Discover Maitake Mushroom Benefits like Immunomodulation
Understand maitake mushroom benefits and there is a good chance that you will add this gourmet mushroom into your diet more frequentlyThe maitake is also commonly known as the hen of the woods mushroom. It often grows in clumped, leaf-like shapes at the base of maples and oaks. Maitakes have a semi-firm texture and a complex flavor with notes of earthiness, spiciness, and fruitiness. Today we are looking at maitake mushroom benefits, as well as ways to grow this intriguing mushroom. Before we get into the maitake mushroom benefits, let’s look at some background information on this mushroom.
Maitake mushroom informationThe scientific name of maitake mushroom is Grifola frondosa. We find these mushrooms growing wild in the Northeast in the late summer and fall. Considering the word “maitake” we can break it into two pieces: “mai” meaning dance and “take” meaning mushroom. Some resources have said that this name was purportedly given due to a joyful feeling one gets after eating the maitake mushroom. Perhaps that is the first of the maitake mushroom benefits we should mention: Eating maitakes may lead you to dancing.
Maitake mushroom benefits: The umami flavorMaitake has umami, also known as the “fifth taste”, which involves a savory component. Here is an excerpt from the study Mushrooms—Biologically Distinct and Nutritionally Unique, which discusses both the umami flavor and some of the nutritional constituents associated:
“Mushrooms have many flavor and nutrient characteristics that make them an ideal addition to many dishes. Their texture and umami or savory flavor properties make them a suitable substitute for meat. Mushrooms contribute moisture that improves the mouth feel and overall sensory appeal of many dishes, whereas their low energy density (about 92% water) can reduce the energy density of the final dish when taking the place of other higher-energy-dense ingredients.”The study continues with a deeper look at the umami flavor and mushroom nutrition:
“The use of other umami-rich ingredients, such as tomatoes, that have a synergistic effect with the umami compounds in mushrooms further adds to the flavor and consumer appeal. The interactions of the umami compounds on taste buds create longer-lasting taste sensations compared with the effects of the compound on their own. Traditional global cuisines have combined multiple umami-rich ingredients for millennia to create iconic dishes. For example, in Chinese cuisine, fresh mushrooms that contain naturally occurring glutamate often are combined with dried, rehydrated mushrooms that contain naturally occurring guanylate. Mushrooms and other vegetables rich in umami also have the benefit of being low in sodium and rich in potassium”