Mushrooms are a healthy source of Vitamin D

Do you know mushrooms, grown under UV light or outdoors, are the only plant-based source of vitamin D? Very few foods contain vitamin D. And, during the winter months, when there isn’t sufficient UVB radiation to produce it naturally, we run the risk of not having enough.

Quick Facts

  • Mushrooms make vitamin D in a similar way to our bodies, through the absorption of sunlight, in the UV spectrum.
  • Vitamin D is fat-soluble. This means you will need to eat it with some fats (like oils) in order for the body to absorb it. So, frying mushrooms is a benefit.
  • Vitamin D is an important vitamin often lacking from plant-based diets.
  • Vitamin D’s primary role is to help us absorb calcium and phosphorous from food, so extremely important for long-term bone health. Lack of Vit D will result in weak and brittle bones (including teeth).
  • It is also a very essential vitamin for our immune system. Research shows that vitamin D deficiency is linked to increased autoimmune issues and a higher risk of developing infections.  Here’s a link to Rhonda Patrick p[odcast on this https://www.foundmyfitness.com/episodes/vitamin-d-immune-function
  • Mushrooms contain vitamin D-2, while animal products contain vitamin D-3. ResearchTrusted Source has found that vitamin D-2 might not be as bioavailable as vitamin D-3 but can still raise vitamin D levels.
  • Winter can be a problem. You are most likely to develop a deficiency in winter as our bodies can produce less of it due to limited exposure to sunlight.

What happens if I don’t get enough?

Vitamin D deficiency can cause several health problems. You’re at a greater risk of developing a deficiency if you don’t get regular sun exposure. This is a real problem for people with darker skin, especially the further south one is living in NZ.Some symptoms of low vitamin D include the following:

How much Vitamin D will I need?

The amount of vitamin D you need each day depends on your age. The National Institutes of HealthTrusted Source, says that an average daily intake of 400 to 800 IU, or 10 to 20 micrograms, is sufficient for more than 97 percent of people.

Here’s the recommended daily intake of vitamin D based on age:

  • Babies (0–12 months): 400 IU
  • Children (1–13): 600 IU
  • Teenagers: 600 IU
  • Adults 70 and under: 600 IU
  • Adults over 70: 800 IU

Can I overdo it?

Yes, this is possible. The upper safe limit of dietary vitamin D for people ages 9 and above is 4,000 IUTrusted Source per day. Taking too much can cause the following symptoms.

  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • constipation
  • weakness
  • weight loss
  • Getting too much vitamin D can also raise calcium levels in your blood. Excess calcium can cause an irregular heartbeat and disorientation.