12 Amazing Benefits Of Shiitake Mushrooms For Skin And Health August 5, 2016

Shiitake mushrooms, a symbol of youth and longevity, has been prevalent as an inevitable part of Chinese medicine since time immemorial. Packed with a smoky flavor that is quite rich on the palate, these exotic mushroom variant is now gaining popularity for the dense array of health benefits it has in its trove.

These mini edible umbrellas are excellent sources of Vitamin B12, Vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, folate, niacin, and choline. You can also locate a dense concentration of assorted minerals, including copper, zinc, manganese, and selenium. Akin to other edible members of its family, shiitake is a good source of phytonutrients, Vitamin D, and dietary fiber.

Nutritional Profile Of Shiitake Mushrooms:

Shiitake mushrooms nutrition per 100 grams contain the following nutrients:

Serving Size100 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 34
Total Fat 0.5g1 %
Saturated Fat gN/A
Cholesterol mgN/A
Sodium 9 mg0 %
Total Carbohydrate 6.8 g2 %
Dietary Fibre 2.5g10 %
Sugar 2.4g
Protein 2.2g4 %
Iron 2%

Shiitake Mushrooms Benefits For Skin:

Welcome to the world of shiitake mushrooms! Read on further to know about these mushroom varieties, their benefits, nutrient profile, and how to reap the benefits in a tasty way right below:

1. Offers Younger Looking Skin:

According to a study, application of the shiitake mushroom extract on the skin has the potential to improve and enhance its visual appeal. The dense presence of kojic acid, the natural hydroquinone substitute, lightens the skin by fading away the age spots and scars. Thus, it delays ageing and helps in keeping your skin young and radiant.

2. Treats Skin Inflammatory Conditions:

Packed with antioxidant properties, shiitake also possesses the ability to fight the inflammations affecting the skin. It could even thwart off and ease various anti-inflammatory conditions including rosacea, eczema, and acne.

The presence of Vitamin D and selenium along with the antioxidants safeguard your skin from damages triggered by environmental conditions.

Shiitake Mushrooms Benefits For Health:

Have a look at the various health benefits of shiitake mushroom:

3. Lowers Bad Cholesterol Level In Blood:

LDL or bad cholesterol, if found in excessive levels, puts you at the risk of inviting cardiovascular risks. A study conducted on shiitake in Sweden pointed out that these mushrooms possess the potential to lower bad cholesterol level in the blood in an effective way. Eritadenine, a compound in this mushroom, is the anti-cholesterol agent. A Japanese study showed that people who consumed these mushrooms regularly had higher cholesterol levels in the stools, indicating that the body has lower levels in store.

4. Enhances Immunity Power:

Give your immune system a boost by including shiitake in your diet. Lentinan – a compound present in the mini umbrellas strengthens your immunity system. This, in turn, aids you in combating various infections and disorders in a better way. Studies also suggest that many a times these edible fungi variants could actually prove to be more efficient in combating infections than prescribed drugs. Research suggests that one could take the help of the mushrooms to put up a strong fight against various health conditions, right from flu to grave , such as HIV infections.

[ Read: Home Remedies To Boost Your Immune System ]

5. Rich In Innate Anti-Cancerous Properties:

Lentinan is also a powerful anti-cancerous agent. Studies conducted on lentinan suggests that it has the potential to prevent cancer. It can also demote the growth of the cancer cells, at the same time obstruct the existing cancerous cells from spreading to other locations. By strengthening and stimulating the immunity system, it also triggers an enhanced release of proteins that are essential to eliminate the existing cancerous cells. Shiitake is beneficial for people suffering from gastric cancer.

6. Thwarts And Eases Thrombosis:

Thrombosis is a grave medical condition where the blood clots are formed, which block the veins, hindering the proper flow of blood. The condition mostly affects the legs and is accompanied with intense pain. Studies suggest that using these mushrooms in the form of oil can ease the condition. When used regularly, the oil of shiitake could even thwart off the risk associated with the onset of thrombosis. The presence of lenthionine in admirable amounts aids these mushrooms to keep a check on the aggregation of platelets.

7. Eases And Preventing Iron Deficiency:

Lack of iron, especially in women, could lead to extreme levels of fatigue and anemia. Shiitake mushrooms are good sources of iron and mineral that are quintessential for good health. Women who have intense and heavy periods should include these mushrooms in their diet. Studies suggest that pregnant women could also use these mushrooms in properly cooked form, to meet their iron requirements. However, you should check with a physician when you are pregnant or lactating because you might be allergic or intolerant to these mushrooms.

8. Great Food For Those Who Are On A Weight Loss Diet:

Low in calories and dense in fiber, shiitake mushrooms make a great choice as a food for those who are on a low calorie diet. Along with keeping you fuller for a longer period of time, it also aids in keeping away constipation. It also helps in lowering the cholesterol levels by eliminating the same via stools.

9. Strengthens The Digestive System:

Packed with a good dose of dietary fiber [100 grams contains 2.5 grams of dietary fiber, meeting 10% of the daily requirement], it works effectively to strengthen the digestive system. The fiber binds with your stools and softens them and thus keeps away constipation.

10. Keeps Cavities Away:

A preliminary study conducted on the benefits of shiitake on tooth states that regular intake of these umbrella mushrooms could lower the chances of developing cavities. While the study was conducted on rats under lab conditions, the study sheds a ray of hope.

11. Good For Diabetics:

As mentioned above, these mushrooms contain fiber in plentiful amounts. It also has negligible levels of sugar. This helps the diabetics to prevent the sugar levels from spiraling up. It also keeps the hunger pangs away by filling you up.

12. Combats Various Autoimmune Disorders:

Shiitake is known to be powerful enough to combat a host of autoimmune disorders triggered by various viruses including hepatitis B and HIV. According to studies conducted under test tube conditions in Japan, shiitake mushroom extracts are more powerful against cells infected by HIV than the existing anti-HIV drug, AZT. Yet another study suggest that the LEM lignins present in these mushrooms possess the potential to prevent the HIV cells from multiplying and damaging the T cells. The same lignins also possess the potential to safeguard cells from damages caused by Herpes simplex – type I and II.

How To Select Shiitake Mushrooms?

Since shiitake mushrooms are of Asian origin, you could possibly try the nearest Asian food store for the freshest variant available.

Always pick mushrooms that are clean, plump, and firm. The wrinkled ones or the ones that are damp with slimy spots might prove to be harmful for you.

How To Store Shiitake Mushrooms?

The ideal way to store your shiitake mushrooms is to wrap them loosely in a closed paper bag. Refrigerate them and avoid keeping them in your freezer. Make sure you use these mushrooms within one week of refrigeration.

If you want to freeze them, then make sure that you dry the mushrooms first. The slightest presence of moisture will spoil your entire efforts. Store in an airtight sealed container and freeze. Frozen dried shiitake mushrooms will remain fresh for 6 to 12 months.

How To Clean Shiitake Mushrooms?

Being extremely porous in nature, it is advisable not to expose the mushroom to excessive quantities of water. Too much of water will leave them soggy. So, clean the mushrooms with minimal water and then quickly dry them using a clean towel. Use a damp towel to clean them thoroughly as they have less contact with the water. You can then use a dry towel to remove the leftover water, if any.

If you are using refrigerated or frozen mushrooms, then check if they are dry. In such cases, allow them to be soaked in water for half an hour. Drain well and dry off the excess water using kitchen paper towels or dry cloth.

How To Enjoy Shiitake Mushrooms?

While there are various ways you can cook these mushrooms, the best way to reap the flavor and nutrition is to sauté the mushrooms in a skillet on medium flame for a maximum of seven minutes. Season to taste and toss it with veggies of your choice and enjoy. Here are a few tips for using shiitake mushrooms:

  • You can add these mushrooms to your soup.
  • Just sauté it with garlic and onion and use it as a topping for your favorite low fat chicken.
  • Give your pasta an Asian touch by tossing the whole grain pasta with mushroom and tofu. Season as desired.
  • Make a shiitake bhel.
  • A shiitake mushroom salad packed with tomato, onion, carrot, bell pepper, and raw mango tossed in lemon, black pepper dressing is a tasty, yet healthy delight.

5 Fabulous Shiitake Mushroom Recipes:

Here are 5 tasty, yet healthy recipes which you can try to reap the benefits of shiitake mushrooms.

1. Shiitake Mushroom Green Beans Stir Fry:

Give yourself a good dose of protein along with the dietary fiber with this simple, easy to prepare recipe.


  1. Fresh shiitake mushrooms – 3 oz, thinly sliced
  2. French beans – 150 grams, trimmed
  3. Onion – 1/2, thinly sliced
  4. Garlic – 2 cloves, peeled, crushed
  5. Ginger – 2 inch piece, skin removed, finely grated
  6. Oil – 2 tsp
  7. Salt – to taste
  8. Black pepper powder – to taste

Method Of Preparation:

  1. In a deep pan, add 1 cup of water and on medium to high heat, allow the water to bring to boil.
  2. Add cleaned and trimmed beans, cover, and steam for 5 minutes or until beans turn crisp, yet tender.
  3. Drain off excess water and keep the beans aside.
  4. In a shallow frying pan, heat the oil.
  5. Add crushed garlic and sauté until the garlic turns golden brown.
  6. Add onions and sauté until it becomes pale brown.
  7. Add mushroom slices and stir fry for 3 to 4 minutes or until mushrooms turn soft.
  8. Season as desired, sprinkle grated ginger and cooked beans and give a quick mix.
  9. Turn off the heat and serve immediately.

2. Whole Wheat Penne Pasta With Roasted Shiitake And Eggplant:

Opt for the whole wheat pasta instead of your normal ones.


  1. Whole wheat penne pasta – 1 cup
  2. Fresh shiitake – 4 mushrooms, stems removed, sliced
  3. Eggplants – 2, cubed
  4. Garlic – 4 cloves, peeled, minced
  5. Pasta seasoning – to taste
  6. Olive oil – 1 tbsp
  7. Salt – to taste
  8. Pepper power – to taste

Method Of Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degree F.
  2. In a small bowl, toss eggplant cubes with a salt-pepper-oil mixture.
  3. In another bowl, toss mushrooms with salt-pepper-oil mixture. Add a little more of olive oil here.
  4. Arrange in two different baking trays in a single layer.
  5. Roast mushrooms and eggplants until golden brown. [Mushrooms may need 7 to 8 minutes, while the eggplants might take about 20 minutes. Keep turning often to prevent charring.]
  6. Meanwhile, follow the instructions mentioned on the package and cook pasta al dente.
  7. Drain excess water from pasta and keep pasta aside.
  8. In a skillet, sauté garlic until golden brown.
  9. Toss in roasted veggies and pasta, season as desired, and give a quick mix.
  10.  Serve immediately.

3. Low Fat Creamy Shiitake Mushroom Soup:

Are you searching for a recipe of a soup that is low in fat, at the same creamy and rich on your palate? Then, this creamy mushroom soup can be the right solution.


  1. Shiitake mushrooms – 100 grams, sliced
  2. Vegetable stock – 4 tsp
  3. Water – 2 cups
  4. Corn flour – 2 tbsp
  5. Low fat milk – ¼ cup
  6. Celery stalk – 1
  7. Garlic – 2 cloves, thinly sliced, roasted

Method Of Preparation:

  1. Blend cornflour with water to make a smooth mixture.
  2. Transfer to a medium sized pot set on medium heat.
  3. Add vegetable stock, mushrooms, roasted garlic, celery, and milk to the corn flour mixture.
  4. Allow the mixture to come to a boil.
  5. Cover the pot and simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables become soft.
  6. Turn off the heat and discard the celery.
  7. Allow the mixture to come to room temperature.
  8. Transfer it back to the blender and blend it to a smooth mixture.
  9. Return to the pot and simmer for 3 minutes.
  10. Season as desired and serve immediately.

4. Shiitake Mushrooms Bhurji:

A great source of antioxidants, fiber, and iron, shiitake is a versatile veggie. Add a dose of protein to this particular recipe with a handful of crushed paneer to make it a nutritious snack.


  1. Shiitake mushrooms – ½ cup, stems discarded, grated
  2. Paneer [Indian Cottage Cheese] – ½ cup, crumbled
  3. Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  4. Onions – ½ cup, finely chopped
  5. Tomatoes – ½ cup, finely chopped
  6. Green chili – 2, split lengthwise
  7. Clarified butter – 1 tsp
  8. Oil – 1 tsp
  9. Salt – to taste
  10. Garam masala – ½ tsp
  11. Coriander leaves – 2 tbsp, finely chopped

Method Of Preparation:

  1. Heat oil and clarified butter in a deep pan.
  2. Add cumin seeds and allow to splutter.
  3. Add onions and green chili and sauté until onions turn golden brown.
  4. Add 1 tbsp coriander leaves and give a quick mix.
  5. Add tomatoes and cook until the mixture is semi dry.
  6. Add grated mushrooms, cover, and cook until mushrooms are just cooked.
  7. Mix in crumbled paneer and give a quick mix.
  8. Season with salt as desired.
  9. Add garam masala and the rest of the coriander leaves and mix quickly.
  10. Serve hot with Phulkas or enjoy as a snack.

5. Spicy Egg Shiitake Mushrooms Muffins:

These are not purely muffins, but shaped into muffins. Rich with the protein from eggs and fiber from mushrooms, these baked delights make a healthy start for a great day.


Makes 9 muffins

  1. Eggs – 5
  2. Whole milk – 1/3 cup
  3. Parmesan cheese – 4.5 tsp, freshly grated
  4. Shiitake mushrooms – 18, sliced thinly, sautéed in 1 tsp oil
  5. Salt – to taste
  6. Black pepper powder – to taste
  7. Green chilies – 2, finely chopped

Method Of Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degree F. Grease the muffin tin slightly with a little cooking oil.
  2. Gently beat the eggs along with milk, desired amount of pepper and salt. Take half of the mushroom and divide the mixture equally in the 9 cups.
  3. Divide the egg mixture equally among the 9 cups, filling each until 3/4th full.
  4. Sprinkle the finely chopped green chilies evenly on all the pans.
  5. Top the pans up equally with rest of the mushrooms.
  6. Sprinkle cheese.
  7. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the top of the muffins turn golden and puffy.
  8. Remove and serve immediately.

[ Read: Health Benefits Of Ganoderma Mushrooms ]

Now that you know about the various benefits of shiitake mushrooms and how to enjoy them, what are you waiting for? Rush to pick up the shiitakes from the store and try one of the recipes mentioned above.

Do you use Shiitake mushrooms? How do you eat them? Sautéed, roasted, in soups, or are there any other healthy and easy recipes where you can include these mushrooms? Share with us right below in the comment section.

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