Shiitake mushrooms are brown-colored mushrooms that have slightly convex caps that are about two to four inches in diameter. As a kind of fungi, it belongs to the basidiomycete family. They are also known by their scientific name as Lentinus edodes, and more recently, Lentinula edodes. Shiitake mushrooms are many therapeutic uses and are part of a group of mushrooms called medicinal mushrooms. Shiitake medicinal mushrooms are used in natural mushroom supplements sold in the nutraceutical market and through health food stores.
Their name ?shiitake? comes from the Japanese words ?shii? referring to a tree where the mushroom usually grows, and ?take? meaning mushroom. It is also called ?Black Forest Mushroom,? referring to a German mountain range where they also naturally grow.
Shiitake mushrooms have long been a symbol of longevity in Asia because of its benefits for the health. Medicinally, it has been used in China for over 6,000 years. Recently, Shiitake mushrooms are becoming part of the American cuisine as well because of its smoky and rich flavor. Shiitake medicinal mushrooms are also popular in medicinal mushroom supplement formulations.
These exotic mushrooms can now be found in supermarkets all year round. Like any other mushroom, Shiitake is quite delicious. Mushrooms are often thought of and prepared as a vegetable, but the fact is that it is a fungus. It is a kind of organism which does not have leaves, seeds, flowers, nor roots. If you are looking to use Shiitake mushrooms for their therapeutic and health benefits it is best to use a mushroom supplement, which gives you daily measured doses of the mushroom, as well as consume them as part of your diet.
Vitamins and Minerals from Shiitake Mushrooms
Shiitake mushrooms, along with Maitake and Reishi mushrooms are among those which are called ?medicinal mushrooms.? This is because of its long history of being used medicinally in places in Asia such as China.
When people think about mushrooms, they do not see it as a staple in the diets for its nutritional content. But in fact, mushrooms are vitamin B rich. They are also a very good source of pantothenic acid, vitamin B2, B6, niacin, folate, and choline. As for the minerals, they are also an excellent source of copper and selenium, zinc, and manganese. Other than that, Shiitake mushrooms are also known to be a very good source of iron.
These are only some of the vitamins and minerals you can get from Shiitake mushrooms. It is important, though, not to overcook them so as not to lose the valuable nutrients from it. The ideal thing would be to saute the mushrooms for just seven minutes, bringing out the best flavors while getting the best nutrients.
Shiitake Mushrooms Aid Against Cardiovascular Diseases
In recent studies, Shiitake mushrooms have been found to help in protecting the heart against various cardiovascular diseases. This is because it prevents a build-up of immune cell binding around the lining of the blood vessels. For the immune cells to bind on the linings, there are particular molecules called adhesion molecules that need to be produced. Shiitake mushrooms help in protecting the blood vessels by blocking the production process of adhesion molecules.
Another benefit from the Shiitake mushrooms is it can reduce cholesterol. Shiitake medicinal mushrooms have d-Eritadenine or DEA, an unusual but naturally occurring nutrient in the mushroom that has shown to be helpful in lowering bad cholesterol. This nutrient is from adenine which is one of the building blocks in the DNA of the Shiitake mushrooms. There are also beta-glucans in the Shiitake mushrooms that helps in contributing in the lowering of cholesterol levels.
Shiitake Mushrooms?are an Anti-Oxidant
Shiitake mushrooms also help in antioxidant support. Clogged arteries begin with chronic oxidative stress. What happens here is an ongoing oxygen-based damage being done to the blood vessel linings. When this happens, the arteries get clogged, and there will be problems with the blood vessels. To prevent this from happening, it is important to maintain a diet that is rich in antioxidant nutrients. And yes, shiitake mushrooms are rich in these.
Shiitake Mushrooms Support the Immune System
There have been studies that have shown that shiitake mushrooms have the ability to help in stimulating the immune system responses. What this means is that with the aid of Shiitake mushrooms, the immune system is given a boost when needed, and also it can cut back on its activity when not in need. This is a good thing with Shiitake mushrooms because it gives support to the immune system when necessary.
An interesting area when it comes to the effect of Shiitake mushrooms in the immune system is in the immune cells that are called macrophages. These macrophages are the ones responsible for clearing off potential cancer cells from the body. In order to do this, they need first to be activated in a certain way. This is where the Shiitake mushrooms come in. They help in activating the macrophage cells and do a better job at the clearing of the potential cancer cells. Shiitake mushrooms enhance the anti-cancer immunity of the body. For this reason, Shiitake medicinal mushrooms are commonly found in Immune support mushroom supplements.
Shiitake Mushrooms Can Prevent Cancer
With all its vitamins and nutrients, adding Shiitake mushrooms to your diet can help in preventing certain cancers such as prostate, breast, and colon cancers. Shiitake mushrooms have components that are known to be able to block the growth of tumors. Research has?discovered that these components could trigger apoptosis or cell death in cancer cells. These components are collectively referred to as anti-tumor mycochemicals. Not only that, studies have shown that Shiitake mushrooms also have a variety of non-polysaccharide substances that have anti-tumor capabilities.
There is plenty of ongoing research about the benefits of shiitake mushrooms and other medicinal mushrooms like the Cordyceps, Reishi and Chaga mushrooms. These are the most popular medicinal mushrooms used today, all of which have also been used in traditional medicine for 1,000’s years. The new level of research being put into medicinal mushroom research is extensive and gives modern day validity to the use of mushrooms as medicine. Even with what we know right now, we can see the many benefits for our health and well-being. With the continuing?back up of research and medicinal studies conducted in the USA and across the world, more and more health benefits are being confirmed.?
If you are serious about using Shiitake mushrooms to improve?your health or prevent disease you should make sure you get a good daily dosage so you can maintain consistency. Doing this ensures you get the most benefit out of the Shiitake power. You can buy many medicinal mushroom supplements online that contain Shiitake mushrooms and other potent kinds of medicinal mushrooms. Some supplements are pure Shiitake and some are a combination of mushrooms developed specifically to aid specific therapeutic and health benefits.?The mushrooms sold on Myco-Meds.com are made in the USA, approved and sold throughout the USA and worldwide.
Cooking with?Shiitake mushrooms is another way of getting Shiitake goodness into your body but it is less accurate than taking a supplement capsule and it may take a while to get used to the taste. Once you get used to cooking with them they are delicious though! A seven-minute sautee of the Shiitake mushrooms can add flavors to your meal without losing the precious vitamins and minerals. You can gradually include Shiitake mushrooms to your diet. This mushroom, being available in supermarkets all year round, can easily be integrated into your diet.
However you decide to get your Shiitake intake, do not forget to consult with your physician beforehand. You don’t want to find yourself with an allergic reaction or a drug interaction with prescription medication.?It is always best to get the advice of your physician before introducing anything new to your system.