Shiitake mushroom (Lentinula Edodes) is native to East Asia, although it is now cultivated across the world for medicinal and culinary purposes.
The term shiitake is a Japanese common name. It is based upon “Shii” tree where the mushroom grows on, Shiitake mushroom is known to be the King of all mushrooms or the mushroom of the emperor.
This is no accident because it has long been valued as the best way to activate life’s inner force that circulates in the body. Shiitake mushroom is also a symbol of longevity in Asia due to its health-promoting properties and its effectiveness in treating and preventing different conditions.
Some Known Benefits of Shiitake Mushroom
Helps Prevent Cancer
Lentinan is a compound that does not only boost the immune system, but also helps in preventing cancer. Studies also suggest that lentinan promotes anti-cancer activities.
It is capable of reducing the growth of cancer cells and prevents the existing ones from spreading.
The compound is also responsible for stimulating the immune system to release cells and proteins that will destroy the cancer cells. In particular, gastric cancer can be prevented with the help of shiitake mushroom.
Shiitake mushroom can help in handling cholesterol levels. The presence of cholesterol signifies that the compound settled in the artery walls.
This is often present in animal fat, which results in heart failure and stroke. Cholesterol greatly impacts blood flow by narrowing the blood vessels. Shiitake mushroom was found to be effective at countering the effects of cholesterol.
Eritadenine is a substance present in shiitake mushroom that helps decrease cholesterol in the body.
Research conducted in Japan discovered that the mushroom boosts cholesterol quantity within the feces, evidence that shows its effectiveness at removing the damaging compound.
Rich in B-Complex Vitamins
The mushroom is a good source of B-complex vitamins that benefits the metabolism by helping the body convert food into energy. It also helps the body make more red blood cells, giving protection against anemia. Four shiitake mushrooms have 1/7 of riboflavin, 1/5 niacin, and 1/6 vitamin B6.
Boosts the Immune System
Another good reason to eat shiitake mushroom is that fact that it effectively strengthens the immune system.
Another benefit of the compound lentinan is helping the immune system to fight infections and diseases efficiently. Shiitake mushroom is even believed to be more effective than prescription drugs. It helps the body fight against influenza and HIV.
Treats Skin Conditions
Shiitake mushroom is rich in antioxidant properties, which includes the capability to fight skin inflammations. It also helps combat and relieve different anti-inflammatory circumstances such as acne, eczema, and rosacea. When these antioxidants are combined with Vitamin D and selenium, the skin gets protection from damage caused by environmental conditions.
Helps Prevent Thrombosis
Regular consumption of shiitake mushroom can effectively prevent thrombosis or the condition that produces blood clots in the veins leading to a restricted blood flow. If you have been on a long flight where you had to sit for long periods of time, thrombosis is likely to take effect.
The condition often occurs in the veins of the legs and can be painful. With the help of lenthionine in shiitake mushroom, the platelets are prevented from aggregating.
Loaded with Iron
Iron is necessary to maintain a healthy body and shiitake mushroom is abundant with this mineral. Iron also enhances oxygen circulation through the blood.
This allows proper distribution of oxygen and nutrients to the muscle cells, brain, and other areas of the body. Iron is also helpful when dealing with anemia. If you are anemic due to pregnancy or menstruation, include shiitake mushroom in the diet, doing so will also help stop fatigue and enhance energy level.
Helps in Weight Loss
If you aim to lose weight, shiitake mushroom should be included in the diet. It contains very small amounts of calories and packed with dietary fiber, which slows down digestion. This will make you feel fuller for a long time.
It is no secret that shiitake mushroom is one of the healthiest food on earth. It has proven its benefits and effectiveness since the past until today.
Aside from being loaded with health and nutritional benefits, shiitake mushroom is unique because it is delicious with an earthy and nutty taste.
It also ranks third among the most widely distributed mushrooms in the world, the reason why it is very common in Asian cuisines. Adding the mushroom in the diet can greatly contribute to health in terms of preventing and curing some of the most common diseases.