Mushrooms don’t get as much praise as they deserve. Whether you eat them in a risotto, a salad, or try to keep well away from them, they have the potential to offer serious health benefits.
There are so many types of mushrooms to choose from, but let’s start with the most simple: the chestnut, button, and closed-cup mushrooms you can purchase at the supermarket.
Mushrooms offer good amounts of copper, iron, selenium, magnesium and zinc, but they’re also high in vitamin D – something we in the modern world are notoriously deficient in.
The government advice now states that we should get outside in the sunshine as much as possible, and take vitamin D supplements – especially during Winter. It makes sense then, to add a few more vitamin D – rich foods to the dinner table, since vitamin D is important for calcium and phosphorus absorption, healthy bones and teeth, immune function, strength, and resistance against certain types of disease.
Boost your vitamin D intake
Just like us, mushrooms actually absorb ultraviolet light and vitamin D from the sun, and the vitamins they absorb become readily available to us when we eat them. In fact, mushrooms exposed to the sun can contain as much vitamin D as a health supplement!
To reap the benefits, simply leave your mushrooms out in a well-lit place (like a window sill) for a couple of hours between 10am and 3pm. Dr Michael Holik – a pioneer in vitamin D research – conducted an experiment, and the results speak for themselves:
“In the study, 30 adults were given a daily capsule for 12 weeks containing either 2,000 units of vitamin D, or sun-exposed mushroom powder with high-levels of the nutrient.
At the end of the trial, there was no significant difference in the participants’ vitamin D levels.
‘These results provide evidence that ingesting mushrooms which have been exposed to ultraviolet light and contain vitamin D2, are a good source of vitamin D that can improve the vitamin D status of healthy adults’”.
So before eating your mushrooms this week, leave them out in the sum to absorb that extra vitamin D! Let us know how you feel.