Shiitake mushrooms are one of the most popular mushrooms worldwide. They are prized for their rich, savory taste and diverse health benefits. Compounds in shiitakes may help fight cancer, boost immunity and support heart health. Shiitakes contain many of the same amino acids as meat. They also contain polysaccharides, terpenoids, sterols and lipids linked to immune-boosting, cholesterol-lowering and anti-cancer effects. In Chinese medicine, shiitakes are thought to boost health and longevity, as well as improve circulation. Modern studies have found shiitake mushrooms’ bioactive compounds may offer some protection against cancer and inflammation.

Shiitake mushrooms are also known to have several benefits for heart health. For example, they have three compounds that may help lower cholesterol:

Eritadenine: A compound that inhibits an enzyme involved in producing cholesterol.
Sterols: Molecules that help block cholesterol absorption in your gut.
Beta-glucans: A type of fiber that can lower cholesterol.

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