Shiitake mushrooms are particularly sought after because
of their rich nutrient content, which consists of
significant amounts of B vitamins, phosphorus,
manganese, and zinc, as well as vitamin C, vitamin D,
iron, magnesium, and potassium. This is in addition to
dietary fiber and a number of powerful antioxidants including
alkaloids, phenols, and diterpenoids.The most impressive
benefits of shiitake mushrooms include aiding in weight
loss, strengthening the bones, promoting skin health,
reducing inflammation, preventing premature aging,
improving repair and growth, and boosting circulation,
There are an incredible amount of antioxidant compounds
in shiitake mushrooms that provide an excellent defense
against free radicals and oxidative stress throughout
the body. These help in protecting the skin from signs
of aging such as wrinkles, while also reducing the
appearance of scars and blemishes and promoting a
healthy glow to the skin. With a good amount of
selenium, these mushrooms have also been called a
natural acne treatment, as deficiencies in this mineral
are often linked to acne symptoms.
Help in Weight Loss
A 2014 study in the Nutrients journal says that
consuming shiitake mushrooms for combating obesity is a
great way to deal attain your weight loss goals.
The nutrient density of shiitake mushrooms, in
comparison to their caloric value, makes them an
excellent food for people trying to lose weight. In 100
grams of these mushrooms, there are approximately 35
calories, so you can boost your mineral and antioxidant
levels without compromising your calorie limits, in
addition to stimulating the metabolism and circulation,
which can aid in weight loss efforts.
Consuming even small amounts of these mushrooms has been
shown to cause a reduction in inflammatory molecules
in the bloodstream that
basically blocks the signal to muscles and tissues. This
can be of great help for people with arthritis, gout,
migraines, inflammatory bowel conditions and a number of
other irritation issues.
a key component in our health, although often
overlooked. It can increase the amount of iron that the
body takes in, and since there these mushrooms have a
high content of copper, this can be a crucial element
for healthy circulation. Iron is needed in the
production of red blood cells, which can boost energy
levels and resource delivery to certain parts of the
Research by the CSIRO Food and Nutritional Sciences,
Victoria, Australia suggests that shiitake mushrooms
have anti-tumor properties that help prevent the
development of breast cancer.
Not only have the active compounds in
shiitake mushrooms been linked to inhibiting tumor
growth in multiple types of cancer but they may also
induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) in cancerous
cells without damaging the healthy cells around it. This
is because of the presence of a polysaccharide called
lentinan in them.
The antimicrobial effects
and immune system-boosting properties of these mushrooms
make them ideal for digestion. Eating small to moderate
amounts of these mushrooms can balance the bacterial
balance in your gut, improve digestion (thanks to the
dietary fiber levels) and even increase the uptake
efficiency of nutrients like iron and calcium.
Boost Overall Energy
B vitamins are often misunderstood and forgotten about
but they play a key role in metabolism and energy
production. Shiitake mushrooms happen to have high
levels of vitamin B2, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid,
vitamin B3, and folate, all of which optimize many of
the body’s functions. Furthermore, half a cup of
shiitake mushrooms provides more than 70% of your daily
recommended amount of copper, which is also a crucial
element in energy metabolism.
With so many antioxidants, including phenolic compounds,
diterpenoids, vitamin C, vitamin A, gallic acid and
others, shiitake mushrooms can significantly cut down on
oxidative stress throughout the body. These active
compounds are known to seek out and neutralize free
radicals before they can cause chronic disease,
premature aging, and cognitive problems.
Boost Immune System
A research paper by the University of Florida, published
in the Journal of American College of Nutrition,
suggests that shiitake mushrooms help boost the immune
Additionally, there are many different antioxidants
present in shiitake mushrooms, along with vitamin C,
which is well known for its effects on the immune
system. More importantly, certain messaging molecules
found in shiitake mushrooms can improve the efficacy of
our immune system and speed up its response time to
potentially harmful allergens and other substances.
Help in Growth and Repair
Aside from vitamin C, one of the most crucial components
of collagen is copper. Collagen is required for the
creation of all tissues, muscles, bones, blood vessels
and skin in the body, and with shiitake mushrooms being
the 4th most dense copper source available in our diet,
we can certainly increase our growth and repair rates
with a steady stream of this nutrient-rich fungi.
A per a 2011 research study, some of the compounds in
shiitake mushrooms are able to inhibit the production of cholesterol in
the liver and can prevent plaque from building up on the
walls of arteries and blood vessels. The antioxidant
effects of these mushrooms have also been linked to
lower overall cholesterol levels and a faster
metabolism. Furthermore, the sulfuric compounds in
shiitake mushrooms are able to prevent blood
aggregation, or clotting, which further boosts cardiovascular health
and helps to prevent potentially deadly cardiac events.
Shittake mushroom extracts have been playing a key role
in preventing and treating oral diseases for a long
time. Research by the Kalinga Institute of Dental
Sciences, India, suggests that these mushrooms have
potent antifungal and antibacterial properties
that help overcome the antibiotic resistance without
altering oral microflora.
Lower Blood Pressure
One of the unique enzymes found in shiitake mushrooms is
called eritadenine, which can help prevent the
constriction of blood vessels and thus lower blood
pressure. This can be very important for people
who are at high risk for cardiovascular complications,
such as heart attacks, strokes, and atherosclerosis.
Side Effects of Shiitake Mushrooms
There are some side effects that are associated with
shiitake mushrooms, including gastrointestinal distress,
a worsening of autoimmune disease, sensitivity to the
sun and allergic reactions. These side effects are often
when the mushrooms are consumed in large amounts but
people with a sensitive stomach or multiple food
allergies should eat these mushrooms with caution.
Stomach Issues: In
moderate amounts, the antioxidant and
anti-inflammatory effects can help digestive health,
but in excess, it can cause severe discomfort,
nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Autoimmune Disease: Due
to the significant immune-boosting properties of
this mushroom, it is not safe for people with
autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis or
rheumatoid arthritis. It can cause these conditions
to worsen, given that the mushroom stimulates more
aggressive immune activity.
Sun Sensitivity: Some
of the compounds found in shiitake mushrooms will
increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun, which
could result in sunburn and extra sensitivity in
your eyes to sunlight.
Research suggests that if you are suffering from
asthma, it is best to avoid including shiitake
mushrooms in your diet.
Allergic Reactions: As
with any food, some people are allergic to shiitake
mushrooms, and the reactions can be quite severe
including swelling of the mouth, tongue, and lips,
as well as gastrointestinal distress, abdominal
pain, diarrhea, and vomiting.
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