Shiitake mushrooms (Lentinula edodes) is a wonderfully delicious ingredient that is popular in many different types of Asian cuisine. Not only is it known for its taste, but for the nutritional and health benefits.
Shiitake are low in calories, rich in fiber, and provide a good balance of B vitamins and several other minerals.
Due to the nutritional value of shiitake; it has been used in traditional East Asian medicine for many centuries. For example in Chinese medicine, it is believed that shiitake helps boost health, longevity, and improves circulation.
Even outside of Asian medicine; you can find a variety of different supplements containing shiitake even at your local grocery store like Whole Foods.
There have been many studies all by different groups claiming several health benefits that come from digesting shiitake regularly. Despite all of the research and findings there still hasn't been any official conclusion, but the majority of findings point in a positive direction!
Shiitake is believed to:
- Aid in heart health due to helping lower cholesterol and blood pressure
- Boosting your immune system because of the antioxidants within them
- Lower the risk of gingivitis or other build-up of bad bacteria in the mouth due to the antimicrobial properties within the mushroom.
- Help fight against cancer cells by inhibiting the growth of tumor cells (2006 study by the Journal of Alternative and Complementary medicine)
- Help with weight loss
- Improve brain function and energy levels
- Strengthen your bones
- Improve the nutritional state of individuals who are vitamin deficient
- and much more.
That's a long list of great potential benefits! While research on the health benefits are definitely promising, there still needs to be much more studies and testing done.
But as far as the facts are concrete; shiitake mushrooms are low in calories, contain plenty of vitamins, minerals and most importantly taste AMAZING!
All in all, they are a great addition to your diet and incorporating more shiitake mushrooms into your lifestyle is our life's mission!