7 Shiitake Mushrooms Health Facts
Shiitake (Lentinula edodes) mushrooms are the second most popular mushroom in the world, and they’re super tasty and easy to cook. Beyond that, these mushrooms offer plenty of nutritional and health support.* Let’s run down some Shiitake mushrooms health facts!
Shiitake Mushrooms 101
Shiitake mushrooms get their name from the Japanese word for “oak,” or shia. Take is Japanese for “mushroom.” While it’s not a Shiitake mushrooms health fact per se, it’s worth noting that their species name, edodes, means “edible”! This yummy, umami-packed fungi grows on fallen broadleaf trees across China, Japan and other Asian countries with temperate climates. They also grow in the US, and you can grow them on logs with only a little effort. In both China and Japan, Shiitake mushrooms have been eaten and consumed as supplements for millennia. You’ll find Shiitake mushrooms in our Mush-10 powder and tincture.
Here are some Shiitake mushrooms health facts worth learning!
1. Shiitake mushrooms are low in calories.
A cup of cooked Shiitake mushrooms contains only 80 calories — and that’s a lot of mushrooms! One popular way to eat mushrooms is by mincing them and mixing with meat. This not only adds flavor and texture to dishes, but it also helps bulk up meals for fewer calories.
2. Shiitake mushrooms provide fiber.
You also get 3 grams of fiber in that cup of Shiitake mushrooms. Fiber is a type of indigestible carbohydrate found only in plants and mushrooms. It plays a number of roles in the body, supporting heart health, gut health, regularity and healthy blood sugar levels within normal ranges. Men need to eat 38 grams daily, according to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, while women need 25 grams, but most people fall short. Eating a cup of mushrooms puts you closer to your daily quota in a tasty way!
3. Shiitake mushrooms are a good source of riboflavin, vitamin B6, niacin, zinc and manganese.
Foods are a “good source” of an essential mineral or vitamin if they provide 10% to 19% of the Daily Value of that nutrient in a serving. Shiitakes give you 15% of your DV for riboflavin, 12% of the DV for B6 and 11% of your niacin.
Zinc is a mineral that supports wound healing and immune health, and you get 13% of your DV from a cup of cooked Shiitakes. You also get 15% of your manganese for the day, which supports blood clotting and other important processes in the body.
We still have four Shiitake mushrooms health facts to go!
4. Shiitake mushrooms are an excellent source of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) and selenium.
Vitamin B5 is better known as pantothenic acid. While not as well-known as some other vitamins, B5 helps you make blood cells and process food into energy. By providing 52% of the DV for this vitamin, Shiitake mushrooms are an excellent source (meaning they provide at least 20%).
Plus, you get over half of your daily selenium (51%) and copper (65%) from Shiitakes! Selenium is a mineral that is known to have potent antioxidant qualities, while copper helps support energy production, iron metabolism and more.
5. Shiitake mushrooms contain vitamin D.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that your body needs to absorb calcium (for bone health). It also helps healthy cell growth and immune function.* Most of the time, we get this nutrient from animal-based foods (or sunlight), but one of the coolest Shiitake mushrooms health facts is that they also provide vitamin D.
A cup will give you 40.6 international units of vitamin D, in the form of ergocalciferol (D2). When Shiitake mushrooms are exposed to UV light, they can actually increase their vitamin D levels!
6. Shiitake mushrooms support immune health.*
In both China and Japan, Shiitake mushrooms were traditionally used to support the immune system for everything from acute responses to cellular support.(1)* Today, Shiitake fruiting body extract, which is known as lentinan, is researched and used widely. Lentinan supports white blood cells and offers antioxidant support for the immune system.*(2)
7. Shiitake mushrooms can support your health in plenty of ways.*
Here’s the last of our Shiitake mushrooms health facts (for now): Beyond immune support, Shiitake mushrooms promote healthy cholesterol within normal ranges, antioxidant support, skin health and liver support.*
Thanks for reading through these Shiitake mushrooms health facts — did you learn anything new?
(1) Finimundy, T.C., Dillon, A.J.P., Henriques, J.A.P. and Ely, M.R. (2014) A Review on General Nutritional Compounds and Pharmacological Properties of the Lentinula edodes Mushroom. Food and Nutrition Sciences, 5, 1095-1105. http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/fns.2014.512119
(2) Keegan, R. J., Lu, Z., Bogusz, J. M., Williams, J. E., & Holick, M. F. (2013). Photobiology of vitamin D in mushrooms and its bioavailability in humans. Dermato-endocrinology, 5(1), 165–176. https://doi.org/10.4161/derm.23321.