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Exceptional Facts about Shiitake Mushroom


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The Shiitake mushroom is a prized fungus that has been in existence for more than a thousand years. The mushrooms are rich in taste, but also possess numerous health benefits that only a daft person will refuse to acknowledge. This mushroom has several compounds that boost up immunity, combat cancer, and enhance overall health. This article explains the exceptional facts about Shiitake mushrooms. Read on!

Shiitake Mushroom

image source: Pixabay.com

What are Shiitake Mushrooms?

Shiitake mushrooms are edible fungi that are native to Asia. The name “Shiitake” was developed from Japanese words “Shii,”. That is the tree that looks like an oak. This is the tree where Shiitake mushrooms were first sighted. And “take” means “mushroom,” signifying that “Shiitake mushroom” means “mushrooms of the shii tree.” These mushrooms are revered for their Proterozoic genealogy as well as their health-boosting attributes. These health-enhancing properties have been discovered and unveiled over decades of ancient medicine. Shiitake mushrooms have no seeds, flowers, or leaves, and come with meaty textures. They are well loved for the smoky, earthy flavor they exhibit. This edible mushroom is currently the second most cultivated fungi in the world.

Nutritional profile

Shiitake mushrooms are rich in essential nutrients consisting of significant amounts of manganese, B vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and potassium. They also have iron as well as vitamins C and D in addition to dietary fiber. These fungi also have several potent antioxidants, which include phenols, alkaloids, and diterpenoids. Here are other parts of the nutritional profile of this remarkable health-enhancing and edible fungus:

  • Carbs: 11 grams
  • Calories: 44
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Copper:39% of the RDI
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Selenium: 10% of the RDI
  • Folate: 6% of the RDI
  • Niacin: 11% of the RDI
  • Riboflavin: 11% of the RDI

The mushroom contains terpenoids, lipids, polysaccharides, and sterols which are linked with anti-cancer and cholesterol-lowering effects. Meat and shiitake mushroom contain the same amount of amino acids.

What can shiitake mushrooms do for your health?

Shiitake mushrooms are used in two ways: as supplements – used in traditional Chinese medicine – or as whole foods. They are also used extensively in Korean, Japanese, and East Russian medicine. In traditional Chinese medicine, Shiitake mushrooms are alleged to boost longevity and sound health while improving circulation significantly. New studies have emerged which shows that the bioactive compounds found in this mushroom can fight against inflammation and cancer. But these studies have not been tested on humans, only with lab animals. Shiitake mushrooms contain a bioactive compound known as ergothioneine which provides potent regenerative, antioxidant properties.

Shiitake Mushroom

image source: Pixabay.com

Studies on the tasty fungi

Studies have shown that Shiitake mushroom contains a highly potent antifungal protein known as lentinan. It is believed that lentinan possesses the ability to combat cancer rigorously. The oral administration of this antifungal protein has been proven to hinder the development of small tumors. Lentinan has also contributed to the inhibition of the progress of HIV (human immunodeficiency syndrome). The same compound has also been clinically proven to inhibit the development of leukemic cells.

Wrap up

Shiitake mushroom is a healthy food that should be added to your diet as it has antibacterial, antitumor, and antiviral properties. They also contain essential compounds that boost up overall immune health.

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