Maitake means “dancing mushroom” in Japanese. The name stems from the belief that people danced with joy when the fungus was found in the wild! Folklore says the mushroom, also known as Grifola Frondosa, used to be worth its weight in silver. Even today, because of maitake mushroom nutrition and medicinal properties, it is highly prized.
The mushroom is also referred to as the “hen of the woods” in English-speaking countries due to its feathery appearance. It is one of the largest mushrooms and is usually found at the base of the old decaying stumps of hardwood trees like oak and maple.
So, what exactly is the nutritional value of maitake mushrooms? And does maitake mushroom give you energy?
We are here to explore the maitake mushroom nutritional value and its benefits. Keep reading to find out more about your favorite fungus.
Maitake Mushroom Nutrition Facts
According to the data obtained from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)(1), it provides a broad range of essential nutrients.
Here are Grifola frondosa nutrition facts (per 100 g or 3,5 oz serving of the mushroom):
- Energy: 31 kcal (equivalent to 130 kJ)
- Protein: 1.94 g
- Carbohydrate: 6.97 g
- Total fat: 0.19 g
- Saturated: 0.03 g
- Monounsaturated: 0.03 g
- Dietary fiber: 2.7 g
- Water: 90.4 g
- Sugar: 2.07 g
- Starch: 0 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Caffeine: 0 mg
- Calcium: 1 mg
- Iron: 0.3 mg
- Magnesium: 10 mg
- Phosphorus: 74 mg
- Potassium: 204 mg
- Sodium: 1 mg
- Zinc: 0.75 mg
- Copper: 0.252 mg
- Manganese: 0.059 mg
- Selenium: 2.2 micrograms
- Thiamin (B1): 0.146 mg
- Riboflavin (B2): 0.242 mg
- Niacin (B3): 6.58 mg
- Pantothenic acid (B5): 0.27 mg
- Vitamin B6: 0.056 mg
- Folate: 21 micrograms
- Vitamin E: 0.01 mg
- Total Vitamin D (D2 + D3): 28.1 micrograms
- Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol): 28.1 micrograms
- Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol): 0 microgram
- Vitamin A: 0 microgram
- Vitamin C: 0 mg
- Vitamin K: 0 microgram
- Folic acid: 0 microgram
Maitake Mushroom Nutritional Benefits
Based on what we saw above, maitake mushroom offers good nutritional benefits. Let’s look at each of them specifically now.
Low in calories
Despite the rich nutritional value of Maitake, the mushroom is low in calories. If you want to watch what you are eating, give this mushroom a shot as it contains only 31 calories per 100 grams.
Maitake mushrooms are also low in carbohydrates and fat. Additionally, none of the fat present in Maitake is trans-fat.
They are also packed with dietary fibers. The fiber types(2) provided by maitake mushrooms include β-glucans (beta-glucans), heteropolysaccharides, and chitin.
However, it is to note that the mushroom is not a complete protein as it lacks some essential amino acids.
Nevertheless, the fungus will be compatible with your low-fat, low carb or plant-based diets.
High in vitamin D
Hen of the woods fungus is a good food source of vitamin D. According to the USDA, maitake may be the highest mushroom source of sunshine vitamin(3). 28 micrograms of vitamin D per 100 grams is equal to 140% of the recommended daily value(4).
Rich in beneficial bioactive compounds
Maitake mushroom is also naturally rich in bioactive compounds and antioxidants.
The beta-d-glucans present in this highly prized gourmet mushroom has many health benefits. Existing clinical and preclinical studies indicate that these compounds can potentially interfere with the processes involved in the development or control of cancer(5).
Beta-d-glucans have also shown significant potential(6) to stop the growth of micro-organisms (bacterial, viral, and fungal). They can also modulate the immune system, lower blood sugar, and control cholesterol levels in the body. Additional benefits may also be provided, such as tempering inflammation, decreasing blood pressure levels, anti-allergic properties, and anti-oxidant actions.
The potential role of beta-d-glucans in decreasing morbidity and mortality due to COVID-19 has also been evaluated. There are only a few studies on the promising function of mushroom β-glucans in the context of COVID-19, and more research is required.
Evidence from animal studies also suggests that this bioactive compound may play a role in improving bone health(7) and potentially have protective effects against osteoporosis.
The mushroom is loaded with B vitamins which are known to play a crucial role in energy-yielding metabolic processes(8) in the body. Maitake mushrooms have also been shown to increase fatty acids that provide energy, based on the results of a 2013 study(9).
So yes, Maitake does help you get an energy boost!
Maitake mushrooms are highly regarded edible fungus that provides a broad range of essential nutrients. They are low in calories, carbohydrates, and fat, but are high in dietary fibers, vitamins, and minerals. Add the hen of the woods mushroom to your diet today to get all these amazing health benefits!
- FoodData Central. (n.d.). Fdc.nal.usda.gov. (1) https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169403/nutrients
- Ghosh, K. (2016). A Review: Edible Mushrooms as Source of Dietary Fiber and its Health Effects.Journal of Physical Sciences,21, 2350-0352. (2) http://inet.vidyasagar.ac.in:8080/jspui/bitstream/123456789/1370/1/JPS-v21-art13.pdf
- Vitamin, T. 2., & Haytowitz, D. B. (n.d.).Vitamin D in Mushrooms * State abbreviations indicates NFNAP pickup locations for composites (Fig. 1). Blacksburg, VA was used to fill in some missing locations. Usda.gov. Retrieved June 30, 2022, from (3) https://www.ars.usda.gov/ARSUserFiles/80400525/Articles/AICR09_Mushroom_VitD.pdf
- Nutrition, C. for F. S. and A. (2020). Daily Value on the New Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels.FDA. (4) https://www.fda.gov/food/new-nutrition-facts-label/daily-value-new-nutrition-and-supplement-facts-labels
- Del Cornò, M., Gessani, S., & Conti, L. (2020). Shaping the innate immune response by dietary glucans: Any role in the control of cancer?Cancers,12(1), 155. (5) https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010155
- Mirończuk-Chodakowska, I., Kujawowicz, K., & Witkowska, A. M. (2021). Beta-glucans from fungi: Biological and health-promoting potential in the COVID-19 pandemic era.Nutrients,13(11), 3960. (6) https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13113960
- Ariyoshi, W., Hara, S., Koga, A., Nagai-Yoshioka, Y., & Yamasaki, R. (2021). Biological effects of β-glucans on osteoclastogenesis.Molecules (Basel, Switzerland),26(7), 1982. (7) https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26071982
- Tardy, A.-L., Pouteau, E., Marquez, D., Yilmaz, C., & Scholey, A. (2020). Vitamins and minerals for energy, fatigue and cognition: A narrative review of the biochemical and clinical evidence.Nutrients,12(1), 228. (8) https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12010228
- Sato, M., Tokuji, Y., Yoneyama, S., Fujii-Akiyama, K., Kinoshita, M., Chiji, H., & Ohnishi, M. (2013). Effect of dietary maitake (Grifola frondosa) mushrooms on plasma cholesterol and hepatic gene expression in cholesterol-fed mice. Journal of Oleo Science,62(12), 1049–1058. (9) https://doi.org/10.5650/jos.62.1049