Health Benefits of Shiitake Fungi
- Comparing vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients between meals, shiitake mushrooms are completely unique. Copper is most prominently present, with 65% of the recommended daily value per serving, significant because copper is one of the few metallic elements accompanied by amino acids and fats essential for human health.
- Rich in linoleic acid, since the body cannot synthesize copper, our diets must provide it regularly. But researchers say that not only very few people eat adequate amounts of copper-containing foods, but copper deficiency can be a factor in the development of coronary heart disease.
- Right behind copper is pantothenic acid and selenium, which provide 52% and 51% of the daily value, respectively. Riboflavin, niacin, zinc and manganese play a supportive role, together with ergotionein, an antioxidant that inhibits oxidative stress.
- Shiitake mushrooms also contain strong compounds that have the ability to discourage inflammation, tumors, “bad” bacteria, harmful viruses, and ironically, fungi. Vitamins B such as B2, B5 and B6 are part of the package, giving energy by breaking down fats, carbohydrates and proteins.
- Shitake contains the largest fiber intake of all cultivated mushrooms. An important part of that fiber is formed by chitin, which helps eliminate fats and cholesterol in the intestine, and betaglucans such as lentinan, which are being studied for their multiple benefits.
- Its proteins, although moderate, are fairly balanced in essential amino acids. The only shortage is tryptophan, so to take advantage of it, it can be combined with foods rich in that amino acid.
- Among the vitamins of fresh shitakes appear almost exclusively those of group B, especially B2, B3, B5, B6 and B9.
- The minerals include its contribution of copper, which strengthens the immune system and helps fight inflammatory processes, as well as the antioxidants selenium, manganese and zinc also represent good contributions and, to a lesser extent, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium.
Traditional Chinese Medicine has one of its most used remedies in shitake. It is used to reinforce chi or vital energy, as well as blood energy. It also assigns the sweet taste, and as an associated organ, the stomach.