The Healing Fungus, Shiitake Mushrooms
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The Healing Fungus, Shiitake Mushrooms

People in Asia have long known the amazing healing properties of mushrooms and enjoy them in their daily diet. In Asia, mushrooms are found for sale in every marketplace and from street vendors. In North America and Europe, mushroom only enjoy moderate popularity; however, they have been growing in popularity over the years.

Mushrooms are not all nutritionally equal; unfortunately, the white button mushroom most popular in North American have no real nutritional value, other than vitamin B. Shiitake mushrooms are one of the most common types of mushroom consumed in Asia and are by far one of the most nutritional types of mushrooms. Shiitake mushrooms are a very sustainable food, as they grow easily in a natural or non-natural environment.

The health benefits of Shiitake mushrooms:

  • Eating Shiitake mushrooms helps to increase the body’s immunity system, which helps to fight cancerous tumours and helps to combat the HIV virus.
  • Eating Shiitake mushrooms regularly helps to lower cholesterol levels.
  • Shiitake mushrooms help to promote good cardiovascular health
  • Shiitake mushrooms are high in two essential B vitamins, riboflavin and niacin.
  • Shiitake mushrooms are an excellent source of iron
  • Shiitake mushrooms contain six essential minerals - selenium, copper, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.
  • Shiitake mushrooms are a good source of dietary fibre.
  • Shiitake mushrooms contain magnesium, protein and vitamin D

Shiitake mushrooms are best enjoyed cooked; however, they should not be overcooked as overcooking depletes both their natural flavour and nutritional value. The healthiest and tastiest way to cook Shiitake mushrooms is by sautéing them for around seven minutes. When cleaning Shiitake mushrooms, it is recommended that minimal water be used as they absorb water easily and become soggy. Shiitake mushrooms are best cleaned using a damp clean cloth or damp paper towel. However, dried out Shiitake mushroom can be added to water for thirty minutes to help restore them to their former state. Reconstituted Shiitake mushrooms are best cut fine and used in soups and stews; they do not work as well in stir-frys as fresh mushrooms do. 

When purchasing Shiitake mushrooms, look for ones that are plump and firm; avoid ones that are wrinkly, slimy or have spots on them. Shiitake mushrooms should be stored in a brown paper bag in the refrigerator; they usually stay fresh for about a week. Dried Shiitake mushroom can be stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator or freezer for up to a year. 

Shiitake mushrooms are an excellent food to add to your daily diet. They are excellent in stir-frys, can be added to soups and stews, and are packed full of flavour and good nutrition. Other Asian mushrooms like Maitake and Enoki mushrooms offer very similar health benefits as Shiitake mushrooms. 

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Comments (2)

Well documented,mushrooms are very enjoyable its good to see the additional benefits.

Thanks for health benefits, storage info, and more regarding mushrooms.