The world has many mushroom types, among them being shiitake mushrooms. Knowing critical facts about shiitake mushrooms helps you appreciate the mushrooms.
Mushrooms make some of the best protein sources worldwide. With so many species in place to be enjoyed, people across the globe now fancy mushrooms. Shiitake mushrooms have their origin in Asia, although they are eaten worldwide as great vegetables. China, Singapore, the USA, and Canada are some of the nations that grow shiitake mushrooms on large scales for commercial purposes. Naturally, shiitake mushrooms would usually grow on hardwoods. In such conditions, these fungi have caps as big as 5-10cm. What’s more, shiitake mushrooms can be consumed when fresh or dry, and there are several dietary supplements made of shiitake. This article focuses on enlightening you about some facts that point to why shiitake mushrooms are good for you.
Arich nutritional profile
The lines of appreciation of most foods usually stem from their nutritional profiles and the compounds they contain. This is true for shiitake mushrooms which have a rich nutritional profile, hence good for you. These fungi are generally low when it comes to calorie content, yet high in other nutrients. For instance, shiitake mushrooms are rich in copper, a mineral your body needs as part of the macronutrients. Interestingly, for you to be healthy and keep your immune system and the blood vessels healthy, copper minerals are needed. Yet, if you took only half the normal-sized cup of shiitake mushrooms, you will be providing your body with about 75% of its daily needs for copper. These mushrooms also contain carbs, selenium, manganese, vitamin D, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B5, and zinc.
Other critical components of the shiitake mushrooms
The nutrients and minerals mentioned above are not all there is for shiitake mushrooms. There are other compounds in the mushrooms which are good for you, and making shiitake mushrooms good for your body. For instance, if a person took beef and another took shiitake mushrooms, the two individuals will have almost the same types and amounts of amino acids Sterols, terpenoids, polysaccharides, and lipids. Any mushroom has bioactive compounds, but these vary depending on the modes of growth, cooking, and storage for these mushrooms. What’s more, the bioactive compounds help keep the cholesterol levels in check, boost a person’s immunity, and for lowering the risk of cancer and managing it.
How to use shiitake mushrooms
Shiitake mushrooms are basically popular for two primary uses explained below;
Shiitake mushrooms for food
This is the number one reason why people worldwide cherish shiitake mushrooms. They are cooked as great vegetables using different cooking methods for a culture. Whether dry or fresh, you can enjoy shiitake mushrooms. The mushrooms have a unique umami taste when cooked. Both fresh and dried shiitake mushrooms have the umami taste, only that this flavor is more pronounced when preparing the dried shiitake mushrooms. For the experts in the kitchen, shiitake mushrooms are a great dish that goes along with stews, salads, stir-fries, and many other dishes.
Shiitake mushrooms as supplements
Besides being used as food, the shiitake mushrooms have yet another use for which they have become popular. These mushrooms can be used in making supplements. Although studies regarding the use of mushrooms as supplements are only at the preliminary steps, researchers appreciate this fact. In fact, the use of shiitake mushrooms for supplements stems from traditional medicine whereby the Chinese, Koreans, Russians, and Japanese have used the mushrooms to boost people’s immune systems and supposedly enhance longevity. Some studies even claim that the supplements from these mushrooms could have anticancer properties since the bioactive compounds in the mushrooms have some unique qualities which may contribute to this line of appreciation. The only challenge as of now is that most studies have focused on animals and have been conducted in test tubes. Although some of these might yield results and appear promising, there is no guarantee that the same will be experienced when the supplements are used on human beings.
Other health benefits linked to shiitake mushrooms
Besides their use as food and supplements, shiitake mushrooms have other claimed health benefits. Of course, most of these need further studies, but we do well to appreciate them. They include;
It May be good for heart health
Heart disease is at the top of the list of the world’s top killer diseases, making it a growing concern every other day. Some studies claim that because of the eratidinin compound present in shiitake mushrooms, they may help reduce cholesterol levels in the heart, thereby lowering the risk for heart disease. Beta-glucans are also great, especially when it comes to fighting inflammation and stopping a person’s intestines from taking in cholesterol. Shiitake mushrooms have beta-glucans, and scientists keep exploring options through which they could be used in lowering heart disease risk.
It May be good for cancer treatment
Polysaccharides are among the many bioactive compounds that can be reaped from shiitake mushrooms. These are thought to possess anticancer properties, which is why India, Japan, and China are now using the compounds alongside chemotherapy for cancer treatment. Leptin is yet another bioactive compound in shiitake mushrooms, and this has been found to fight tumor development. Shiitake mushrooms are also a great boost for the immune system and this is especially good for cancer improvement since the disease attacks a person’s immunity.
Shiitake mushrooms are good for your immunity
The immune system is the body’s sole defender, and having a weakened immune system means that the body is vulnerable to attacks. Shiitake mushrooms have various ways of boosting the immune system, which is why you should consider including them in your diet. Inflammation and oxidative stress are the leading causes of most illnesses as they paralyze the immune system. The bioactive compounds in shiitake mushrooms can fight both inflammation and oxidative stress, strengthening the immune system
It May have antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties
Some studies now link the bioactive compounds in shiitake mushrooms to fighting viruses, fungi, and bacteria in the body. Further studies are needed in this field, especially now that bacteria are becoming more resistant. Scientists believe that shiitake mushrooms could have antimicrobial properties, which will be verified through studies.
Shiitake mushrooms are among the most popular mushrooms worldwide. This article examines why these mushrooms might be good for you. Shiitake mushrooms have a rich nutritional profile, thus providing an array of nutrients and minerals whenever eaten. They also have the ability to fight inflammation, which boosts immunity. There are claims that shiitake mushrooms could be having antimicrobial, antiviral, anticancer, and antifungal properties, but all these are under study.