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What Are The Benefits Of Shiitake Mushrooms?

December 30, 2016

What Are The Benefits Of Shiitake Mushrooms?

For hundreds of years, the humble shiitake mushroom has been a dietary staple for the people of China and Japan. More recently, their popularity has exploded everywhere else. The shiitake is the third most widely cultivated mushroom, and the second most popular in the entire world. So much so that they can be found in restaurants and grocery stores, flying off the shelves due to their smoky and meaty flavor.

But is their culinary flexibility or taste the primary reason for their popularity? Not at all! People talk about superfoods, and the shiitake has health benefits that are both real and numerous. These small fungi can keep you healthier, allow you to live longer, and they are ridiculously easy to incorporate into your diet. Read on to learn what the shiitake can do for you.

  • In 2011, a very promising study was performed by The Journal of Obesity. For 6 weeks, rats were fed a diet high in fat. Some of those rats were also given powdered shiitake mushroom, and it was found that the rats that ingested the powdered mushrooms had lower weight gains of 35%. Shiitakes have fat reducing components, like eritadenine and the dietary fiber b-glucan. Both of these naturally help to reduce weight gain in the body. As a result, it suggests that one of the best ways to lose weight is by not gaining it in the first place.
  • One of the best ways to stay healthy is by not getting sick, and the best way to do that is to have a strong immune system. Shiitake mushrooms act as an immune system booster by providing enzymes, vitamins, and minerals the body needs to keep operating at peak efficiency. Researchers have also determined that these fungi have the ability to reduce inflammation, boost functions in cell effectors, and increase stomach immunity.
  • Cancer is the second highest cause of death in the United States, and over 560,000 people will die of it. As scary as those numbers are, take heart by the fact that the shiitake is an effective and natural cancer fighter. Researchers believe they may be able to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. They also appear to have the ability to heal damage caused to chromosomes as a result of cancer treatments.
  • As we become older, our cardiovascular health can become more and more of a concern. But there’s more good news, and it’s from a study performed by scientists at Japan’s Tohoku University. These researchers fed shiitake mushrooms to rats, and they discovered that the rats experienced a decrease in both VLDL and HDL cholesterol. That’s because, first of all, shiitakes have sterol compounds that work to interfere with the production of cholesterol within the liver. Second, they have powerful phytonutrients that prevent cells from clinging to the walls of blood vessels, which can create plaque buildup. As a result, blood pressure remains low and blood circulation improves.

It’s amazing to ponder the numerous benefits hidden within the shiitake mushroom. Join us tomorrow, and we’ll share more incredible health benefits.