What is Shiitake?
Shiitake is used in traditional Oriental medicine to prevent high blood pressure and heart disease and to reduce blood cholesterol levels. The Shiitake Mushroom is adaptogenic in nature promoting both vitality and longevity and is useful in increasing the production of interferon, thus reducing the possibility of tumor development.
The shiitake is also an anti-viral, which helps the body excrete excess cholesterol and as such, helps prevent heart disease. Studies suggest that these mushrooms may work by enhancing the immune system's ability to fight against infection.
The Shiitake Mushroom is a large brown mushroom which is good for soup stock. Before eating, remove the woody stems. Shiitake needs a longer cooking time than other mushrooms due to its toughness. The Shiitake Mushroom contains an anti-viral substance, known as lentinan, that stimulates the immune system, as well as activating the T-helper cells and the macrophages.
Japanese experiments have found lentinan to be more powerful than the prescription anti-viral drug, Amantadine. The shiitake mushroom stimulates a person's immune system to produce more interferon, which is a natural compound that fights viruses and often used as a treatment against cancer.
A review of Shiitake in healthcare provision concluded that it did indeed have substantial anti-cancer, anti-viral and snti-fungal effects, and deserved its moniker as a super food. The anti-viral effects mentioned are probably primarily due to Shiitake being able to produce interferon, a chemical that is known to be able to dramatically lower cholesterol levels over a period of time.
Benefits & Uses: Among healthy mushrooms, possibly the most popular, at least in the far east, is the Shiitake. Shiitake mushrooms have been employed for centuries as treatments for a variety of medical conditions, especially cardiovascular conditions, and to improve general health and well-being.
It contains all 8 essential amino acids, which means amino acids that are essential to the proper functioning of the human body, but cannot be synthesized by the body itself and therefore must be gotten through supplementation. Shiitake contains these essential amino acids in greater quantities than meat, eggs of milk, as well as a great deal of other vitamins all needed by us on a day-to-day basis.
Shiitake mushrooms also contain a substance known as eritedenine, which is a compound that reduced the levels of cholesterol and fat in the bloodstream by causing them to be excreted. In this respect, Shiitake has a cleansing action on the body.
Yet another reason why Shiitake mushrooms are so healthy is the compound LEM, or lentinula edodes mycelium, which has demonstrated itself as a somewhat effective treatment to help prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease as well as a variety of infectious diseases and also hepatitis.
As a weight loss supplement:
Shiitake is also currently being marketed as a weight loss supplement, because it is believed that one of the compounds created using Shiitake has the ability to absorb fat, making us feel fuller in our stomachs, but actually preventing the fat from being absorbed into the body and therefore contributing to overall weight loss.
Shiitake also contains an amino acid called eritadenine, which is believed to be able to lower levels of blood cholesterol by a significant amount, while also increasing metabolic rate. It is this latter function that makes Shiitake promising as a weight loss supplement as well as preventative medical treatment for many conditions.
Conclusion: Shiitake is recommended as an excellent source of many essential vitamins and minerals, including as we have covered all 8 essential amino acids. It has strong antioxidant properties and may help to protect the body from several serious illnesses.
Additionally, it may increase weight loss as part of a balanced diet and exercise regime. The best way to take Shiitake is simply to eat the mushrooms, either raw or prepared and cooked, they are not only extremely healthy, but also quiet delicious. And we should all experience that combination at least once in our lifetimes.
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