Mushrooms have long been studied for their health benefits of a range of illnesses including cancer prevention, immunity, heart health and cognition (a fancy word for 'thinking'). But did you know that eating just 3 mushrooms can provide 100% of your daily vitamin D needs? All you need to do is 'tan' them!
With almost one in four Australians being vitamin D insufficient, mushrooms are a natural, efficient and cost effective way to ensure your family are getting enough of this very important vitamin.
Small amounts vitamin D can be found in milk, eggs and meat, but mushrooms are the only food source of vitamin D which is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
In a similar process to how our skin converts the sun into vitamin D, by placing store bought mushrooms in the midday sun for just 15 minutes their vitamin D levels drastically increase!
These new 'super charged' levels of vitamin D will remain in the mushroom for around a week if stored in the fridge, and will even remain throughout the cooking process. How awesome is that?!
Why is Vitamin D so important?
Vitamin D is sometimes referred to as the "sunshine vitamin" as it can be produced by your skin after direct exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that boosts the immune system and your metabolism. It also helps and maintain strong bones and teeth, by helping the body absorb calcium from your diet.
Around one in four Australians are vitamin D deficient, a level which increases during winter. The incidence is higher in people who are bed ridden or those who do not spend time outside. Vitamin D deficiency can result in soft or fragile bones or teeth, weak muscles and a decrease in resilience to certain diseases... so it's very important that you get your daily dose! That's were mushrooms come in!
Eating just 3 'tanned' mushrooms can provide 100% of your daily vitamin D needs!
How to tan your mushrooms using sunlight, to increase vitamin D.
Simply place your store-bought mushrooms in the midday sun for 15 minutes, with the gills facing up.
This 2 minute guide to tanning your mushrooms was produced by Nutrition Research Australia, to educate health professionals on the process of tanning store-bought mushrooms, as an alternative to prescribing vitamin D supplements.
Look for Vitamin D enriched mushrooms packs in-store!
Can't spare 15-minutes to tan your own mushrooms? Mushroom growers around Australia are now offering mushrooms enriched with vitamin D!
After harvesting, the mushrooms are exposed to short bursts of UV light, to naturally BOOST their vitamin D levels. Amazingly, the vitamin D remains in the mushroom, even after cooking! Look out for specially marked packs at your local greengrocer.