporting healthy skin. The mushrooms originally only grew in the wild on fallen trees, specifically the Shii tree, in the forests of Japan. The wild mushrooms were so highly prized that only Samurai warriors were allowed to collect them.
High in choline, copper, potassium, vitamin D, and zinc, Shiitake mushrooms also boast all eight essential amino acids found in meat. They also host a wealth of compounds that contribute to their medicinal benefits.
Shiitake mushrooms possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and antiviral qualities that promote a healthy immune system. The lentinan in Shiitakes defends against a variety of bacterial, viral, and parasitic infections. The centinamycins in Shiitake mushrooms enhance antibacterial benefits, and the eritadenine possesses antiviral properties.
Shiitake & the Heart
The mushrooms help improve cardiovascular health. They contain eritadenine, which is a compound that decreases cholesterol in the blood. They also contain beta-glucans which diminishes inflammation and prevents intestinal cholesterol absorption. These compounds not only support heart health but also are responsible for maintaining a healthy weight. This can help obesity-related conditions like high cholesterol and metabolic syndrome.
Research shows that Shiitake mushrooms help fight cancer cells, and the lentinan in the mushroom helps heal chromosome damage caused by chemotherapy.
Shiitake & the Skin
Shiitake mushrooms have anti-inflammatory properties and selenium, which can help reduce acne and eczema. Selenium is a natural anti-acne treatment. The mushrooms are also high in vitamin D, which can help protect against environmental-related problems such as sun damage and wrinkles. They are high in zinc which can improve the skin’s ability to heal.
Interactions – There are no known interactions with Shiitake.