Favorite culinary mushroom found to help boost immunity when eaten daily for four weeks!
A new study from University of Florida shows that people who ate cooked shiitake mushrooms daily for four weeks had increased immunity! There are thousands of mushrooms grown throughout the world, and only 20 of which are used for culinary purposes. Shiitake mushrooms are native to Asia and used for culinary and medicinal benefits. (1,2)
The study included 52 participants, ages 21 to 41, none of which were vegetarian or vegan. To be eligible for the study, participants could not be prior tea drinkers, be on an antioxidant supplements or probiotics. All participants went to the Gainesville, FL campus and received a four-week supply of dry shiitake mushrooms. Participants took the mushrooms home, cleaned and cooked them. Each participant ate one 4-ounce serving of mushrooms per day for the longevity of the experiment. (1,2)
Consumption of shiitake mushrooms found to improve functioning of T-cells and reduce inflammatory proteins.
Blood tests were taken before and after the experiment. Blood tests concluded that participants had improved functioning of gamma delta T-cells and reduction in inflammatory proteins. (1,2)
“If you eat a shiitake mushroom every day, you could see changes in their immune system that are beneficial,” said lead author, Sue Percival. “We’re enhancing the immune system, but we’re also reducing the inflammation that the immune system produces.” (1,2)
Other studies show that shiitake mushrooms have many other health benefits that include cancer prevention and the ability to protect your liver!
Prior studies show that shiitake mushrooms may do more than just boost your immune system. Lentinan is a potent antifungal protein found in shiitake mushrooms and has been found in one study to have cancer-preventing properties. The study showed slower development in small tumors after oral treatment with lentinan. It also showed the ability to reduce the negative effect in the progression of HIV and the ability of proliferation of leukemia cells. (3)
A different study shown that the spores of shiitake mushrooms can protect your liver, suppress inflammation, and have cancer preventative properties for hepatitis patients. (3)
The next time you’re looking to add mushrooms to your favorite dish, try shiitake! They are relatively affordable compared to other culinary mushroom and the woodsy flavor will enhance the flavor of any dish.
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Lynn is a licensed therapist who enjoys cooking, creativity and enjoys helping other’s learn how to care for their minds and bodies through healthy eating. In the past four years, Lynn has altered her lifestyle and is committed to empowering other’s to have improved self care, mental health, and stress management. Each article and recipe submitted is with the intent to help each person move forward in their journey.
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