The Shiitake Mushroom (Lentinula edodes), also known as the “black mushroom,” is an edible Fungi native to East Asia. Its numerous medicinal properties have made it one of the most popular and cultivated edible mushrooms in the world. Today, you can find the mushroom in most supermarkets either fresh, dried or as a dietary supplement. Most of us, however, don’t realize the potent medicinal powers of the delicious Shittake mushroom which:
1. Stimulates weight loss
The Shiitake mushroom is ideal to incorporate into your diet if you are trying to loose weight, as it contains fat-reducing components. It is low in calories, rich in fibers and full of flavor. The mushrooms make you feel full for an extended period of time, which helps lower food intake, reduces plasma lipid levels and helps to prevent constipation.
2. Helps to strengthen your bones
Vitamin D is essential for strong, healthy bones, as it helps the body to effectively absorb calcium, the “bone builder.” We all know the best way to obtain Vitamin D is through protected exposure to the sun. Mushrooms are the only vegetable source that naturally contains Vitamin D, and this makes the Shiitake mushrooms an effective vegan source of Vitamin D and a replacement for wild-caught salmon, raw dairy and eggs.
3. Boosts the Immune System
Shiitake mushrooms are known to boost the immune system because they contain Lentinan, a powerful polysaccharide that strengthens the immune system. A healthy, strong immune system helps, in turn, to combat and prevent diseases such as the winter cold and flu.
4. Fights cancer cells
The same Lentinan is also known to be a potent anti-cancer agent, that helps fight cancer cells by eliminating and preventing their spread from the body. Also, by strengthening the immune system, the body is more effective in its natural fight to eliminate cancer cells from the body.
5. Strengthens cardiovascular health
The Shiitake mushroom contains the anti-cholesterol agent Eritadenine, which has the ability to effectively reduce LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, from the blood. They help strengthen a healthy blood pressure and stimulate the blood circulation.
6. Reduces and prevents iron deficiency
Shiitake mushrooms provide a high level of iron and minerals that are essential for a healthy body. An iron deficiency can result in intense fatigue and anemia. The Shiitake mushroom when added to the diet is especially useful as a source of iron for menstruating women, as they loose extra iron during their menstrual period.
7. Combats skin infections
Bursting with potent antioxidants, Selenium and Vitamin D, the Shiitake mushroom applied topically fights inflammation of the skin. It helps combat anti-inflammatory diseases including rosacea, eczema and is used as a natural acne treatment.
8. Promotes Healthy skin
The Shiitake mushroom is rich in Kojic acid, a natural lightening agent. Applied topically, Kojic acid works by preventing melanin (the color pigment of the skin) production, resulting in a lighter and more even skin tone. The mushroom thus has an anti-aging effect as it helps reduce the appearance of age spots, scar tissue and sun damage and boosting skin radiance.
As you can see, the Shiitake mushroom has earned its label as a “superfood” or a “superblack,” with unique medicinal properties that help us look and feel more energized, healthier and more radiant. We hope you will enjoy including it in your diet, and we look forward to hearing from you as to how it has benefited your life.
Did you know our TONE UP PRIMER Essential Glow has Shiitake mushroom extract in it? Check out a one of its kind Superfood primer here.
Written by Jan De Gols