Maitake mushroom is one of the oldest kinds of fungi that have been used in traditional medicine since ages now. The name of the mushroom comes from a Japanese word which means dancing. It is called the dancing mushroom since, in ancient times when people found these mushrooms in the forests, they would dance to celebrate. Also, it is known as hen of the woods, because of their shape, which actually looks like the tail of a hen.
Often found growing in clusters around the base of Oak, Elm, and Maple trees, maitake can reach a weight of 50 pounds. It is one of those rare mushrooms that is both highly medicinal and is delicious. Scientific study shows the extract of this highly prized edible mushroom may have potential benefits for blood sugar levels, immune function, cholesterol, and cancer treatment and prevention. Also, this mushroom is a type of adaptogen. Adaptogens assist the body in fighting against any type of mental or physical difficulty and work to regulate systems of the body that have become unbalanced.
Today, you can find various supplements containing maitake mushroom extract available in the market. Thanks to the huge number of health benefits, people from all across the globe have realized the importance and the benefits of consuming the mushroom.
Compounds found in Maitake mushrooms
The reason why maitake mushroom has so many health benefits is that of the compounds that it is composed of. Maitake mushrooms contain complex compounds which are still under the microscopes of researchers. One of the primary compounds found in maitake mushrooms is beta-glucans. Beta-glucans are a complex form of sugar that is found in various fungi. The immunity-boosting benefits that maitake mushrooms are popular for come from this compound.
Now let’s take a look at the benefits of the Maitake mushrooms:
It helps in controlling blood sugar and diabetes
Maitake mushrooms can help manage diabetes when taken on a regular basis. For people who don’t have diabetes, they can help by decreasing the chances of developing diabetes. An enzyme called alpha-glucosidase causes the conversion of starch and sugar into glucose. Maitake mushrooms have the ability to inhibit the release of this enzyme. Besides this, maitake mushrooms also increase insulin sensitivity in individuals. Thus, maitake mushrooms serve as a better alternative compared to diabetes medicines, which are packed with various side-effects.
It is a great source of Vitamin D
In colder countries, most people suffer from a deficiency of vitamin D. Even so, out of all the vitamins, most people are devoid of the needed amounts of vitamin D globally. If you look at the food sources of vitamin D, maitake mushrooms are one of them, which apparently are lesser known for this benefit. maitake mushrooms have an abundance of Vitamin D2. To increase the amount of vitamin D2 in the maitake mushrooms, you bring home, place them under sunlight with them cut into slices.
It boosts immunity
For people who have a weak immune system, maitake mushrooms can help a great deal. Maitake mushrooms are made of certain polysaccharides that make the B and T cells, natural killer cells and macrophages function more actively. Maitake mushrooms are also capable of decreasing the activity of the immune system in case there is an auto-immune disease and increasing the functioning in case there is a microorganism invasion. All of this is a complete package for a better functioning immune system.
These are some of the benefits of the Maitake mushrooms. If you know more about these mushrooms, please feel free to share it in the comments below.