Shiitake mushrooms are one of the best immunity boosting foods you can eat. They are used in many cultures for their medicinal healing properties. There’s plenty of evidence that shiitake mushrooms are some of the most powerful medicinal foods out there. From treating colds to lowering cholesterol to fighting cancer, this humble fungus is truly magical. – But why haven’t you heard about them already?

Let’s take a closer look at what they offer.

Boost Your Immune System

The very first big benefit that you’ll get from Shiitake mushrooms are that they will really help to boost the immune system’s function by providing you with a certain nutrient called a lentinan.  With a stronger immune system present you’ll be able to ward off disease and infection better, thus become ill that much less often.

Lowers Cholesterol

Consuming healthy fat varieties is a very important thing to be doing for good heart health but if you want protection regardless of the fat you’re consuming, turn to shiitake mushrooms.  A compound called eritadenine found within this mushroom will work to bring down your overall HDL levels regardless. Eritadenine is a potent chemical and works differently than statins by increasing HDL and reducing LDL. Also, the fibers (insoluable and soluable) found in shiitake naturally help reduce cholesterol levels.

While this is no excuse to be eating saturated fats in the first place, if you do have a diet that is high in this nutrient, you should definitely be eating shiitake mushrooms to help ward off the effects.

Provides Protection Against Cancer

The third reason to include shiitake mushrooms in your diet plan is because that same lentinan that was responsible for increasing your immune system can also help to prevent the growth of tumor cells.  Clinical trials have shown that shiitake mycelium extract with lentinan have helped increase survival rates of individuals who have inoperable or recurrent gastric cancer. Shiitake mushrooms are not a substitute for radiation or chemotherapy. For best results, talk with your doctor. We’ve developed a list of questions for you to ask your doctor.

Liver protector

Recent studies show that shiitake mushrooms can help protect the liver. Some patients with chronic hepatitis B had lower levels of inflammation and lower liver enzyme levels after taking shiitake mushrooms. (Again, ask your doctor if this is an option for you.)

Antiviral Effects

One of the chemicals in shiitake (lentinan) has been shown to suppress infectious herpes viruses in animals.

Iron Booster

Finally, shiitake mushrooms will provide a modest dose of iron content as well, so for those who do struggle to reach their recommended daily intake, that’s something to consider as well.  They won’t provide all the iron you need, but an 8 oz serving will supply you with about 20% of what you should be taking in.

Combine this with some red meat or other foods rich in iron content and you’ll be all set.

So be sure to pick up a few of these mushrooms next time you’re in the grocery store and add them into your next dinner meal.

Buying shiitake mushrooms

If you are serious about boosting your immune system with shiitake mushrooms, consider making your own tea powder or liquid slurries. We promise they will be delicious! If you don’t have time to make them and want to buy them choose mushroom supplements that are made from ‘total extract’, meaning the entire mushroom.

What about Cordyceps, Lion’s Mane, Red Reishi, and Chaga mushrooms?

Mushrooms can help build your immune system as well as get a good night sleep. Check out our delicious mushroom recipes.