What is Shiitake? What are its most important properties and benefits? Why is it so important to our defenses? Don’t miss our article to find out everything!
What is Shiitake, and what is it for?
Shiitake (Lentinus edodes Polyporaceae Family) is an edible mushroom from the Shii Tree, highly appreciated in China, Japan, and Korea for 2000 years. It grows on the trunks of fallen trees, especially dead or dying broadleaf trees, particularly a Japanese species called Shii (oak).
It is originally from China, from where it was taken to Japan and later to the United States and Europe, mainly to Holland.
Regarding its composition, it contains a good source of nutrients. Specifically, it comprises eight essential amino acids, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, dietary fiber, and enzymes. It also contains ergosterol, which in the presence of sunlight, is converted into vitamin d.
On the other hand, to its characteristics, it is a medium-sized mushroom, with more meat than mushrooms. Its average weight is 60 – 70 grams. It is dark brown in the center and slightly lighter on the periphery. When it grows wild, it is amber in color – light.
In its origins, in ancient China, doctors knew the power of this mushroom and used it as a life force activator food.
It provided longevity, protected the immune system, and prevented gastrointestinal, liver, and circulatory problems. As well as in colds, flu, etc.
Currently, the shiitake mushroom is the second most cultivated mushroom in the world.
What is the Shiitake mushroom made of?
Polysaccharides (Lentinano): constitute the main component. Lipids: high content of monoglycerides and free fatty acids. Phospholipids and cerebrosides. Essential amino acids: Lysine, Arginine, Methionine, and Phenylalanine Eritadenine (derived from adenosine) Minerals: sodium, potassium, silica, magnesium, calcium, aluminum, iron, phosphorus, and sulfur. Vitamins: Thiamine, Riboflavin and Niacin.
Shiitake, properties for our body
Shiitake mushrooms: most outstanding properties:
Immunological properties. It has been proven that it stimulates the secretion of cytokines and increases the generation of T lymphocytes, enhancing our immune system. The antiviral and antibacterial effect helps increase resistance against bacterial, fungal, viral, or parasite infections. Lipid-lowering because has been shown to decrease plasma concentrations of cholesterol and phospholipids significantly. It was stressing action due to its content in vitamins and minerals.
We are still in the middle of winter, but the temperatures are constantly changing, and the time we have during the day is very different from that at night.
These temperature changes reduce our ability to cope with diseases, weakening our defenses, which is why colds and flu tend to be more frequent in this climate, with all the discomfort this entails.
A portion of great food to improve defenses and avoid getting sick are mushrooms.
Mushrooms have numerous health benefits and are one of the best foods to eat on these dates.
To prevent our defenses from lowering the consumption of mushrooms has effects such as an increase in the production of cytokines that help us fight infections.
It should also be noted its high content of polysaccharides and vitamin C that improve our natural defenses.
But mushrooms not only help us improve our defenses, they help us control acidity in our body and are a good detoxifier, but they also have anti-inflammatory properties, and their vitamin D content favors skin healing.
These qualities and their low fat and calorie content make mushrooms an essential food in any healthy and balanced diet.
But now that we know their benefits, it is also interesting to know how we can eat them; for this reason, today, we bring you the recipe for some delicious mushroom croquettes suitable for vegans.
Mushrooms onion Wheat flour Unsweetened soy milk Bread crumbs
First, we prepare the filling; we start by washing and draining the mushrooms, chop the onion and mushrooms, and put them in the pan over low heat with a little oil and salt. We add the flour to the pan and wait to absorb the liquid to transfer everything to a pot. Now we add the soy milk carefully to avoid forming lumps, and we wait until the béchamel is well to add a little soy. We remove the bechamel and let it cool. We shape the croquette by shaping the bechamel and coating it in soy milk and breadcrumbs. We fry it, and we already have delicious croquettes
The consumption of mushrooms should not be limited only to specific recipes since they are an excellent nutritional contribution. What’s more, people who do not eat meat turn to mushrooms to enrich their dishes in terms of flavor and obtain food with a texture similar to that of chicken.
Mushrooms are generally added to tortillas and risottos. However, they can be enjoyed in many more ways and combined with various types of ingredients. They adapt very well to the taste of various spices and seasonings. Depending on the recipe, they can be taken hot or cold and certainly help to satisfy your appetite.
Benefits of consuming mushrooms
Do you like mushrooms? Do you think you usually consume them often enough? If you have doubts, you should review the following that we are going to comment on. Once you remember all the benefits that the consumption of mushrooms offers you, you will not hesitate to integrate them into your diet more often.
They are a source of antioxidants
The consumption of mushrooms provides you with different essential nutrients. One of these is selenium, a mineral with antioxidant properties that maintain the skin’s elasticity strengthens the immune system and counteracts the toxicity of heavy metals found in the environment due to pollution.
Therefore, it can be said that, in general, mushrooms are good allies to take care of the skin’s health, especially when it comes to preventing premature aging.
They contain potassium and phosphorus
Mushrooms also have two essential minerals: potassium and phosphorus. The first helps the body have normal muscle and neurological function, maintain normal blood pressure and conduct electricity (essential for heart function and muscle contraction). It also participates in the osmotic balance and the production of proteins (from its amino acids).
For its part, phosphorus is necessary for the body to produce protein for the growth, maintenance, and repair of cells and tissues; For this reason, it contributes to the formation of bones and teeth and the health of nails and hair, for example. Additionally, phosphorus contributes to the proper functioning of the kidneys, nerve signals, muscle contraction, among other aspects.
Given this, the consumption of mushrooms is very convenient when enjoying the benefits provided by these and other nutrients already mentioned.