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Shiitake mushroom improves immunity

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

shiitake mushroom improves immunity

Story at-a-glance -

  • A unique molecule in shiitake mushrooms known as lentinan improves your immune system, enhancing resistance against infections and helping to slow the growth of tumors
  • Highly sought after for their buttery flavor, which becomes rich and smoky when dried, shiitakes can be sautéed in coconut or avocado oil, used as a sandwich filling and diced to use in soups, casseroles and stir-fries
  • With a long history of use in folk medicine for treating tumors, flu, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, weakness and fatigue, shiitakes are loaded with vitamins, minerals and compounds, even though they are close to 90% water
  • Several types of malignancies, dental problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, cognitive decline and other serious health disorders were improved in studies where researchers used shiitake mushrooms as a treatment
  • Whole, dried Lentinula edodes (shiitake) mushrooms could improve human immune function, shown when study participants ate 5 to 10 grams of shiitake mushrooms daily for four weeks

Mushroom lovers will be pleased to know that researchers studying the earthy fungi continue to find benefits for health in them. One of the most popular mushrooms is the shiitake (Lentinus edodes), which grows on decaying hardwood trees such as oaks, maples, chestnuts, hornbeams and ironwoods in their natural environment, but are commercially grown elsewhere.

Recreating the same environmental conditions has allowed growers in the U.S., as well as Canada, Singapore and China, to proliferate the brown-capped delicacies. According to Market Research Future, the shiitake mushroom forecast through 2023 is projected to reach $35.4 billion, due in part to its robust use in the food industry, although nutritional and medicinal market shares are also thriving.

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