Are Maitake Mushrooms an Amazing Cure? (Plus 1 Awesome Recipe)

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If you are generally interested in mushrooms and the benefit they could have, you are going to love the maitake mushroom. This mushroom is used as a medicinal mushroom and it’s very popular in Asia, mostly in Japan. It could be used as an addition to meals or in form of supplements.

What Is a Maitake Mushroom

“Maitake” in the Japanese language means dancing. The story behind its name is interesting. In the past, when people would go out hunting for food, if they stumbled upon this mushroom in the forest and the wild they would dance out of happiness
The maitake mushroom is also an adaptogen. Adaptogens are helpful in cases where our bodies are dealing with some form of mental or physical difficulty. They can also aid in regulating body systems that have become unbalanced. The mushroom also tastes great, and even if it didn’t have any health benefits it would probably still be used in culinary.

They are native to wilder parts of Japan, China, and North America. It can usually be found near Oak, Elm, and Maple trees.

Some people can process it and choose to grow it at home but this is a very difficult procedure and they probably won’t grow the same as it does in the wild. It’s usually found in autumn (mostly in October) and that’s when people go looking for it.
People in Japan and China have used this mushroom for thousands of years. However, in the USA it became popular only in the last two decades. The mushroom is highly praised for its health, vitality, and longevity benefits.
It’s also very rich in antioxidants, fiber, potassium, amino acids, minerals, coppers, and vitamins C and B. They are also fat-free, cholesterol-free, low-cholesterol, and low-sodium.

Health Benefits of Maitake Mushroom

Maitake Mushroom Help Regulate Blood Sugar

Suffering from high blood sugar levels leads to some serious health risks. It could potentially lead to diabetes development, and some other mild side effects such as headaches, thirstiness, blurred vision, and rapid weight loss, like the one from Dr Now’s Diet. Diabetes symptoms should be taken seriously since they can cause nerve damages and kidney problems if they aren’t treated correctly. 
If you generally maintain a healthy and versatile diet, maitake mushrooms could further help control blood sugar levels and thereby avoid negative symptoms.

One study with an animal model conducted in Japan has suggested that feeding maitake mushrooms to diabetic rats helped them improve glucose tolerance and blood sugar levels. An unrelated animal study showed some similar results. It suggested that the fruit of the maitake mushroom is full of strong anti-diabetic components that helped diabetic mice.

Maitake Mushroom Help Fight Cancer

A study conducted in 2013 has shown that maitake mushroom may be beneficial when it comes to breast cancer prevention and treatment. The reason for this is, as researchers say, the mushroom shows the ability to fight the reproduction and growth of cancer cells.
When it comes to animal studies, maitake mushroom has also succeeded in suppressing tumor growth in mice. It might even expand the amount of cells contesting the tumor. Some scientists suggest that it could possibly be helpful in cancer treatment for humans as well when taken orally.

One study that examined the D-Fraction extract of maitake mushrooms found that it could be effective in killing cancerous cells in humans. The extract was taken with a protein that also has cancer-fighting potentials and the effectiveness was truly remarkable.

Maitake Mushroom Help Control Cholesterol Levels

Keeping cholesterol levels under control is one of the best things you can do for your heart health. Cholesterol is dangerous because it spreads inside the arteries and makes them hard and narrow. It blocks normal blood flow and forces your heart to pump blood at unhealthy levels through the whole body.

There haven’t been much pieces of research on this but some experts suggest that maitake mushrooms are a great natural component that can lower cholesterol levels and keep your heart healthy. An animal model study suggested that maitake mushroom supplementation was very beneficial in the reduction of cholesterol levels in mice.

Maitake Mushroom Help the Immune Function

Our immune systems are one of the most important factors when it comes to good overall health. It’s our body’s natural defense system that fights off viruses and bacteria. It also protects our bodies from various injuries and infections.
If you include maitake mushrooms occasionally in your meals it can drastically boost your immune system and help it fight off different diseases.

A vitro study that was published recently found that maitake mushrooms were very efficient at sparking an immune response, and if they were combined with shiitake mushrooms, the immune system boost was even better. Some researchers at the University of Louisville’s Department of Pathology reported, “Natural immune-modulating glucans that can be found in maitake and shiitake mushrooms stimulated the cellular and humoral branch of immune responses drastically, taken orally in the short-term.”

Risks and Side-Effects of Maitake Mushrooms

Generally, maitake mushrooms are considered safe for everyone and there is a minimal risk of side effects. Although, there have been reports by some people that they experienced allergic reactions after eating maitake mushrooms. If you consume it and start getting food allergy symptoms like hives, swelling, or redness, immediately call your doctor and take action.
Maitake mushrooms are digestible if they are fairly young. If the mushrooms are older, then it could be difficult to digest them due to their toughness. To improve its digestibility you should try cooking it.

If you have diabetes or take medications for maintaining blood sugar levels, blood pressure, or cholesterol levels, you should consult with your doctor whether or not it’s safe for you to take them.
If you had surgery in the last two weeks or have a bleeding disorder it’s best to avoid taking them.
Also, if you are currently pregnant or breastfeeding it’s best not to experiment with these mushrooms or any other food that you haven’t used before.

How to Eat Maitake Mushrooms

Maitake mushrooms are typically found from late August to early November. They are usually located at the growing base of oak, maple, and elm trees. When selecting the mushrooms make sure that they are young and firm. Remember to always wash them perfectly before consumption, this goes for any mushroom.

If aren’t experienced at hunting and finding mushrooms you probably want to know where they can be bought. Unfortunately, they can’t be found at local grocery stores so you have to look for them elsewhere. Online retainers are perhaps the best and safest way for you to purchase them. You can find supplements of maitake mushroom extract in a lot of pharmacies and health food stores.

Remember to always pay attention to the labels since there are a lot of lookalike wood mushrooms. They usually have a similar name and appearance but they are much different when it comes to taste and texture.
The taste of these mushrooms is described as very strong and earthy by users. There are a lot of different ways you can include these mushrooms in your meals. They can be added to practically anything from pasta to noodles and burgers.

A lot of people also like to roast them until they are crisp and add a bit of grass-fed butter and a tad of seasoning. This is a very simple and yet very tasty dish. Similar to other mushroom dishes, maitake mushrooms can be stuffed, sautéed, or added into tea or coffee (for added caffeine benefits).
The health benefits of this tasty mushroom can be enjoyed in various ways. They can be implemented in almost any recipe that uses mushrooms for the main course or side dish.

Maitake Mushroom Burger – The Recipe

Although there are many different recipes and ways to include these mushrooms in your meal, we are going to show you one of the most common and delicious recipes for maitake mushrooms.

Although there are many different recipes and ways to include these mushrooms in your meal, we are going to show you one of the most common and delicious recipes for maitake mushrooms.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

150g of ground beef
½ teaspoon of salt
¼ teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
1 spoon of butter
1 finely minced garlic clove
200-250g of Maitake mushrooms
1 teaspoon of soy sauce
4 hamburger buns
4 slices of cheese

Preparing the Beef Patty

Take a bigger bowl and mix together the ground beef, salt, and pepper. Split the beef into 4 matching parts. Next, shape them so they become patties that are around 3 cm thick.

Set up a grill fire. Grill the patties for about 6-8 minutes each, until they look ready and edible. You can also use a frying pan to cook the burgers. In that case, it should take around 8-10 minutes on medium heat.

Grill The Maitake Mushrooms

While the burgers are getting ready, heat a frying pan at medium heat and add butter.

While the burgers are getting ready, heat a frying pan at medium heat and add butter. After the butter starts gurgling, place the garlic clove and the mushrooms into the pan. Sauté for about 3 minutes or at least until the mushrooms look soft. Put in the soy sauce and cook for an additional minute.

Assemble the Burger

Place the burgers on the buns, add slices of cheese and top it with the sautéed mushrooms. Serve the dish and enjoy the delicious burger.

Maitake Mushroom – The Verdict

Maitake mushrooms show great potential for treating all sorts of diseases and are good for overall health. However, more human studies are needed before any concrete results. Even if they don’t have all the health benefits people are talking about, they still have a great taste and are a great addition to any meal. Be sure to talk with your doctor before implementing them in order to avoid any negative side-effects.

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The reason why we have entrusted our medical advice to our very own Allison King is her PhD in Biology. Alison has spend her formative years specializing in cell and molecular biology and she also holds an undergraduate degree in biochemistry with a minor in experimental physics. Her experience extends to multiple universities in Eastern Canada where she currently consults on masters and doctoral studies. Allison holds our articles to a higher standard as she believes that peer-reviewed research is the most accurate source when writing on a given topic. Her articles are well researched but also enriched with her own experience. Ms King enjoys a healthy vegetarian lifestyle and steps out of her comfort zone by competing in various races and marathons across our country.