Shiitake is the most popular edible mushroom in Asian cuisine, including China and Japan, and has been gaining popularity in the US. But Shiitake is more than just a delicious food. The pharmaceutical Lentinan is derived from Shiitake and is one of three mushroom-based anti-cancer drugs approved by the FDA in Japan in 1985. It exhibits strong immune responses and has been extensively studied for use with cancers and viral infections. Shiitake contains a variety of constituents that have demonstrated a wide range of benefits, including immune modulation, anti-tumor, liver protection, cholesterol lowering, anti-viral and blood pressure lowering. Its extract is also a potent anti-fungal agent, effective against candida albicans.
Shiitake mushrooms are delicious when paired with tofu or chicken in stir fry dishes and also complement soups and salads beautifully.
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