Mushrooms are a great addition to your diet. Filled with essential vitamins and minerals, they have been found to help lower cholesterol and boost the immune system.
When it comes to mushrooms they are not all created equally. Shiitake mushrooms have one of the
highest amounts of natural copper, a mineral that supports healthy blood vessels, bones, and immune
support. In fact ½ cup of shiitake mushrooms gives you 72 percent of your daily recommended intake
(DRI) of this mineral. The shiitakes are also a rich source of selenium, providing 33 percent of your DRI.
Shiitake mushrooms contain eritadenine, a compound known to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood.
They also contain betaglucans that reduce inflammation and help prevent the intestines from absorbing
Shiitake mushrooms are rich in polysaccharides like lentinans and other betaglucans. These compounds
protect against cell damage, help your immune system, and boost white blood cell production for
fighting off microbes. Polysaccharides also have anti-inflammatory properties according to
Dr. Andrew Weil states mushrooms have a prominent place in his anti-inflammatory food pyramid, but
the shiitake (Lentinula Edodes) may be his favorite. Not only do they feature a firm texture and a rich,
umami taste, they also offer unique health benefits. Dr. Weil points out research indicates compounds
in shiitakes may lower cholesterol, enhance immune function and reduce risk of several kinds of cancer.