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Shiitake Mushroom Effects

Shiitake Mushroom Effects: 

Originally grown in Japan, Shiitake mushrooms are classified in the castantonopis genus, known as “shi” in Japanese. Shiitake mushrooms are visually classified by their tan, umbrella shaped cap and cream stem and unique texture. The mushroom’s delicious, velvety taste ranks it as one of the most widely harvested globally. Above a wondrous taste, shiitake is acclaimed for its vast benefits. This popular mushroom dates back millenia used in ancient Chinese herbalism as a health tonic.*

You may have first heard of “shiitake” on TV when an actor substituted the word for a common expletive or a phrase used by parents or family friends. Fast forward over a decade and this mushroom has become a favorite fungi to cook with in the culinary world.

Shiitake fits well into so many dishes from pasta, to pizza, to rice dishes; it’s quite a pleasant surprise that this versatile mushroom can also contribute to many health benefits.*  Whether you decide to cook with Shiitake or use it as a supplement, here are a few reasons why it’s a worthy mushroom to implement into your health arsenal.* 

Shiitake for the Cardiovascular System* 

One factor to consider in heart health is dietary levels of fiber.* When people think of fiber, they may immediately think of powdered supplements that dissolve in water. It’s a pleasant surprise that these buttery mushrooms can also be a source of dietary fiber.* Shiitake’s fibrous nature can be a great addition to a healthy diet and exercise.* 

Shiitake mushrooms also contain vitamin D.* Vitamin D is an important nutrient for supporting heart health and bone health.* On days when you’re not out soaking rays of the sun, consider soaking some shiitake in your favorite sauce to support your vitamin D levels.*

Shiitake for Immune Support:* 

Mushrooms are often touted for their immune supporting properties; this umami mushroom also may help support a healthy immune system.* Shiitake is one of the most widely known adaptogens, in part because of its culinary demand. Adaptogens help support the body’s natural processes and maintain homeostasis.

In times of occasional stress, adaptogens serve as helpful cushion for a healthy immune response within normal ranges.* Shiitake mushrooms are sourced as one of the ten ingredients in our Daily Ten Tincture, our tincture made to help support immune function and overall well being.* 

Shiitake also contains polysaccharides, a carbohydrate, which when extracted properly, may help contribute to a healthy immune response.* Fun-fact: the polysaccharide that builds Shiitake’s cell wall is known as Chitin, which for some may make the mushroom a bit difficult to digest, so always cook Shiitake mushrooms and chew thoroughly! The most common healthful polysaccharides found in mushrooms are beta-glucans.

One beta-glucan in the fruit-body of Shiitake is Lentinan (B-1,3-Glucan), which may contribute to its immune supporting properties.* If you’re curious about beta-glucans, read our post explaining some common beta-glucans found in mushrooms. 

Shiitake & Essential Amino Acids:* 

For vegetarians and vegans shiitake maintains utmost interest, and not just for its meaty texture.* Shiitake contains 18 amino acids, giving it the capability to potentially support the body’s amino acid store.

100 grams of shiitake mushroom has 6.7g of arginine, an essential amino acid found in fish and poultry, and eggs.* To put that into perspective, 100 grams of an egg contains 6.5g of arginine. Just four mushrooms contain over a gram and a half of protein, a dense amount for plant matter!* 

Shiitake Promotes Metabolic Function:* 

Shiitake may help support a healthy metabolic function.* The bountiful mushrooms contain B-vitamins like pantothenic acid (B5) that may help bolster great metabolic functioning.* Pantothenic acid is an active component of a metabolic enzyme (coenzyme A), an enzyme that may be essential for a healthy metabolism.* Vitamin B is often supplemented in the vegetarian diet, and these mushrooms may provide extra support to a daily B supplement.

Shiitake, as mentioned earlier, can be a source of Vitamin D.* Vitamin D plays a role in the metabolism of certain nutrients such as calcium.* 


This tasty mushroom is growing as a kitchen staple, and it’s great to be aware of its benefits. Shiitake’s effects in supporting the maintenance of a healthy body range far and wide.* Next time you’re at the store, you may consider getting your hands on this salutary shroom.