Shiitake Mushroom, Food or Medicine?


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Shiitake mushroom is a genus of fungus native of east Asia, particularly Japan and China. For many years Shiitake mushroom has had an outstanding value among Japanese people. Because of its numerous beneficial effects on health, it has a significant role in Japanese cuisine. Traditional Chinese herbalists have been using this mushroom as a cure for many illnesses for centuries. It has both dietary and medicinal use in Japan. However, nowadays, many people in other countries use it as medicine. Since this mushroom is one of the primary ingredients of many supplements, I will share some information about this Japanese miracle with you in this blog post.

Shiitake Mushrooms are good for you because:

They may enhance your immune system.

According to a study, Shiitake can improve the immune system and decrease inflammation in the body. In this study, researchers found out that benchmarks immune can improve by consuming two dried shiitake mushrooms daily. Researchers believe that this anti-inflammation property might happen because of the particular polysaccharides in this mushroom. Furthermore, another study on mice has shown that using supplements driven from Shiitake can decrease the damages that occur to the immune system as the body ages.

They may support your heart’s health.

According to the experience of Chinese and Japanese herbalists, shiitake mushrooms can boost your heart’s health. Researchers propound different reasons to prove this quality of Shiitake.

First, this mushroom includes components that can help reduce bad cholesterol. Elements like Eritadenine, Sterols, and Beta-glucans, exist in this mushroom. Other studies show that using the Shiitake mushroom can lower the blood pressure and consequently aid the heart. Additionally, another study on mice proves that this mushroom can positively affect the fatty liver and vessel blocks due to fat plaques in the blood. However, there haven’t been any studies on humans.

It may have anti-cancer quality.

As I mentioned earlier, shiitake mushroom includes particular polysaccharides that can positively affect the immune system.

Excitingly, the stimulation of the immune system happening due to these particular polysaccharides can reduce tumor growth. In Japan and China, they use the extract of this mushroom along with other therapies like chemotherapy to stop the spread and growth of some cancers such as leukemia. However, there is no adequate evidence to prove its anti-cancer properties on humans.

It can make your bones stronger.

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin for our body since it has notable effects on skeletal strengthening, mental health, and the immune system. Unfortunately, few natural sources can support our bodies’ vitamin D. One of the natural sources of this vitamin is mushrooms. Shiitake mushroom contains a notable amount of vitamin D that can help to strengthen the body, reduce depression, and have a more robust skeleton. Nevertheless, you should note that Shiitake contains only vitamin D2, and for having healthy bones, you need to consume an adequate amount of D3, too. Natural sources for vitamin D3 are fatty fish.

Shiitake Mushrooms can be Bad for you:

I believe that everything we consume has some side effects. Since our bodies are different and have different histories, they react differently to consuming things. Although Shiitake has had a positive impact on plenty of people, some rare side effects have been reported. For instance, in some people, it can cause a dermatic problem like skin rash if touched rawly by bare hands. In some other cases, it can cause stomach upsets and digestive problems. Its extract may also increase the sensitivity to sunlight.

To make a long story short; this miraculous Japanise fungus can have some side effects. Nevertheless, it is less notable compared to its benefits for the body.

Shiitake as food:

Unlike reishi mushrooms and Lion’s Maine, you can use shiitake mushrooms as food. To do so, you’d better buy the sold ones rather than sliced ones. Remember to remove the tough stems because they won’t get any softer even after cooking. You can wash and cook them like any other mushrooms. For example, you can saute them and use them over your stake or spaghetti; you can also boil them in hot water and use them in different vegan dishes.

In Japanese cuisine, it is common to use dried Shiitake. You can search for some Japanese recipes if you are a fan of Japanese cuisine.

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