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One Serving of This Food Can Significantly Increase Your Vitamin D Intake, Researchers Say

That is, after it's been exposed to UV light.
White baby bella mushrooms exposed to ultraviolet uv light

Health experts cannot stress enough how important it is to make sure you're getting adequate levels of vitamin D each day. While there aren't many foods that are rich in the vitamin, taking a supplement is a great way to ensure that you achieve the recommended dietary intake and fight off infection.

However, new research funded by The Mushroom Council indicates that one common plant-based food may be able to provide you with your daily needs all on its own. In the journal Food Science & Nutrition, Dr. Victor L. Fulgoni III and Dr. Sanjiv Agarwa modeled the addition of mushrooms to National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2011-2016 dietary data. More specifically, they examined a composite of white, crimini, and portabella mushrooms at a 1:1:1 ratio; one scenario including UV-light exposed mushrooms; and finally, one scenario including oyster mushrooms. (Related: The One Vitamin Doctors Are Urging Everyone to Take Right Now).

The researchers examined the health benefits each type of mushroom provided for people ages 9-18 years, as well as those 19+ years of age. Each age group was instructed to eat 84 grams, or about a 1/2 cup serving, of mushrooms. What they discovered? Just one serving of mushrooms increased each group's intake of dietary fiber as well as several minerals including copper, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, riboflavin, niacin, and choline.

However, the biggest takeaway came from the mushrooms that had been exposed to UV-light. Eating just one serving of these mushrooms enabled both groups to either meet or slightly exceed their recommended daily value of vitamin D. So, next time you go grocery shopping, see if you can pick up a pack of mushrooms that says "enriched with vitamin D." Alternatively if you have a UV light at home, consider putting your fresh mushrooms under it for a few hours to enrich a normal pack of mushrooms with the vitamin right in your kitchen.

Of course, not everyone has access to a UV light at home, so eating regular mushrooms in addition to taking a vitamin D supplement still may be the best way to go as the pandemic progresses, unless your doctor advises you otherwise.

For more, be sure to check out 5 Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency You Should Never Ignore.

Cheyenne Buckingham
Cheyenne Buckingham is the news editor of Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and drink coverage, and breaking down the science behind the latest health studies and information. Read more
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