Shitake Health Benefits – Learn more about this type of mushroom

The shiitake or shitake is a type of mushroom originating from East Asia that has fallen in favor of more populations, being even cultivated in other parts of the globe. To understand what shitake is, it is important to know its origin. Its scientific name is Lentinula edodes and belongs to the Marasmiaceae family and the Basidiomycota division , which corresponds to edible mushrooms. It is the second most consumed type of mushroom in the world.

Very easy to find in the forests of Japan, the fungus can be seen in the hulls of logs, because its function is to decompose the dead wood of trees. Even because of this, it can be cultivated without problems inside trunks. Shitake and shimeji are widely consumed, not only in Japanese cuisine, but also in Brazil. Even more the shimeji, as it is very present in oriental food rotations.

In addition to being tasty, shitake offers several health benefits to those who consume it regularly. In this article, we’ll detail the properties that work for the immune system and also show you how to prepare shitake.


There are several properties of shitake that work positively in the body. Among the main ones are:

  • Lowering blood pressure;
  • Lowering cholesterol;
  • Strengthening of the immune system against the onset of diseases;
  • Protection of the liver against liver disease;
  • Fights diabetes and improves intestinal flora because it is rich in fiber;

In addition to these more fundamental properties, there are scientific studies that indicate that the consumption of shitake can even combat some causes of Alzheimer’s disease.

The nutritional value of shitake is invaluable as it is very rich in nutrients as well as vitamins. For example, 17% of the dry mass of fresh shitake corresponds to amino acids essential to the human body. In this way, it can replace red meat, making it ideal for vegetarians and even for those who need to reduce the consumption of animal protein in their diet.

Another positive point is, as the fungus carries large amounts of fiber, it helps fight hunger, increasing the feeling of satiety. The shitake mushroom carries a lot of folic acid and vitamin B9, which are important for the proper functioning of the nervous system. In addition, those who consume 150 grams of shitake daily will be reaching 100% of their vitamin B5 needs, which are essential in controlling the body’s response to stress, as well as helping in the metabolism of sugars, fats and proteins in the body.

The fungus also has:

  • Vitamins B2 and B3;
  • Selenium in large amounts;
  • Calcium;
  • Manganese;
  • Zinc;


Shitake has several benefits for those who consume it regularly. Below we will detail a little more about the benefits of shitake to the body:

1.Helps to prevent cancer – shitake has lentinan in its components, a substance that helps strengthen the immune system and also helps prevent cancer. Research indicates that it can help slow down tumor growth or prevent metastasis from occurring.

2. Antioxidants fight free radicals – these properties, rich in shitake, help fight free radicals that age cells and can cause mutations that, in some cases, lead to cancer. An example of this is L-ergothionein, a rich antioxidant very present in shitake.

3. It works against diseases – in addition to fighting free radicals and cancer, it can also help control high blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels and work against diabetes and heart-related diseases. It also prevents thrombosis, as lentinan prevents platelets from accumulating and forming clots in the veins.

4. Balances the weight – packed with fiber, this mushroom is low in calories: 200 grams of shitake has just 70kcal. Its fiber also gives more satiety and burns body fat, even helping to fight heart problems. In addition, it has a low glycemic index, helping the person not to gain weight.


It should be noted that the price of shitake can vary a lot. Fresh and dehydrated mushrooms are more common to be found in fairs and specialty stores. In supermarkets, you can find it on trays in refrigerated areas.

The question now is how to make shitake, right? There are several recipes with fresh shitake mushroom or dehydrated shitake. It is very common to use it in salads, soups and stroganoffs. A very common dish is shitake risotto, very tasty and simple to make, as well as shitake in butter, which can serve as a great accompaniment to your meal.

The recipes that use the entire content of the food are grilled shitake mushrooms or oven-baked shitake mushrooms. This is because, normally, the stalks are discarded. Not in this case. To do this, just have 200 grams of shitake in the kitchen, a chopped tomato, a spoon of butter, garlic and salt to taste. Slice stalks and place in skillet with butter, garlic and tomatoes. Add the chopped part of the mushrooms. Meanwhile, put the mushroom heads on a grill (you can also bake them) with a cheese of your choice. Then just add what was grilled with what was sautéed. Simple, practical and delicious!

Learn more: Learn about the benefits and properties of 9 types of mushrooms .

Related articles:

9 Types of Mushrooms and Their Benefits and Properties

Shimeji Benefits and Properties

Champignon Benefits and Properties

Benefits and Properties of Mushroom Paris

Benefits and Properties of Sun Mushroom

Benefits and Properties of Onion

Benefits and Properties of Carrot

Benefits and Properties of Ginger

Benefits and Properties of Radish

Benefits and Properties of Chives

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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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