Today, I would like to talk about how we can boost our immune system this winter.
There are numbers of Japanese superfoods that are wonderful immune system boosters, but today I would like to focus on SHIITAKE MUSHROOM.
SHIITAKE’s medical effects have been recognized since ancient times through to the present days.
Shiitake is widely known as a “medical mushroom” due to its long history of medical use, particularly oriental medicine tradition. During the Chinese Ming Dynasty (AD1368 -1644), physician Wu Ri wrote that Shiitake should be used as a remedy for:
- Upper Respiratory Disease
- Poor Blood Circulation
- Liver Trouble
- General Exhaustion to Stimulate Qi -Life Energy
In modern days, studies by researchers at U.S National Cancer Institute and the Japanese National Cancer Institute have established the shiitake mushroom as a:
- Cancer Fighter
- An immune booster
- A Powerful Cholesterol-Lowering Food
Shiitake mushroom also offers amazing nutrients that are fabulous for your health, namely:
- Fiber (About 40% of dried shiitake being dietary fiber and the highest concentration of fiber of all mushroom) – great for gut health = strong immune system
- Copper (65% of an adult’s recommended daily intake. Copper is an essential mineral that works in synergy with iron)
- Vitamin B2 B6
- Vitamin C – helps to keep your immune system strong!
Fresh shiitake mushroom
How Shiitake Mushroom Boost Your Immune System?
- The nutrients in shiitake can boost your immune function, decreasing the risk of infection and combating many diseases. Shiitake offers fabulous immune-boosting elements with important vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, among which most well-known nutrient for the immune-boosting is a beta-glucan polysaccharide, also called “ Lentinan” – The most studied mushroom beta-glucan
- Lentinan is a type of complex sugar compound called polysaccharide. Beta-glucans are believed to stimulate the immune system and provide excellent immune system support.
- A study published in the journal of the American College of Nutrition, the researchers concluded by suggesting that consuming mushrooms improved cell effector function and improved gut immunity, There was also a reduction of inflammation due to mushroom consumption.
- Lentinan also triggers certain cells and proteins in the body to attack cancer cells. In laboratory studies, it seems top slow the growth of some cancer cells. Lentinan is approved in Japan for the treatment of cancer and also used as an adjuvant to cancer chemotherapy. It is a key phytonutrient in shiitake mushrooms and found at a relatively high level.
- Extra good news for lentinan effect is that: it also has a hypolipidaemic ( fat-reducing) effect!
Shiitake can be cooked in Western style dishes
Example: Shiitake bruschetta. The recipe is available in my Japanese Superfoods cookbook.
Ready for having Shiitake mushroom?
Hope you do after you learn all fabulous health benefits of shiitake mushroom! BUT!!!!
NOT ALL SHIITAKE IS THE SAME! – CHOOSE SUNDRIED SHIITAKE MUSHROOM
Quite a few shiitake mushrooms are dried with chemical (yak!)
So choose the sundried shiitake. It is great not only chemical free but also HIGHER VITAMIN D contents! Shiitake contains Ergosterol, that is converted to vitamin D2 by exposure to UV light. You can also put your shiitake under the sun at home before you use as well.
SUPER EASY SHIITAKE HOME REMEDY
I believe you are ready for shiitake! here is super easy shiitake cough medicine
Shiitake cough medicine (Thanks to shiitake’s antiviral properties!)
- Soak dried shiitake in warm water until soft,
- then remove the shiitake and boil down the shiitake extract liquid to half of the quantity.
- Add some honey
The transition of the season is the time we tend to get sick, let’s stay warm and keep our immune system strong from a healthy diet!
Happy healthy cooking xx
Let’s learn together!
Have I told you I run a healthy cooking school in Sydney and offering various types of vegetarian, vegan, gluten free modern and traditional Japanese cooking class?
It is best you can come and join cooking class in Sydney especially Japanese Superfoods as medicine class where you can learn shiitake dishes and other Japanese medicinal foods !
Even if you cannot make it to the class(es), you can always join my online course. Or learn about Japanese cooking as well as Shiitake Mushroom home remedies, Shiitake Mushroom recipes, etc via my Japanese superfoods cookbook! The latest edition is now available with new photos and easy-to-follow layout!
Another Western style option: Shiitake stroganoff
The recipe is available in my Japanese Superfoods cookbook.
Happy healthy shiitake cooking xxx