Shiitake (also called shiitake or shiitake mushroom) is one of the most popular mushrooms in the world.
They are appreciated for their delicious taste and various health benefits.
The compounds in mushrooms can help fight cancer, enhance immunity and support cardiovascular health
This article will explain everything you need to know about this precious mushroom
What is Shiitake?
This is an edible fungus native to East Asia.
They are light brown or dark brown, mushroom ears are about 5-10 cm.
Usually they are used as a vegetable, but shiitake is actually a natural fungus that grows on hardwood stems.
They are also grown quite extensively. 83% of mushrooms are grown in Japan, although the US, Canada, Singapore and China also produce them .
You can find them in many forms: fresh, dry or in other dietary supplements.
Summary: Shiitake is a brown mushroom, often used as a food and functional food worldwide
Nutritional value of mushrooms
Shiitake has low calorie content. They contain a good amount of fiber, as well as vitamin B and some minerals.
Here are the nutrients we can get from 15 grams of dried mushrooms :
- Calories: 44
- Carb: 11 grams.
- Fiber: 2 grams.
- The protein: 1 gram.
- Riboflavin: 11% RDI.
- Niacin: 11% RDI.
- Copper: 39% RDI.
- Vitamin B5: 33% RDI.
- Selenium: 10% RDI.
- Mangan: 9% RDI.
- Zinc: 8% RDI.
- Vitamin B6: 7% RDI.
- Folate: 6% RDI.
- Vitamin D: 6% RDI.
In addition, mushrooms also contain many amino acids like meat .
They also contain polysaccharides, terpenoids, sterols and lipids involved in boosting the immune system, lowering cholesterol levels and preventing cancer .
All of these properties may vary slightly depending on where the mushrooms are grown, stored and used .
Summary: Shiitake has low calorie content. They provide many vitamins, minerals and other health-promoting compounds.
How are they used?
Shiitake has two main uses: food and functional foods
Shiitake is used as food
You can cook with both fresh and dried mushrooms, though dried mushrooms are a bit more popular.
Dried mushroom mushrooms taste (sweet meat) is even stronger when fresh.
Umami means delicious, delicious. It is described as the "fifth taste" along with sweet, sour, bitter, and a little salty.
Both dry and fresh mushrooms are used in stir fry, soup, stew and many other dishes.
Shiitake is used as a functional food
Shiitake has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine.
They are also part of the medicine of Japan, Korea, and eastern Russia .
In Chinese medicine, shiitake is thought to have health and longevity effects, as well as blood circulation.
Modern studies have found that bioactive compounds of shiitake can help protect cancer and fight inflammation .
However, many studies have been done with animals or in vitro, not with humans.
In addition, many mushroom-based functional foods on the market have not been tested to determine if they work well .
Although the benefits seem to be quite promising, you should consider them before using them.
Summary: Shiitake has been used for a long time in both food and functional foods.
They are beneficial for the heart
Shiitake has some cardiovascular health benefits. For example, they have 3 types of compounds that can help lower cholesterol:
- Eritadenine: An enzyme inhibiting compound involved in the production of cholesterol .
- Sterol: Molecules help absorb intestinal cholesterol .
- Beta-glucan: A fiber can help lower cholesterol .
A study on rats with high blood pressure found that shiitake powder prevented the risk of high blood pressure .
In addition to individual ingredients, shiitake also helps the heart become healthier when used in raw food form.
A study in experimental mice fed them with fat-rich foods showed that those who used the mushroom had less fat in their liver, less plaque on the artery wall than those who did not take the mushroom .
Summary: Some compounds in shiitake help reduce cholesterol levels and help plaque not stick to the artery walls
They can boost the immune system
Shiitake also helps your immune system to be healthier.
A study in 2015 fed people about 2 dry mushrooms every day for 1 month. Overall their immune signs improved. They also had fewer infections before joining the study .
This effect may be due in part to the found in shiitake mushrooms .
In addition, your immune system will weaken with age. However, a study in mice showed that a function derived from shiitake helps reverse age-related immune function decline .
Summary: Eating mushrooms regularly can help strengthen the immune system and reduce the decline in immune function due to age
They have many compounds that fight cancer
Polysaccharide in shiitake mushrooms may have anti-cancer effect .
For example, lentinan polysaccharide helps fight tumors by activating the immune system .
Lentinan has been shown to inhibit the growth and spread of leukemia cells .
In China and Japan, injectable lentinan is used together with chemotherapy and cancer treatments primarily to improve immune function and quality of life in people with stomach cancer .
However, there is not enough evidence to say that actually eating mushrooms has any effect on cancer
Summary: Lentinan is a polysaccharide present in shiitake that helps fight cancer.
Other benefits of shiitake
Shiitake can also fight germs and improve bone health
They are effective in antibacterial and antiviral
Some compounds in shiitake mushrooms have antimicrobial, antiviral and antifungal effects. These include oxalic acid, lentinan, centinamycin A and B (antibacterial) and eritadenine (antiviral) .
In the fight against antibiotics is increasingly hard, some scientists think that the important thing here is to discover the antibiotic potential of mushrooms .
They can help strengthen bones
Mushrooms are the only natural plant source that contains vitamin D .
Your body needs vitamin D to build strong bones, but very few foods contain this important nutrient.
The concentration of vitamin D varies in each fungus, depending on how they are grown. When exposed to UV rays, they will have higher levels of vitamin D.
In one study, some mice fed a low-calcium, low-vitamin D diet developed osteoporosis symptoms. Compared with those fortified with calcium and mushrooms, they have stronger bones .
However, remember that shiitake contains vitamin D2. This is a poorer form of vitamin than vitamin D3, found in some fatty fish and animal foods.
Summary: The compounds in shiitake have anti-microbial properties. Eating mushrooms with high levels of vitamin D can improve your bones.
Some possible side effects of shiitake
Most people can eat mushrooms safely, although some side effects may occur.
In rare cases, people can get a rash when eating or holding fresh mushrooms .
This case, called "allergic dermatitis with shiitake" is thought to be caused by lentinan .
In addition, long-term use of fungal extract also causes some side effects. These include abdominal pain, sensitivity to sunlight and atopic dermatitis .
Some people also believe that eating mushrooms may cause symptoms for people with gout due to their high purine content. However, research has shown that eating mushrooms helps reduce the risk of gout .
Summary: Shiitake can cause some side effects, such as redness, rash. Shiitake extract can also cause digestive problems and increase sensitivity to sunlight
Cooking with mushrooms
Umami mushroom with umami flavor - brings a bold taste that is hard to resist for food. This is especially useful when cooking dishes vegetarian .
Shiitake is usually sold in dried form. You can soak them in hot water, soften them, then cook them with mushroom soaked water.
To choose the best dried shiitake mushroom, choose mushrooms that are sold intact rather than chopped. Mushroom hats should be thick, with deep, white cracks.
You can find some useful tips for choosing, preparing, and cooking with dried shiitake mushrooms .
When cooking with fresh shiitake, remember to remove the body - it stays solid even after cooking. Store them in the refrigerator to make vegetarian dishes.
You can cook mushrooms like any other mushroom. Here are a few suggestions:
- Sauté mushrooms with green vegetables, served with egg blanching.
- Add pasta or fried dishes.
- Use them to make soup.
- Bake up to make a crispy snack.
Summary: You can cook mushrooms in fresh or dried form. They bring a delicious taste to the dish
Shiitake has a long history of use, and is used as both food and tonic.
While studies on the health benefits of mushrooms are quite promising, very little research on humans is conducted.
However, mushrooms are low in calories and contain many vitamins, minerals and biological plant compounds.
Finally, they are great complementary ingredients for your diet.