Shiitaki Mushrooms – Culinary Medicinal Mushrooms
Shiitaki Mushrooms a functional food
Shiitaki, Leninula edodes, mushrooms are Asian forest mushrooms with a strong earthy flavour which may be used in a number of dishes from stir fries to soups and broths. They are the third most cultivated mushroom behind cremini and oyster mushrooms.
Shiitaki is their Japanese name and are not only loved in Asian cuisine but are also valued for their health benefits a great reason tto add them to your diet. They have a high level of B vitamins including B12 and pro-vitamin D2, ergosterol ( 1 ). They are a rich source of selenium, iron, dietary fibre, protein, antioxidants and vitamin C.
Shiitaki mushrooms may be classified as a functional food because of their ighly nutritional and medicinal benefits. As medicinal mushrooms their key components are polysaccharides and eritadenine.
Some of the benefits associated with Shiitaki Mushrooms
Supports Cardiovascular Health and Cholesterol Lowering
Eritadenine a sterol compound found in Shiitaki Mushrooms has been shown to reduce blood cholesterol levels by reducing production of cholesterol in the liver. They also contain potent plant nutrients that help keep cells from sticking to blood vessel walls and forming plaque buildup, which maintains healthy blood pressure and improves circulation. A study of the cholesterol lowering showed increased total lipid and cholesterol excretion In feaces. ( 2 )
Support Immune Function
Mushrooms have the ability and combat many diseases by way of providing important vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Regular L. edodes consumption resulted in improved cell effector function and improved gut immunity. There was also a reduction of inflammation due to mushroom consumption. ( 3 ) (4)
Recent interest in diet-induced modulation of the gut microbiome has led to research on the impact that dietary fibers can have on host health. Lentinus edodes mushroom-derived fibers may act as an appropriate substrate for gut microbe digestion and metabolism.
The metabolites that gut microbes excrete can modulate host energy balance, gut absorption, appetite, and lipid metabolism. ( 5 ) ( 6 )
Increasing evidences have demonstrated that the reactive oxygen species play important roles in the initiation and progressof disease. The antioxidative, anti-inflammatory and organ protective effects of polysaccharides of Lentinula edodeshave shown benefits to organs such as kidneys, liver and oancrease. ( 7 ) ( 8 ).