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There are some foods that kids just won't go near, and mushrooms may be near the top of that list. Strangely enough, mushrooms are often beloved by adults. Shiitake mushrooms aren't just delicious—they have a range of other health benefits, too. If you love eating mushrooms and are looking for a way to improve your diet a bit, consider eating more shiitake mushrooms. Here's everything you need to know about how shiitake mushrooms can benefit your health.

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B Vitamins

The B vitamin complex includes eight different vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12. All of these vitamins play a crucial role in your body by providing different health benefits, but most of them do one thing exceptionally well: provide you with energy. There are a few different B vitamins in shiitake mushrooms, which makes them a great part of any balanced diet. If you're looking to add a little natural energy boost, this may be what you need. One serving—four shiitake mushrooms—has 33% of your daily B5 and 7% of your daily B6.

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Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that helps prevent illnesses and enhance our moods and energy. A Vitamin D deficiency can make us feel fatigued and cause us to get sick more often and is a big problem during the winter in areas that don't get a lot of sun. Luckily, you can get some of that vitamin D back in your body simply by adding more shiitake mushrooms to your diet. In just four little shiitake mushrooms, you will get 6% of your daily value of vitamin D.

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Weight Loss

Of the many health benefits of shiitake mushrooms, its ability to aid in weight loss is certainly up near the top of the list. Not only do shiitake mushrooms have compounds that have fat-reducing effects, but they can also help you feel more satiated, so you don't have the urge to eat as often. Plus, shiitake mushrooms make an excellent substitute for meat in things like stir-fry, so it's an easy way to make your meals feel larger when they actually aren't.

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Cardiovascular Health

Some of the compounds found in shiitake mushrooms can also help to improve your cardiovascular health. Phytonutrients help keep your blood pressure in check by keeping your blood vessel walls clean. A study by the Tohoku University of Japan discovered that rats with hypertension who were given shiitake mushrooms were able to maintain their blood pressure levels better. In addition to this, substituting shiitake mushrooms for less healthy ingredients will improve your overall diet.

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Brain Function

Brain function is a problem we all have from time to time, so foods that can improve brain function are a vital part of our diets. Shiitake mushrooms do a great job of improving brain function by providing you with plenty of B vitamins. Shiitake mushrooms can also help keep your hormones balanced so you can maintain focus. Vitamin B5 and B6 are the two B vitamins found in shiitakes, and they're two of the main ones responsible for improving brain function.

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Energy Levels

If energy is often a problem for you, you should definitely be getting more shiitake mushrooms in your diet. These wonderful little fungi give you lots of B vitamins, which is an essential part of keeping your energy levels up. If you're deficient in one or more B vitamins, you may find yourself having trouble thinking clearly or feeling more fatigued throughout the day.

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Inflammation

While the actual symptoms of diseases vary quite a lot, swelling seems to be the cause of many of them according to recent information. Shiitake mushrooms naturally help reduce inflammation in your body. Add them to your diet wherever you can to reduce pain and relieve the symptoms of inflammation-related diseases.

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Immune Health

Your immune system is the only thing standing between you and the waves of bacteria and viruses in the air, so it's important to keep it healthy. Eating immune-system-boosting foods is a good way to prevent and help fight illnesses, and it saves you a fortune on vitamin C supplements. Shiitake mushrooms have the vitamins and minerals your body needs for healthy immune function. Eating shiitake mushrooms will even help improve your gut immunity.

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Cancer-Fighting

Shiitake mushrooms can be a healthy part of your everyday diet, but evidence has shown that they may also help in fighting cancer. Not only that, the lentinan that shiitakes contain heals the damage done to your body by cancer-fighting treatments. In a 2006 study, shiitake mushrooms were shown to have the potential to inhibit cancer cell growth due to its mycochemical value.

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Eating More Shiitake Mushrooms

Most people don't like to eat mushrooms plain like a bag of potato chips, so how can you get enough shiitake mushrooms in your diet? One great way to use shiitakes is in a stir-fry or similar dish. Mushrooms go great with chicken and are a perfect complement to Chinese cuisine.

You can also make homemade shiitake mushroom ketchup. When you're done, dry the strained mushroom chunks and use them as a topping or seasoning for other food.

If you really don't like the flavor of mushrooms but still want the health benefits, you can try deep frying your shiitake mushrooms or stuff them with cheese to mask some of the flavors. As long as you're getting a good dose of shiitakes in your diet, you're on your way to experiencing tons of health benefits.

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Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.