The balance of flavors in this tasty salad marries the umami earthiness of shiitake mushrooms (the ‘bacon’), with sweet, uplifting pear and crunchy, meaty walnuts. Helping others to find more ways to incorporate plant foods is one of our top goals since the benefits of incorporating a diverse range of plant phytonutrients into your diet is overwhelmingly backed by research. The simplicity of a dish like this belies the intricate complexity and wide-ranging effects of the hundreds of beneficial plant chemicals it contains.
Give it a try! You’ll be taking worthwhile steps towards optimal health.
Health Benefits of Shiitake Mushrooms
Shiitake mushrooms pack a powerful health package. Among many other compounds, they contain specific beta-glucans called lentinan, with potent anticancer properties. Lentinan also counters viruses and pathogenic microbes, including oral bacterial pathogens. Shiitake may also improve lipid cholesterol and triglyceride profiles, reduce inflammation, and protect against allergic asthma.
Shiitake mushrooms also have a role in supporting healthy methylation: by modulating certain enzymes in the methylation pathways (namely SAHH, or s-adenosyl homocysteine hydrolase) shiitake have been shown to reduce excess levels of homocysteine. In addition, shiitake mushrooms act as a DNA methylation adaptogen, helping to optimize favorable gene expression. In fact, this is one of the ways they exert their known benefits.
More Methylation Resources
- FREE article Methylation – What’s All the Fuss?
- Methylation Diet & Lifestyle eBook: The Foundations for A More Comprehensive and Safer Approach to Healthy Methylation and Genetic Expression (for professionals and savvy consumers)
- EVERYDAY MDL – Recipes for the Methylation Diet & Lifestyle Program for Optimal Genetic Expression eBook
- FREE Methylation Adaptogens PDF
- Cleveland Clinic Webinars on the Methylation Diet & Lifestyle (for professionals)