Shiitake Ingredient Overview

Shiitake mushrooms have gained their popularity in Japan, but what makes them so special? Throughout the article, we’ll explain shiitake mushroom and their health benefits. That way, you’ll get a clear perspective on how the mushrooms can aid in improving your long term health. 

What is Shiitake Mushrooms?

Shiitake mushrooms are found in East Asia. They are known for their dark brown to tan appearance and have caps that can grow up to 2-4 inches tall. While the mushrooms are eaten like vegetables, they are fungi that grows from decayed hardwood trees. 

Approximately 83% of shiitake mushrooms grow in Japan. However, other countries such as China, Singapore, Canada, and the United States produce them. You can find shiitake mushrooms in dried, fresh, or additional dietary supplements. 

Shiitake mushrooms have a long history in East Asia, with people collecting the wild mushrooms for medical purposes. In China, people would cultivate shiitake mushrooms 1,000-1,200 years ago, where the mushrooms were originally called shanku or dongo. 

If you’re looking for a shiitake mushroom subsitute, try out portobello mushrooms. They have a similar flavor and has a firm texture; just like shiitake mushrooms.

Shiitake Mushroom Health Benefits

Promotes Cardiovascular Health & Less Prostate Cancer

Did you know that a bowl of shiitake broth is good for your heart? Based on a study conducted by Tohoku University, it is reported that having shiitake mushrooms is a great way to reduce prostate cancer. 

In another study, they have found that shiitake mushrooms can prevent blood pressure found in hypertensive rats. The mushrooms have a chemical component named sterols that controls how your liver produces cholesterol. 

The study reported that using shiitake mushrooms decreases the  HDL and VLDL cholesterol stored within ones body. Thus, making it a great choice if you’re trying to get your cardio health back on track. 

Great Source of Vitamin D

Shiitake mushrooms and vitamind d go hand and hand. While the sun is the best from of light energy, you can get a sufficient amount of Vitamin D from eating shiitake mushrooms. Vitamin D is an important ingredient in teeth and bone formation. Plus, it is effective at minimizing the risk of autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes. 

Reduces Cancer

Research has shown that shiitake mushroom powder is good at eliminating cancer cells. Lentinan, which is a primary chemical component in mushrooms, is reported to restore your damaged chromosones that’s made by cancer treatments. 

In 2006, a research group created a study on the effectiveness of ethyl acetate that’s made from shiitake mushrooms. The results showed that the mushroom was capable of preventing tumor cell growth via microchemical actions. 

In addition, shiitake mushrooms are able to have apoptosis, which is a process where cell death is programmed. Based on its results, shittake mushrooms can be a natural remedy for cancer. 

Enhances Immune System

One of organic shiitake mushroom benefits is that it enhances the immune system. It includes enzymes, minerals, and vitamins used to make the shiitake mushroom an immune booster. 

Based on an American College of Nutrition study, test subjects were prompted to consume 5-10grams of shiitake mushrooms daily. The results shown that consuming shiitake mushrooms is great at improving your cell-effector functions and gut immunity. It also shows that consistent shiitake mushroom consumption will aid in reducing gut inflammation. 

Increases Brain Functions and Energy

Shiitake mushroom extract contains a great source of B vitamins. They also help with converting your food into energy. In addition, shiitake mushrooms can be used to enhance your cognitive functions. 

Based on the dried shiitake mushrooms nutrition facts, they can solve a vitamin B deficiency that most Americans tend to face. A lack of vitamin B can lead to cloudy thinking, unhealthy blood cells, and energy slums amongst other health symptoms. 

Can You Eat Shiitake Mushrooms Raw?

Shiitake mushrooms is safe to eat raw. While you can eat them raw, you’ll experience their full flavor when it’s cooked. In general, mushrooms contain toxins that can be eliminated if cooked. Cooking helps bring out more nutrition and flavor in your mushrooms. 

If you do plan on eating them raw, be prepared for any upcoming health effects. Other species might have enzymes that can lead to stomach problems. Fortunately, these ailments can be rendered obsolete when you start cooking them. 

However, you cannot eat the stems of shiitake mushrooms. This mushroom is fibrous and tough, making them difficult to be eaten. That’s why you’ll have to remove the stems before planning on cooking shiitakes.

Here are some raw shiitake mushroom nutrition facts:

  • Protein: 2.5 grams
  • Calories: 34 
  • Carbohydrates: 7 grams
  • Sugar: 2 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams

As you can see, shiitake mushroom is a great ingredient for those concerned with its health. While it is low on sugar, is has enough protein and carbs to provide a sufficient source of energy. 

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