Sun your ‘shroomsEthical Food & Drink News & Features
A health expert has come forward to urge Brits to give themselves a vitamin D boost by putting British and Irish mushrooms in the sunlight before eating them.
Maintaining a strong immune system has never been more important, as the nation fights against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Adopting a healthy lifestyle and getting the right nutrients plays an important role in helping us to achieve this.
Mushrooms and immune health
Previous reports have suggested that fresh is best, with locally sourced produce that has travelled fewer miles than international counterparts retaining more nutritional goodness once it hits our plates.
However, nutritionist Lily Soutter has unveiled a simple at-home hack that can give our bodies a much-needed vitamin D boost.
‘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. From keeping our bones healthy, as it works to regulate our intake of calcium, magnesium and phosphorous, to improved resistance against certain diseases.
‘Having similar skin 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 10.00 and 15.00 – for around 15-120 minutes.’
Vitamin D deficiency
Lily has joined forces with the Mushroom Bureau, a partnership between British and Irish mushroom farmers and growers, to educate the nation about the booming benefits the fungi can provide and why buying locally sourced produce is not only good for the environment, but also for our health.
A spokesperson for the Mushroom Bureau, said: ‘Recent reports suggest that one in five of us are deficient in vitamin D, so it’s important to think of other ways we can incorporate this important vitamin into our daily diets. 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.’
Available 365 days a year, the humble mushroom has been crowned one of the most versatile vegetables by more than a third of Brits, thanks to its meaty texture.
Lily reveals that mushrooms are also one of the only foods from which vegans can source vitamin D naturally.
‘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.
‘When purchasing mushrooms from outside of Britain and Ireland, they could be in transit for a shocking 36 hours or more before they reach our supermarket shelves! Yet, when buying locally grown mushrooms, transit time is more than halved, to a maximum of just 12 hours, helping to retain their freshness.
‘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.’