Health Benefits of Shiitake Mushroom

Asian cuisine frequently uses the savory ingredient shiitake mushrooms. Shiitake mushrooms are low in calories, fat, and protein and high in fiber. They include abundant amounts of more difficult-to-obtain plant nutrients like vitamin D, zinc, choline, and B vitamins.

Nutrition Facts for Shiitake Mushroom

Shiitake mushrooms, when cooked, have a calorie count of 81, 2.3g of protein, 21g of carbs, and 0.3g of fat per cup (145g). Shiitake mushrooms are a fantastic source of zinc, vitamin D, and vitamin B vitamins. The USDA has given the dietary facts listed below.


Shiitake mushrooms contain mostly carbs, with 3 grams of fiber being particularly healthy. 5.6 grams of natural sugar are also present in 1 cup of cooked shiitake mushrooms.

Mushrooms have a low glycemic index of 10 to 15, making them a healthy food choice.


Almost no fat is present in shiitake mushrooms. However, if you cook them in butter or oil, your intake of fat will increase; instead, use a heart-healthy option like olive oil.


Shiitake mushrooms have 2.3 grams of protein per cooked cup. Despite not being a significant source of this macronutrient, they do contain all the necessary amino acids.

Vitamins and Minerals

Shiitake mushrooms include a number of vitamins and minerals. Some shiitake mushrooms are enhanced with UV-B light to add nutritionally important vitamin D.3 Zinc, manganese, and many B vitamins are all naturally present in shiitake mushrooms. The minerals selenium and copper are particularly abundant in them.

Shiitake mushrooms contain the B vitamins thiamin, riboflavin, folate, niacin, and B5 (104% of the daily recommended intake per cup, based on a 2,000-calorie diet). Additionally, choline, which is necessary for metabolism and the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, is present in shiitake mushrooms in good amounts.


Shiitake mushrooms provide 81 calories per cup (145g), with 88% of the calories coming from carbohydrates, 9% from protein, and 3% from fat. Shiitake mushrooms are a satisfying and low-calorie dish.

Shiitake Mushroom Benefits

Shiitake mushrooms may improve nutritional status among plant-based eating, lower the risk of prostate cancer, treat gingivitis, boost immunity, and support heart health. Shiitake mushrooms have long been utilized in alternative medicine as a natural treatment. The promising health advantages of shiitake mushrooms are also supported by contemporary medicine. Here is a closer look at some of the shiitake mushrooms’ conceivable health advantages.

Supports Immunological System

The ability of shiitake mushroom extract to improve immune system function is widely documented. It contains beta-glucan, a polysaccharide that boosts the function of white blood cells like macrophages and natural killer cells, which are in charge of fending against infections and harmful substances. By enhancing your immune system, shiitake mushroom extract can help you prevent infections and preserve good health.

Powerhouse of Antioxidants

Shiitake mushroom extract is rich in antioxidants and supports the body’s defenses against free radicals and oxidative stress. Because of its antioxidant properties, it may help shield cells from damage, minimize inflammation, and reduce the risk of chronic illnesses including heart disease and some types of cancer.

Promotes Heart Health

Mushrooms are a heart-healthy food because they are naturally low in sodium and saturated fats, especially when used as a substitute for processed meats. Shiitake mushrooms contain soluble fiber called beta-glucan, which lowers cholesterol.5 Shiitake mushrooms contain potassium, which lowers blood pressure as well.

Reduces Risk of Prostate Cancer

A 2019 study that followed more than 36,000 Japanese men between the ages of 40 and 79 discovered a link between eating mushrooms and a lower risk of prostate cancer. Ergothioneine, an antioxidant found in mushroom variations like shiitake, king oyster, oyster, and maitake varieties that might lessen oxidative stress, is the cause of the association, according to researchers.

Helps Prevent Gingivitis

The collection of “bad” bacteria in the mouth and the formation of plaque are the two main causes of the treatable dental illness gingivitis. This bacteria destroys the tissues of the gums and can result in problems like periodontal disease.

Shiitake mushroom extract has been found in studies to be able to lessen these dangerous bacteria while maintaining beneficial bacteria. These findings imply that shiitake mushrooms have advantages for tooth health.

Aids Immunity

Since the body does not store much copper, having a consistent food source can help prevent a deficiency. More copper than the average adult needs daily is found in one cup of cooked shiitake mushrooms.

The production and function of several immune cells, including as T cells, neutrophils, phagocytes, B lymphocytes, natural killer cells, and antibodies, are supported by copper, which is essential for the immune system.

Liver Health

The liver is crucial for overall health and detoxification. Hepatoprotective compounds including polysaccharides and triterpenoids are present in shiitake mushroom extract, supporting liver function and preventing liver damage brought on by toxins and oxidative stress.

Enhanced Brain Function

Bioactive compounds found in shiitake mushroom extract have been associated with improved cognitive and brain health. They may reduce the occurrence of age-related neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s by assisting in the defense of brain cells against oxidative harm and inflammation.

Improves Nutritional Status of Vegetarians

Shiitake mushrooms provide a number of valuable nutrients for vegetarians, lowering the likelihood of deficiency. The zinc-rich shiitake mushroom is a wonderful food to eat. Typically, red meat, poultry, and seafood contain zinc. Shiitake mushrooms that have been cooked include almost 2 milligrams of zinc per cup, which helps you reach your daily zinc need of 8 to 11 milligrams.

For those seeking a savory vegan or vegetarian snack alternative, shiitake mushrooms make a fantastic foundation for some of the greatest jerky.


Although shiitake mushrooms aren’t regarded as a typical allergen, it is nonetheless possible to be sensitive to them. Although exceedingly uncommon, it has been demonstrated in one instance that handling shiitake mushrooms can cause asthma through an IgE-mediated reaction.

Ask your doctor for an allergy test if you’re worried you could be allergic to shiitake mushrooms.

Adverse Effects

Shiitake mushroom consumption when uncooked may result in dermatitis. Raw shiitake mushrooms contain lentinan, a toxin that can make some people develop a rash. Shiitake mushrooms should be cooked before eating to prevent this reaction, even though it usually goes away within a week or so.

Supplements containing shiitake are promoted as having health advantages. But it’s crucial to remember that supplements are mainly unregulated and not safety-tested. Before introducing any new supplements into your routine, use caution and consult your physician or a qualified dietitian nutritionist.


You may find shiitake mushrooms (fresh or dried) in several grocery stones and markets at a much reasonable price. Shiitake mushrooms can be reconstituted by soaking them in water for 20 minutes before to use.

Shiitake mushrooms may also be included in a range of dietary supplements and goods, such powders or coffee made with mushrooms.

When It's Best

Shiitake mushrooms are best harvested in the late winter or early spring. Shiitake mushrooms can be grown in your own garden, but it’s not a good idea to go foraging for them in the wild. It is simple to mix up harmful deadly mushrooms with safe eating types. Buy your mushrooms from a respected market to be on the safe side.

Shiitake mushrooms should be flexible and pliable. Pressing the skin should cause it to spring back. Keep an eye out for mold and slime hints. After purchasing shiitake mushrooms, use them right away or store them.

Storage and Food Safety

Remove plastic coverings and place mushrooms in a paper bag with good ventilation. Shiitake mushrooms can survive for several weeks if they are kept in a dark, cool environment (41 degrees Fahrenheit).

Use a mushroom brush or a wet paper towel to thoroughly clean the mushrooms before cutting or cooking with them. To prevent spoiling, do this right away before putting them to use.

Shiitake mushrooms can also be kept in the freezer. To prevent discoloration, soak them first for five minutes in a solution of one pint of water and one teaspoon of lemon juice. Before drying and putting them in sealed containers for the freezer, steam them for about 3 minutes.

Shiitake mushrooms can also be dried in a dehydrator or a low heat oven (200 degrees Fahrenheit with an open door) as an alternative to freezing. They can be stored in a dark area once they are cool and dry and reconstituted when needed.

How to Prepare

Shiitake mushrooms have a meaty, umami-rich texture that is ideal for savory meals. To enhance your intake of vegetables, think about adding shiitake mushrooms to stir-fries or burgers. Shiitake mushroom stems work well in broths because they are more durable than the caps.


In conclusion, shiitake mushrooms have some pretty amazing health advantages. These fungi have long been valued in traditional medicine, and current research is still revealing all of their beneficial properties.

Shiitake mushrooms are brimming with vital elements, such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which boost heart health, the immune system, and general wellbeing. Additionally, they include special chemicals with anti-cancer and cholesterol-lowering characteristics, like lentinan and eritadenine.

Beta-glucans, which help to control blood sugar levels and lessen inflammation, are also found in shiitake mushrooms. Shiitake mushroom consumption can be a delightful and healthy approach to improve health and vitality, providing a tasty route to a healthier way of life.

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