Mushrooms can divide a room. Some people love them and some people hate them.
If, like me, you’re a mushroom lover you’re in for a magical treat whenever you eat them.
You see, mushrooms can convert sunlight to vitamin D just like your skin does and as far as I know this magical property isn’t found anywhere else in the plant kingdom.
And whilst on this subject, mushrooms aren’t technically plants, they are a fungi and they have some pretty powerful health promoting properties.
As already mentioned, vitamin D, mushrooms naturally produce a small amount of vitamin D and this is increased when they are exposed to sun light.
Wild mushrooms, which are out in the sun light are a good source of vitamin D which is a tricky nutrient to get naturally from a plant-based diet. Lots of foods are fortified with vitamin D but that’s not quite the same as getting it from the food to begin with.
Other mushrooms that are commercially grown may not be such a good source but there are now some mushrooms available that are exposed to UV light in order to increase their vitamin D content. Next time you’re buying mushrooms, check out the labels to see if you can find them.
Other nutritional highlights
As well as being a potential source of vitamin D, mushrooms are packed with antioxidants, high in B vitamins and also contain the minerals selenium, magnesium and zinc.
They’re a great source of fibre including the immune supportive fibre. beta-glucan.
Mushrooms are also prebiotic which means they provide food for the helpful probiotics in your gut. This means that when you eat mushrooms you’re feeding your microbiome too.
Shiitake mushrooms are a special treat for your body. I always think they look a bit like alien mushrooms from another planet but despite their appearance they are even more packed with healing goodness than button or chestnut mushrooms.
Shiitake mushrooms have been found to have powerful anti-inflammatory and immune boosting properties too.
Try adding shiitake mushrooms to soups, stews, chilli, cottage pie or simply sauté them with some garlic and then stir into homemade cashew ‘cheese’ sauce for a quirky take on mushroom stroganoff.
How do you eat yours?
If you’re a mushroom lover too, why not pop over to the Vibrantly Healthy Community Facebook group and share your favourite ways to eat mushrooms?