Shiitake shining a light on the worlds healthiest food
Shiitake or 'Japanese Forest Mushrooms' are regarded as one of the worlds most exotic fragrant and delicious foods. Shiitake’s delicate, yet wild, woodsy taste adds a gourmet flair to almost any dish.
Moreover, all eight amino acids are present in a ratio similar to the “ideal” protein for human nutrition.
Shiitake are rich in the amino acids leucine and lysine, which are deficient in many grains. Shiitake are also a good source of B vitamins, including the ever-elusive B12. (Vitamin B12 is synthesized solely by bacteria and fungi and is not available from vegetables.) It is, however, shiitake’s medicinal possibilities that are getting worldwide attention.
In the last two decades, scientists have isolated substances from shiitake, Lentinan and Eritadenine, which lowers cholesterol and activates blood circulation and which may play a role in the cure and prevention of modern civilisation’s dreaded illnesses: heart disease, cancer and AIDS.
How to include them in your diet:
Not to be eaten raw - these mushrooms are known for their meaty flavor and texture, so they’re great substitutes in most meat dishes, They also add plenty of flavor to soup, make for tasty side dishes or chicken toppings, and are an easy addition to vegetable stir-fries.
How to cook them:
To maintain flavour and nutrition, sauté mushrooms in olive oil or broth for five to seven minutes.