Boost your vitamin D with mushrooms by Emma Stirling APD

I’m sitting typing this practically on top of the wood fire at the farm.  It’s absolutely freezing. And even though we have ventured out for long walks today, very little of my skin has been exposed to the sun.  Thank goodness we are having mushroom risotto tonight.  Yes, there is a link, as strange as it may sound.  And you’ll definitely want to know about this latest research too.

Photo of Emma Stirling

bulla mushrooms - vitamin d

Last weekend I caught up with my dietitian mate, the mushroom guru Glenn Cardwell APD, on a fantastic day with foodies hosted by Australian Mushroom Growers Kicking off with a farm tour, we chatted the latest facts. Around 60% of Australian females and 40% of Australian men will be vitamin D deficient, but over a third of Aussies can’t name a single source of this very important vitamin. And quite remarkably, brand new figures from the National Measurement Institute, on behalf of FSANZ, show one serve of store-bought mushrooms can provide 20 per cent an adult’s Adequate Intake for vitamin D.  But wait for it.  When exposed to the sun, mushrooms will provide 100 per cent of an adult’s daily vitamin D needs!  Mr Cardwell even demonstrated for me, what a champ.

Mr Cardwell holding mushroom

Some farms give mushrooms 1-2 seconds of UV light after harvesting to enrich their levels. Look out for special packaging highlighting the vitamin D. Or you can place regular mushrooms in direct sunlight for a hour in winter and generate your daily needs of vitamin D in a serve (100g or 3 button mushrooms).  How about that!  With newer research showing vitamin D is important for mind and mood, I’ll be enriching my mushrooms to get through winter and help bust any blues.

Next we headed back to Prahran Market to another top bloke, Mushroom specialist Damian Pike, who’s been selling his love of mushrooms to shoppers for over thirty years.  We looked over his beautiful selection and even got a look at his prized truffle stash.


Then it was time for our cocktail style lunch with catering by our Scoop Nutrition partner, Healthy Byte by Bright Young Things and a cooking demo by Alice in Frames.  Here’s a taste of our Smoked tofu and apple wrapped in daikon with enoki, sprouts, cashew mayo and coconut amino.  And the Truffled polenta chip with reggianno, autumnal mushrooms and crispy sage.

Truffled polenta chip with reggianno, autumnal mushrooms and crispy sage.

rich in vitamin d recipe

What’s for dinner at your house tonight?  Time for mushrooms? We’re heading out to toast marshmallows on the mega bonfire after risotto.  What are you doing to embrace winter?

Emma was a guest of Australian Mushroom Growers and received complimentary mushroom products.  Thanks to Vikki Leng and Des, plus new grad dietitians Jess Hung and Suzie Solomon for looking after us so grandly.  Follow more of our fun with #powerofmushrooms


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