I have to tell you this straight up — I’m not a fan of mushrooms. This fact was immortalised on the ABC News, when being interviewed in hotel quarantine, I told them of my dislike for the vegetable. But now, I may have to train myself into enjoying them. Why? Because of the copious amount of vitamin D they can provide.
This fact was recently published in the Food Science & Nutrition journal. Researchers looked at a variety of mushrooms, including a composite of white, crimini and portobello mushrooms (at a 1:1:1 ratio), UV-light exposed mushrooms, and oyster mushrooms. They looked at the health benefits each type of mushroom provided for people aged nine to 18, as well as those over the age of 19; and each group was instructed to eat about half a cup.
What was found across the board? That a serving of mushrooms increased dietary fibre intake, as well as the intake of numerous minerals, including copper, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, riboflavin, niacin, and choline.
And if you’re wondering where vitamin D comes in? That comes with the mushrooms that had been exposed to UV-light. Eating a single serving of these mushrooms saw both groups meet — or even exceed — their recommended daily value of vitamin D. Unsurprisingly, they helped decrease vitamin D deficiency in both groups as well.
Next time you’re in the supermarket or your local grocers, see if any of the mushrooms say they’re “enriched with vitamin D”. Or, if you own a UV light at home, treat regular, fresh mushrooms to a DIY vitamin D session. If you don’t, maybe have a side of vitamin D along with a serving of mushrooms.
Oh, and if you’re curious as to why vitamin D is so important in the first place — it strengthens your bones, can fight off disease and help reduce depression. It’s even being used in the fight against COVID-19.