You may have heard of shitake mushrooms and porcini mushrooms – but how about maitake mushrooms?
Commonly used in a range of Japanese recipes for their earthy, slightly spicy taste, these incredible mushrooms additionally have a whole host of potential health benefits for the body.
What are maitake mushrooms?
Maitake mushrooms grow during the autumn months in Japan, China, and some areas of North America. “Maitake” means “dancing” in Japanese and the mushrooms supposedly earned this name after the people who first discovered them danced with joy when they realised their many health benefits.
Whether that’s true or not, it’s undeniable that maitake mushrooms have some medicinal benefits! They’re rich in several nutrients – more so than more common mushroom varieties – plus they’re low calorie, low in salt, and cholesterol-free.1
What’s more, maitake mushrooms are easy to cook with and have an excellent woody taste that’s a fantastic addition to things like stir-fries and soups.
What are some maitake mushroom benefits?
As mushrooms are a form of adaptogen (a group of herbs which adapt to help the body deal with stress), maitakes are thought to have many beneficial properties. They’re good sources of several essential nutrients, from vitamins C and B to potassium and beta-glucan, in addition to containing many antioxidants2
Because of their nutritional value, studies have shown that maitake mushrooms may have some success at:3
- Protecting the body from cell damage
- Helping the immune system function normally.
- Keeping the heart healthy by naturally lowering cholesterol.
- Potentially reducing blood sugar levels.
Is there anyone who shouldn’t eat maitake mushrooms?
Maitake mushrooms, whether eaten in their pure form or as a supplement powder, are generally considered safe. As with any food, though, it’s essential that you always stick to the recommended serving size on the back of the packet and immediately stop eating them if you have an allergic reaction.
As maitake mushrooms can have an effect on blood sugar levels and cholesterol, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor before trying them in some cases. This includes if you have diabetes, heart problems, or low blood pressure.4
How to include maitake mushrooms in your diet
Keen to take care of your body while treating your tastebuds with something delicious? Savoury maitake mushrooms are the perfect addition to your kitchen! Why not buy them whole or in a powder form such as the Naturya Organic Mushroom Blend and try:
- Stirring a small spoonful of mushroom powder into a smoothie.
- Adding a little to some scrambled eggs or an omelette.
- Tossing some into a stir fry for a flavour kick.
- Combining a little with some honey in your morning coffee.
- Enhancing a simple vegetarian risotto with some whole maitake mushrooms.
- Making a mushroom stock to use as a base for soups and stews.
Shop our complete cooking range for even more delicious and nutritious ingredients that’ll help mix up your daily meals! After more advice on food, health and wellbeing? Keep exploring The Health Hub.
Last updated: 3 November 2020