90 g (3.17 oz)
Recommended Intake: Steep shiitake fungus in hot water for approx. 1 hour, rinse it with cold water. 5 pieces (approx. 20 g) of Shiitake suggested daily. Add to any type of dish, eg. stews or soups.
The shiitake (Lentinula edodes) is an edible mushroom native to East Asia, which is cultivated and consumed in many Asian countries, as well as being dried and exported to many countries around the world. It is a feature of many Asian cuisines including Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Thai. A symbol of longevity in Asia because of their health-promoting properties, Shiitake mushrooms have been used medicinally by the Chinese for more than 6,000 years. Now that their rich, smoky flavor has endeared them to American tastebuds, these exotic hearty mushrooms can be found in supermarket shelves across the U.S as well.
Shiitake mushrooms have been researched for their medicinal benefits, most notably their anti-tumor properties in laboratory mice. These studies have also identified the polysaccharide lentinan, a β-D-glucan, as the active compound responsible for the anti-tumor effects.
Extracts from shiitake mushrooms have also been researched for many other immunological benefits, ranging from anti-viral properties to possible treatments for severe allergies, as well as arthritis.
Lenthionine, a key flavour compound of shiitake, also inhibits platelet aggregation, so it is a promising treatment for thrombosis.
Shiitake are also one of a few known natural sources of vegan and kosher vitamin D (vitamin D2).
Shiitake Mushrooms Found to be Top Food Source of Potent Antioxidant
L-ergothioneine, a powerful antioxidant, has been discovered in mushrooms, thanks to a new analytical method capable of identifying this antioxidant in plant material. In research presented at the 2005 American Chemical Society meeting in Washington, D.C., an American research team revealed that mushrooms contain higher concentrations L-ergothioneine than either of the two dietary sources previously believed to contain the most: chicken liver and wheat germ.
Testing mushrooms consumed in the U.S., the team found that shiitake, oyster, king oyster and maitake mushrooms contain the highest amounts of ergothioneine, with up to 13 mg in a 3-ounce serving. This equals forty times as much as is found in wheat germ.
Of the most commonly consumed mushrooms, portabellas and criminis have the most L-ergothioneine, followed by white buttons. White buttons, the most popular of all mushrooms consumed in the U.S., contain up to 5 mg per three ounce serving—12 times as much as wheat germ and 4 times more than chicken liver. And more good news, L-ergothioneine is not destroyed when mushrooms are cooked.