Shiitake mushrooms are some of the healthiest foods in the planet. It’s true, just look at the evidence. Mushrooms are low calorie, high protein food, rich in all manner of essential vitamins and minerals, and fiber, mushrooms are an excellent source of nutrients as part of any balanced diet.
Great role to play
Mushrooms also have an impressive role in the history of medicine, with countless different species being successfully employed to treat a wide range of diseases.
Many mushrooms are currently under investigation to find out whether they may have anti-cancer properties.
Among healthy mushrooms, possibly the most popular, at least in the Far East, is the Shiitake.
Shiitake mushrooms have been employed for centuries as treatments for a variety of medical conditions, especially cardiovascular conditions, and to improve general health and well-being.
More about Shiitake
This medication is the most cultivated kind of ‘niche’ mushroom in the world, used both for its excellent nutritional content and healing properties, and also because it’s just plain tasty.
It contains all 8 essential amino acids, which means amino acids that are essential to the proper functioning of the human body, but cannot be synthesized by the body itself and therefore must be gotten through supplementation.
It contains these essential amino acids in greater quantities than meat, eggs of milk, as well as a great deal of other vitamins all needed by us on a day-to-day basis.
This medication is a rich form of the nutrient lentinan, which scientists are currently studying with regard to its perceived role in the prevention of cancer, lowering of cholesterol and regulation of blood pressure.
In fact, a purified Shiitake extract is approved for use in Japan as a cancer treatment to be used in conjunction with more traditional therapy such as chemotherapy.
This is due in large part to lentinan being proven to reduce the damage caused to cells by anti-cancer drugs and radiation, so the mushroom extract also has protective qualities.
What does Shiitake give?
Shiitake mushrooms also contain a substance known as eritedenine, which is a compound that reduced the levels of cholesterol and fat in the bloodstream by causing them to be excreted.
In this respect, this plant has a cleansing action on the body.
Yet another reason why it is so healthy is the compound LEM, or lentinula edodes mycelium, which has demonstrated itself as a somewhat effective treatment to help prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease as well as a variety of infectious diseases and also hepatitis.
A complete food
A review of Shiitake in healthcare provision concluded that it did indeed have substantial anti-cancer, anti-viral and snti-fungal effects, and deserved its moniker as a super food.
The anti-viral effects mentioned are probably primarily due to it being able to produce interferon, a chemical that is known to be able to dramatically lower cholesterol levels over a period of time.
Marketed for different purposes
It is also currently being marketed as a weight loss supplement, because it is believed that one of the compounds created using Shiitake has the ability to absorb fat, making us feel fuller in our stomachs, but actually preventing the fat from being absorbed into the body and therefore contributing to overall weight loss.
Shiitake also contains an amino acid called eritadenine, which is believed to be able to lower levels of blood cholesterol by a significant amount, while also increasing metabolic rate.
It is this latter function that makes Shiitake promising as a weight loss supplement as well as preventative medical treatment for many conditions.
Shiitake is recommended as an excellent source of many essential vitamins and minerals, including as we have covered all 8 essential amino acids.
It has strong antioxidant properties and may help to protect the body from several serious illnesses. Additionally, it may increase weight loss as part of a balanced diet and exercise regime.
The best way to take it is simply to eat the mushrooms, either raw or prepared and cooked, they are not only extremely healthy, but also quiet delicious.
And we should all experience that combination at least once in our lifetimes.
Some people may experience negative side-effects as a result of either eating Shiitake mushrooms or supplementing with its extract.
These symptoms can present with skin rashes and diarrhea amongst other things. If you do experience these symptoms, you should stop taking Shiitake and seek medical advice as soon as possible.