Eastern Asia and Japan in particular have long been thought to have the answers to limiting menopausal symptoms, to the degree that the Japanese don't even have a word for hot flashes. This is largely related to the amount of soy found in these countries' typical diets. Hot flashes are currently one of the most common issues women face, and eliminating them greatly increases quality of life.
A lesser known part of the Eastern diet, which helps menopausal fatigue in particular, is shiitake mushrooms. Native to East Asia, they are a key feature of many Eastern cuisines and an enormous market exists for exporting them.
About Shiitake Mushrooms
Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese, and Korean cuisines have long considered these interesting mushrooms a medicinal vegetable and delicacy. Dating from prehistoric times, Shiitakes have enjoyed a considerable rise to fame and are now a key part of the United States market.
Fresh, dried, sautéed, pickled, or steamed shiitake mushrooms are used in multiple ways in the culinary world. Today, we find them growing globally, which has transformed them from a luxury item to a more average food product.
Uses of Shiitake Mushrooms for Menopausal Women
Much research has been targeted towards understanding the medicinal properties of this well-known delicacy. Initially found to help people who've received treatment and surgery for colorectal or stomach cancer, we now know the benefits go far beyond that. Shiitakes contain many nutrients that are integral to maintaining overall health, including:
- B vitamins
These are all excellent for relieving or preventing menopausal symptoms, but Lentinan, an immunostimulant, actually battles menopausal fatigue effectively. Shiitake mushrooms, therefore, not only help the body fight infection, but also provide essential energy boosts. Aside from menopause symptoms, Shiitake mushrooms can also augment treatment for chronic diseases such as cancer and hypertension.
More about Menopausal Fatigue
Fatigue is common among women going through menopause. While there are many ways of combating this, results differ between from person to person. Adding shiitake mushrooms to your diet will be helpful, but other lifestyle changes and herbal supplements may be needed. Click on the following link for more information about chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Hutchinson, Susan M.D. "The Stages of a Woman's Life: Menstruation, Pregnancy, Nursing, Perimenopause, Menopause". November 2007.
- Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
- BMJ Group. "Menopause: What is it?" Patient Leaflet. 2007.