When you think about Shiitake mushrooms, you might imagine their umbrella-shaped features, or maybe the tasty flavors they provide when they are included in recipes. But shiitake mushrooms may also offer a number of nutrients that are important for maintaining good health. While commonly used as a food mushroom, shiitake mushrooms are grown as supplements to make them easier to consume. This article will examine the nutritional benefits of shiitake mushrooms, as well as how you can incorporate this superfood into your diet.
The Benefits of Shiitake Mushroom Nutrition
Shiitake mushrooms are packed with fiber, protein, antioxidants, and bioactive compounds that are all essential to optimum health. Native to the warm, wet climates of Southeast Asia, shiitake mushrooms have offered potent immune-supporting properties for centuries. The species is also known for helping to maintain heart health and contribute to youthful looks in individuals without known heart issues.
Grown today in an indoor environment, Shiitake mushrooms are among the largest mushrooms grown worldwide. As a popular edible mushroom, shiitake offers a flavor that is pungent and earthy.
But this prized species offers so much more than a tasty flavor, it may be good for your health and wellbeing.
Immune Support: Shiitake mushrooms are known for supporting immune health, thanks to the amount of polysaccharides found in the species. Polysaccharides are abundant carbohydrates which may stimulate immune cells, helping the body activate an immune response.
Maintain Health Cholesterol Levels: While cholesterol is important, too much can lead to serious health risks. Sterols, a compound found in shiitake mushrooms, work similarly to cholesterol, and they may interfere with the digestive process, blocking too much cholesterol from entering your bloodstream. This allows cholesterol to exit your body as waste, and ultimately may help to maintain lower cholesterol levels.
Improves Heart Health: When considering a diet full of heart-healthy ingredients, shiitake mushrooms may rank high on the list. They are a perfect, low-calorie option that may benefit your health-conscious diet. Shiitake mushrooms also contain compounds that may hinder cholesterol levels in the liver. These compounds may help to maintain lower cholesterol levels, along with lower blood pressure, ultimately helping to maintain cardiovascular health.
Healthy Skin: Shiitake contains nutrients which support youthful looking skin. This is because of the large number of bioactive compounds and minerals found in shiitake, which helps to support collagen and inflammation.
Shiitake Mushroom Nutrition Profile Details
The nutritional value of shiitake is what makes this functional mushroom a topic of health and wellness. This fungi is rich in protein and fiber, and low in calories making it the perfect addition to your daily diet. But the shiitake mushroom nutrition benefits don’t stop there.
Copper: Copper is an essential mineral for the body that helps to support immune health, brain development, and can support pigmentation in the skin.
Iron: Iron is a vital mineral that supports energy production, hemoglobin levels, and your immune system.
Manganese: Manganese helps to support strong bones and will help your body utilize a number of vitamins to support immune health, brain activity, and energy production.
Magnesium: Magnesium plays a crucial role in supporting the body’s nerve function and energy production. This mineral can also help to support blood pressure and immune function.
Potassium: Potassium is an essential mineral to the body as it is also an electrolyte. Electrolytes can help control the balance of fluid in the body. Potassium is also a key nutrient in supporting kidney, heart health, and the nervous system.
Vitamin B9: Vitamin B9, also known as Folate, is an important micronutrient that helps red blood cell formation.
Vitamin B6: Vital for proper cell function to support immune health and brain development.
Vitamin B5: An essential vitamin used to break down fats and carbohydrates to produce energy. B5 also produces red blood cells to help carry oxygen throughout the body.
Vitamin B3: Also called Niacin, which helps to support cholesterol levels by blocking the liver from making cholesterol.
Vitamin B2: Vitamin B2, otherwise known as Riboflavin, helps to break down proteins, fats, and carbohydrates in the body to help produce energy.
Vitamin B1: Vitamin B1, also called Thiamin, is essential for the growth and development of cells. The body needs thiamine to make adenosine triphosphate (ATP) as it is a molecule that transports energy within cells.
Vitamin D: The presence of vitamin D will vary based on where the mushroom was grown, however, vitamin D helps to regulate calcium, phosphorus, and supports bone growth.
Phosphorus: Phosphorus plays a large role in supporting bone and teeth health. This essential mineral also helps to repair and restore cellular tissue.
Selenium: Selenium has strong antioxidant properties and can help to prevent free radical damage which is essential in maintaining good immune health.
Zinc: While the body only needs small amounts of Zinc, this mineral is key in building proteins, cellular production and DNA, and also supports immune health. While you can receive many of these nutrients from a well-balanced diet, it is not always easy to incorporate all the necessary food groups that we strive for. Because of this, we often turn to a natural supplement to help support the body’s need for the bioactive compounds and minerals it lacks.
How To Incorporate Shiitake Into Your Diet
Are There Good Shiitake Mushroom Supplements?
Mushroom powder supplements have been growing in popularity over the past few years, and with good reason. Imagine taking all of the healthy components of shiitake mushrooms and turning it into a convenient powder you can add to recipes, smoothies, coffee, or tea. Mushroom powder gives you the option to include the mushroom superfood in your routine, by simply adding one teaspoon of the powder into a choice beverage or food.
There are a range of organic mushroom powder supplements designed to boost immunity, vitality, cognitive health, and energy. By combining several species of mushrooms, one unique blend of mushrooms can help support various health benefits, including promoting youth, supporting immunity, and supporting healthy blood sugar levels.
Mushroom powder capsules are another way to include shiitake in your routine for enjoying the many nutritional benefits of this superfood. Mushrooms capsules are a simple, convenient way to enjoy the benefits of functional mushrooms simply by taking three (3) capsules per day with a glass of water. Each three-capsule portion from a specific species provides 2000 mg of the mushroom superfood powder.
How to Cook With Shiitake Mushrooms
Mushrooms can be an excellent addition to any dish, or they can even serve as meat substitutes because of how much protein they contain. Shiitake mushrooms are especially tasty in stir-fries, pasta dishes, risottos, omelets, or even grilled alone. While shiitakes have too hard a stalk to be eaten raw, they still can add a lot of flavor when added to soup or stew recipes. You can find broth blends king bole, shiitake, lions mane, azuki, reishi, and turkey tails into one tasty broth filled with earthy, mushroomy goodness.
You can add our broth to soups and recipes, or simply mix it in with 8oz warm water and enjoy. There is no shortage of ways you can include shiitakes in your diet. And exploring new options, such as organic mushroom supplements, may help you get the essential nutrients and minerals that are essential for good health.