Maitake Mushroom Benefits
Over 2,000 years ago, a group of Buddhist nuns and woodcutters in Japan were roaming through the forest when they came across a mysterious mushroom. After some poking around, they decided to try the mushroom and were overjoyed by its sight, taste and medicinal properties. So intense was their excitement that they began dancing, and that's how the Maitake mushroom got its name.
Since its discovery, this fungus has been an integral part of Chinese and Japanese herbology because of its restorative and therapeutic benefits.
The dancing mushroom, as it’s otherwise known, has been a very popular culinary mushroom throughout Asia for centuries. But its benefits go beyond its flavour and nutritional value. However, it is every bit impressive in this aspect as well.
The Nutritional Composition of Maitake Mushroom
Maitake mushrooms are packed with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients vital to the optimal functioning of the body. A cup of diced Maitake mushroom has about 25 calories, contains no cholesterol, and has less than one gram of fat and one gram of sodium.
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The same cup has 1.4 grams of protein and almost two grams of dietary fibre. Maitake mushrooms are also rich in potassium, phosphorus, Vitamin D, and B vitamins like folate, riboflavin and niacin. Other minerals present include zinc and magnesium. The mushroom is also a rich source of plant-based choline.
Maitake mushrooms are perfect if you're sensitive about your health and want maximum nutritional value while watching your waist. The mushrooms are nutrient-dense but low in calories, fats and carbohydrates.
Although Maitake mushrooms earn their spot on the table and make for a great meal, most people consider them for their therapeutic, wellness and restorative benefits. Some of these potential benefits include the following;
It may improve immune function
Maitake mushrooms are rich in polysaccharides and beta-glucans, which are soluble fibres. The polysaccharides and soluble fibres provide digestive benefits that may facilitate a healthy immune function. The mushrooms also contain glycoproteins and proteins that may keep the immune system functioning correctly, and they also have antioxidant properties that prevent oxidative stress and damage.
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Together, these properties may help to optimise the immune system's response and make it more efficient in fighting infections and pathogens.
It may have anti-cancer properties
Maitake mushrooms have shown a potential for anti-cancer activity. Some of the research suggests that Maitake may slow tumour growth by activating immune cells called natural killer cells and T-Cells that inhibit cancer cell growth.
The beta-glucans found in the mushrooms also contain D-fraction, which is also thought to have anti-tumour properties.
Maitake mushrooms are commonly used alongside other traditional cancer treatments in China and Japan.
One study conducted in 2013 found that the D-fraction in the Maitake mushrooms suppressed the growth of breast cancer cells, while another indicated that combining the Maitake D-fraction with Vitamin C could be a possible alternative approach for cancer therapy. These are strong cases of the potential anti-cancer and anti-tumour properties of the Maitake mushroom.
It can help balance blood sugar
Keeping your sugar levels balanced is vital for good health. It's even more important for people with diabetes. The studies on the effects of Maitake mushrooms on blood sugar go as far back as 1994.
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More recently, a study concluded that the fruiting body of the Maitake could improve blood glucose levels. Studies published in 2015 also found that Maitake may alleviate symptoms associated with Type 2 diabetes and could enhance insulin resistance.
It may have anti-inflammatory effects
Inflammation is the body’s response to injury or infection. Although it is important, it might also have negative effects, like causing discomfort and causing or worsening diseases.
Generally, all functional mushrooms are thought to have anti-inflammatory properties. But Maitake mushrooms contain beta-glucans that have been studied for their anti-inflammatory effects that take these properties to a new level.
May reduce all-cause mortality
Research on mushroom consumption shows that people who eat functional mushrooms regularly have a lower risk of all-cause mortality. These mushrooms include Maitake, which is high in several bioactive compounds like antioxidants and glutathione.
They are good for the heart
The antioxidants in Maitake mushrooms might also benefit your cardiovascular health. Reducing oxidative stress is not just good for the brain but the entire body, including the heart. Too much oxidative stress has been associated with some chronic conditions and diseases, including heart disease, stroke, respiratory, and inflammatory conditions.
Besides antioxidants, Maitake mushrooms also have plenty of trace mineral copper, which is good for your heart. Although the human body doesn't require a lot of copper to function, it is still a crucial nutrient. Copper is essential for red blood cell production and immune system function and supports a healthy heart rate and blood pressure.
It may help the body combat stress
Maitake mushrooms have adaptogenic properties, which could help the body deal better with stress. Adaptogens are substances that increase a person’s ability to adapt and recover from stress. As a beneficial adaptogen, Maitake may help to promote a natural balance and healthy stress response in the body.
Enabling the body to react, adjust and adapt to stress can prevent various conditions and diseases and help you live a more fulfilling life.
You don't have to whip up a meal whenever you want to enjoy these and other benefits of Maitake mushrooms. Although Maitake tastes excellent and has the right culinary qualities, you can save yourself the trouble and time by going for our Maitake mushroom supplements. They are just as good as the whole mushroom, if not better, and they make it easier to keep up with your daily servings of Maitake mushrooms.
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