Health Benefits of Shiitake Mushrooms!
The Chinese have known of the health benefits of shiitake mushrooms for thousands of years. Shiitake mushrooms not only taste good, but are an excellent addition to a healthy diet.
Often called the medicinal mushroom, Shiitake mushrooms offer a wealth of benefits and nutrients that serve our health and vitality needs.
The substance Lentinan found in these mushrooms, has been licenced in Japan as an anti cancer drug because of it’s said ability to stimulate the immune system and de-activate malignant cells. It also triggers the production of the anti viral and anti bacterial substance Interferon.
From their ability to boost the immune system to addressing cardiovascular needs, Shiitake mushrooms are definitely an ingredient every cook should have in the pantry.
End the Sniffles!
The health benefits of Shiitake mushrooms also include their ability to diminish and bring relief from cold and flu symptoms. Before a strong onset of the symptoms, you can add Shiitake mushrooms to soups and broth to gain their restorative qualities. If you already have the malady, then it is best to take the Shiitake mushrooms in supplement form. These have anti blood clotting properties so if you are on blood thinning medication seek advice from your doctor.
- Vitamins B2, B5, B6 & D (D2 form)
- Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Selenium, Copper, Zinc, Magnesium
- Dietary Fiber
Preserving the health benefits of Shiitake Mushrooms!
The wonderful earthy flavor that Shiitake mushrooms add to most any dish makes them a welcome ingredient in many soups, salads, and as a topping on meats such as beef, chicken, or lamb.
To boost the flavor as well as the healthful qualities of the Shiitake mushrooms, try sautéing them with some onions and garlic to enjoy the benefits that all of the ingredients will bring to your table. To keep this healthy, instead of sautéing them in oil or butter, you can use a low fat/low sodium beef or chicken broth. Cooking Shiitake mushrooms is quick if you want the full punch of their medicinal benefits. The cooking time should not be more than seven minutes to retain the full health benefits of Shiitake mushrooms. The caps are naturally tender–but trimming the tougher stems is recommended.
Shiitake Mushroom Recipe
Asian Style Green Beans and Mushrooms
- 1 cup sliced Shiitake mushroom caps
- 2 cups trimmed green beans
- 1 clove garlic
- ¼ cup chicken broth (low fat/low sodium)
- low sodium soy sauce
- sesame oil
- almond slivers (toasted)
Use a skillet over medium/medium high heat to bring chicken broth up to temperature. Simply crush the garlic clove and add to the broth and use to add flavor. If you prefer a more dominant punch of garlic, you can mince the garlic and leave in the dish, otherwise remove the crushed clove before serving!
Add the Shiitake mushrooms and allow to simmer for about three minutes. The Shiitake mushrooms will drink in much of the broth moisture and flavor.
Add the green beans to the mixture and continue to stir the mixture allowing a subtle browning of the green beans skin. Adding a slight drizzle of the sesame oil at this point helps cook the beans and add flavor. It does not take a lot of sesame oil to add flavor so go sparingly! After about 6-7 minutes add about a teaspoon of the low sodium soy sauce and the toasted almond slices. If you do not have toasted almond slices, you can heat them in a pan over medium heat tossing them just until you smell their oils being released then remove them or they will burn! You can also use sesame seeds if you prefer them to almonds!
This dish is great served hot as a side dish or can be used as a main course for a vegetarian option substituting the chicken or beef broth with vegetable broth. It is also good at room temperature or even chilled! A delicious way to enjoy the health benefits of Shiitake mushrooms. If you have a great Shiitake Mushroom recipe send it to me via my contact me page and I’ll publish it here.
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