The next medicinal mushroom we have prepared is probably one you have already heard about considering it’s the second most popular and third most used mushroom worldwide. The shiitake mushroom originates from Eastern Asia, but it didn’t take long for people all around the globe to start using this beneficial shroom.
Nowadays, you can find shiitake mushrooms in almost any local food store due to their versatile flavor. They are also rich in vitamin B and might have cancer-fighting properties. A lot of people also use them to prevent cardiovascular diseases and infections. There are several more shiitake mushroom benefits, but these ones seem to have the most evidence to back up the claims.
If you are wondering what makes them so healthy; it’s the high levels of antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal compounds contained in them.
What is the Shiitake Mushroom
You can most commonly find the shiitake mushroom growing in green parts of Eastern Asia. There are numerous shiitake mushroom benefits that have made it so popular in traditional herbal medicine. There are even some books that were written a few thousand years ago that mention this fungus, how cool is that?
This mushroom is edible and it has a brawny texture and a soft flavor. It is most commonly added in salads, soups, meat, and chicken stir-fries.
There are several chemical compounds that shiitake includes that can preserve the body’s DNA from damages. The most examined shiitake mushroom extract is lentinan because of its ability to heal damages to chromosomes caused by cancer treatments and therapies.
Also, there are a lot of shiitake mushroom how to grow guides that are fairly easy to follow if you have a green thumb. You can find a lot of budget-friendly shiitake mushroom growing kit online and get started.
Shiitake Mushroom Health Benefits
Promoting Cardiovascular Health
There are certain sterol compounds that can be found in shiitake mushrooms. These compounds stand in the way of cholesterol production in the liver. There are also some phytonutrients that prevent cells in the body from clinging onto blood vessel walls and creating plaque build-up. This is directly linked to improved blood pressure and healthy blood circulation.
In one study in Japan, the researchers found that shiitake shrooms could stop blood pressure from increasing in rats with hypertension. The rats were fat with shiitake mushrooms and have shown very positive results with a reduction in VLDL and HDL cholesterol. Some other mushrooms such as maitake mushroom have only shown a reduction in VLDL cholesterol.
Enhancing Brain Function and Boosting Energy Levels
If there is one shiitake mushroom benefit that can’t be overlooked it’s the effect it could have on brain function and energy.
These mushrooms are very rich in B vitamins that could help regulate adrenal function and turn the other nutrients our bodies get from food into energy. Nutritionists recommend taking shiitake mushrooms if you want to stabilize hormone levels in a natural way and remove brain fog. Removing brain fog can have a significant impact on your cognitive performances.
Millions of people actually face one or more vitamin B deficiencies and they aren’t even aware of it. This can cause a lack of energy, unhealthy blood cells, brain fog, and adrenal effects. If you include shiitake mushrooms occasionally in your diet, you won’t have to worry about these vitamin B shortages.
Shiitake Mushroom Side Effects
Shiitake mushrooms have small amounts of purines. Purine is a chemical compound that resolves into uric acid. People that include a lot of purines in their diet are more likely to experience gout. If you notice symptoms of gout occurring, you should limit the amount of purine you consume.
Shiitake are generally considered to be safe since there aren’t a lot of reports about negative reactions.
Some individuals have reported developing a skin rash from eating raw shiitake. This is called shiitake dermatitis, a condition caused by shiitake extract lentinan.
If you use shiitake mushroom powder daily for a longer time, you might experience some side effects such as stomach pain or sunlight sensitivity, so it’s best to choose a trusted supplement.
If you do choose to try shiitake, consult with your doctor first since that is common practice for trying out any new medicinal fungi.
Shiitake Mushroom How to Cook
There are a lot of ways you can implement shiitake into your meals. You can use shiitake dried, cooked, or raw.
Because of their nutritional advantages, it’s no surprise that these mushrooms are so widely popular. Shiitake mushroom price isn’t very high and they are a great budget meal addition. You can find them in almost any local food store.
When you are choosing shiitake mushrooms, always try to find those that feel firm and plump. If they have a wrinkly look it’s best to avoid them since that means that they probably aren’t fresh.
If you can’t find these mushrooms in the grocery stores in your town, there is a shiitake mushroom substitute you can try out. Portobello mushrooms are a good alternative.
You can keep shiitake mushrooms fresh for a week if you store them in the fridge with a closed bag or a container with a lid. If you use dried shiitake, find a sealed bag and keep them in the freezer until you are ready to use them.
When preparing them for any sort of meal, slice off the stems before since they add a woody taste. You don’t have to throw the stems out; instead, you can add them to a veggie stock that can pick up all the healthy nutrients. Always make sure to rinse them carefully. Shiitake should be placed in hot water for approximately 10 minutes so there isn’t any residue left.
Shiitake Mushroom Recipe
There are numerous shiitake mushroom recipes you can use to make the most out of the healthy fungi. We are going to show you one of our favorite recipes for shiitake mushroom pasta that you can use.
Shiitake Mushroom Pasta
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
2 peeled garlic cloves
1 lemon zest
400g of pasta
300g fresh shiitake mushrooms, chopped and with removed stems
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of fresh parsley
Take a bigger pot and fill it with water. Place it on the stove until the water starts to boil. Put a pinch of salt into the water and then put in the pasta. Cook it until al dente, or approximately 7-8 minutes.
Remove around a fourth of water out of the pot and set it aside.
Put a pinch of salt into the water and then put in the pasta. Cook it until al dente, or approximately 7-8 minutes.
Use the olive oil in a larger pan and put it on medium heat. Add the shiitake and garlic cloves and sauté them for ten minutes. If needed, add the pasta water you put aside.
Drain the pasta once it’s done and add it to the pan where the shiitake mushrooms are. Sauté the mix for several more minutes.
Serving the Pasta
Once the pasta looks ready remove the pan and add the lemon zest and parsley. If you have some Parmigiano you can add that as well.
Pour the pasta into a plate and enjoy this delicious dish!
Shiitake mushrooms have been used for thousands of years, both as a food and supplement. Although there is a lot of promising research, there aren’t many human studies done so far.
In general, shiitake mushrooms are considered safe for use and they contain numerous minerals, plant compounds and vitamins that make them an excellent addition to any diet.