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January 2010

There are over 38,000 mushroom species, but only a handful have demonstrated potent healing potential. Two of the most widely researched are Maitake Grifola frondosa and Shiitake Lentinula edodes, revered for centuries in Asia as keys to good health and longevity. Scientists now confirm that maitake and shiitake mushrooms provide complex carbohydrates called polysaccharides that act as antioxidants and immune stimulants. Twenty–nine different polysaccharides have been identified in maitake, of particular value are its beta–glucans. Shiitake's important constituents are beta–glucans, lentinan, and lentin a powerful antifungal. An important antioxidant L–ergothioneine was discovered in higher amounts in maitake and shiitake than in either of two previously known sources, chicken liver and wheat germ. Most fresh mushrooms are about 90 percent water. Scientists report that the dried mushroom form offers significantly more benefit.

Mushrooms — Rare Source of Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that we must acquire by exposure to sunlight or from foods containing it. Vitamin D is known to be a powerful immune enhancer, and mushrooms are the only vegetable kingdom source of vitamin D. It enhances positive moods and its deficiency is linked to SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Very recently researchers discovered that mushrooms convert ultraviolet light into vitamin D just like the human body does. Mushrooms are rich in the sterol ergosterol, a precursor of vitamin D. When exposed to light ergosterol is converted to ergocalciferol also known as vitamin D2. All mushrooms contain vitamin D2, but some at significantly higher levels than others due to growing conditions and light exposure. Most commercial cultivated mushrooms grow in total darkness on substrate treated with chemical fungicides and are exposed to light only a short time at harvest. These conditions diminish their vitamin D production. Mushrooms grown outdoors or exposed to UV light are much higher in vitamin D, and dried mushrooms are higher than fresh. Over 75 percent of the mushrooms consumed in the USA are the button or white mushroom which contain less than 1% daily value (DV) of vitamin D per serving.

Ultraviolet Enhanced

EDEN Shiitake and Maitake Mushrooms not only provide antioxidant and immune benefit, they are especially rich in vitamin D. EDEN Shiitake offer 25% DV per 3 EDEN Whole Shiitake or 6 pieces EDEN Sliced Shiitake serving and are fiber rich. They grow on oak logs in their natural forest habitat where they receive ideal doses of sunlight, shade, and humidity, taking over one year to mature. EDEN Maitake offer 35% DV per 10 piece serving and are rich in niacin vitamin B3. They grow on a vegetable matter substrate in rooms designed to facilitate overall development. Temperature, humidity, ventilation, and lighting are closely monitored to replicate conditions found deep in the mountains and shaded valleys that are maitake's natural home address. EDEN Shiitake and Maitake are grown and naturally air–dried without the use of toxic chemical fungicides or preservatives. Common use of EDEN Shiitake and Maitake in cooking is very easy, delicious, and a healthful way to get valuable vitamin D, not just in winter, but all year round. Mushroom soups of maitake and shiitake are easy and extremely tasty.