Mushrooms are one of the only food sources of vitamin D for vegetarians and vegans, a vitamin which is essential to your wellbeing. Luckily, there is a very simple trick that will supercharge your mushrooms so you can reap its full health benefits.
Nutritionist, Lily Soutter teamed up with the Mushroom Bureau to show people how to really make the use out of a very common and unassuming vegetable...and we swear it really is easy.
What's the trick?
All you have to do is sit your mushrooms in a sunny spot anywhere from 15 minutes to two hours before cooking them. Soutter states:
Vitamin D is a vital component to support our immune system and has a wealth of other benefits that help us care for our overall health too,’ says Lily. From keeping our bones healthy, as it works to regulate our intake of calcium, magnesium and phosphorous, to improved resistance against certain diseases.
The nutritionist claims that this trick works because mushrooms actually have skin that is similar to that of humans:
Mushrooms naturally contain provitamin D and once in contact with the sun, they absorb vitamin D almost instantly, boosting their vitamin D content naturally.
Whilst enriched mushrooms will naturally come with a greater vitamin D content, you can easily add a natural dose of vitamin D to the regular British or Irish mushrooms by simply placing them on a windowsill when the sun is at its strongest between 10 am and 3 pm for around 15-120 minutes.
Reports have suggested that 1 in 5 people are vitamin D deficient and while the heatwave will he helping us soak up some sun, our food is also a viable source of nutrients. Lily claimed:
With a short shelf life, mushrooms last a maximum of nine days before they lose their vitamin content, due to their high respiration rate. Shopping the freshest, locally sourced mushrooms that have travelled fewer miles will ensure you consume the most nutritious mushrooms available. By checking the label and seeking out mushrooms from Britain and Ireland, we can enjoy nutrient-dense fresh mushrooms with a lower carbon footprint, all whilst supporting local farmers – it really is a win-win for all.
The Mushroom Bureau also chimed in with some very helpful advice:
Simply sourcing locally and making the most of the sunnier months ahead could help you and your family get that daily dose of vitamin D. As well as this, keep an eye out in store for “Vitamin D” highlighted labels on packs as another way of getting that much-needed vit-hit.