Different types of mushrooms grow in different parts of the world. Some mushrooms are poisonous while others are not. Non- poisonous mushrooms have been found to possess numerous health benefits. The Japanese first discovered the Maitake mushroom, where it got its name ‘Maitake,’ meaning ‘dancing mushroom.’ It is also known as Grifola frondose. People were so happy to discover that this mushroom had so many health benefits and could cure diseases. Happy dances accompanied the discovery, hence the name mushroom maitake.
Maitake mushroom grows on oak and Elm, where it forms large clumps on their stems and roots. Originally, it grew wild before people domesticated it. However, the tame ones do not thrive well compared to the wild ones. Chinese and Japanese had used this mushroom for a long time before it gained popularity in other parts like the Americas. Initially, it was used in different recipes for its unique taste before discovering its medicinal purposes. Today, it is used in many parts of the world to cure and prevent different diseases. This blog will discuss the benefits of the Maitake mushroom, precautions on its use, different ways of serving this food, and how it can be stored.
Curing of cancer.
Maitake mushrooms can suppress the growth of cancerous tumors. It can also inhibit the reproduction of those cells, making cancer not spread to different parts of the body. It contains an extract called D-fraction, which possesses this great ability. It has been more effective in the healing of breast cancer and the cancer of reproductive organs.
Lowers cholesterol in the body.
Maitake can be dried and later crushed into powder. The research was conducted on the effect this powder had on mice. It lowered the level in mice. Although the research was not conducted on humans, researchers suggested that it would have the same effects. Lowering the cholesterol in the body decreases the chances of heart attack and other heart diseases. Maitake contains no fats and cholesterol making it safe.
Treatment of low and high blood pressure.
Maitake mushroom is rich in antioxidants. These antioxidants are capable of healing low blood pressure and high blood pressure. There is a need for more scientific research to support this claim.
Improves immune system.
This mushroom is rich in vitamins B and C and antioxidants. Vitamins C assists the body in fighting germs in the body. It also protects the body against attacks from diseases. Antioxidants found in maitake have antibiotics and antiviral properties. They protect the body from both viral and bacterial diseases. Less attack by diseases helps to maintain a strong immune system.
Improves digestive system.
Grifola frondose contains high fiber content. Fiber is essential in the digestion of food. It also eases constipation through the smooth movement of the bowel. The mushroom also contains beta-glucans, a source of soluble fiber that improves digestion and lowers cholesterol levels in the body. Patients with irritable bowel syndrome showed improvement after using this mushroom.
Treatment of type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition in which the body fails to regulate sugars in the body. It leads to the accumulation of sugars in the bloodstream. A study was conducted showing positive effects on rats with this condition. It reduced glucose levels in rats that consumed more of this mushroom. These findings suggested that it would have the same effect on humans with the same condition.
Treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome.
(PCOS) is a female hormonal disorder that is characterized by prolonged menstrual periods or irregular production of eggs. Maitake has been used to improve this condition. A study showed that taking this mushroom thrice a day for three months improved ovulation cycles in such patients. More research is needed to support this finding.
- Maitake mushroom has a blood-thinning effect. People with a bleeding disorder should be careful as it may worsen their condition. Those who have had recent surgery should also refrain from eating this mushroom for at least two weeks.
- Avoid eating too old mushrooms. Old ones are difficult to digest. The young ones are easily digested and absorbed in the body even when eaten raw. Digestibility can be improved by cooking them. However, avoid overcooking them since they may lose their nutrients.
- Those who have diabetes and high blood pressure should consult their doctors before eating the mushroom. This mushroom has effects on blood sugar in the body and also on blood pressure.
- There has not been enough research on the effects of this mushroom on pregnant and nursing mothers. Therefore, consultation for these groups is required before eating maitake.
Different ways to serve Maitake mushrooms.
- Maitake can be cooked and served in different ways. It can be added to any food as it has a special aroma that improves food taste.
- It can be dried and later crushed into powder. This powder can be added to drinking water or in soup.
- Maitake mushrooms can be added to salads.
- Chewing it raw is among the major way in which this mushroom is eaten. Less exposure or no exposure to heat ensures that all the nutrients are not interfered with.
- Maitake has also been processed into capsules and into liquid supplements that are stored in bottles.
The best way to store this mushroom is by refrigeration. Ensure it is covered with paper to prevent it from attracting smells from other foods. Dry it and crush it into fine powder. Store it in air-tight cans.
The bottom line
Maitake mushroom has been effectively used to treat various diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and high blood pressure. Others use it to boost their immunity. It is also believed to have the ability to fight mental disorders. This mushroom is rich in copper, potassium, fiber, minerals, and amino acids essential in the body. More scientific research is being conducted on other health benefits connected to the mushroom. Some special groups such as lactating mothers and pregnant mothers should seek advice before eating it.
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