If you feel like your immune system could use a boost, hop on Pinterest and look for recipes using shiitake mushrooms. A recent study from the University of Florida showed increased immunity in people who ate a cooked shiitake mushroom every day for four weeks.
“If you eat a shiitake mushroom every day, you could see changes in the immune system that are beneficial,” said University of Florida Food Science and Human Nutrition Professor Sue Percival. “We’re enhancing the immune system, but we’re also reducing the inflammation that the immune system produces.”
About 20 different species of mushrooms are used for culinary purposes. Shiitake mushrooms, which are native to Asia, are cultivated for their culinary and medicinal value.
Percival’s study looked at 52 healthy adults, age 21 to 41, who received a four-week supply of dry shiitake mushrooms. Participants took the mushrooms home, cleaned and cooked them. They ate a four-ounce serving of mushrooms each day during the experiment.
Blood tests conducted before and after the experiment proved that the mushroom eating participants had better-functioning gamma delta T-cells and reductions in inflammatory proteins. This indicates an improvement to the body’s immune system.
It’s unlikely that mushrooms will be the solution to all your troubles, but making an effort to increase your intake of shiitake mushrooms is an easy, low-cost way to improve your body’s natural defenses. It’s also certainly much tastier than resorting to pharmaceutical fixes!