The only vegetable with Vitamin D

Many of us are aware that vitamin D is essential for bone health and strong teeth. Although there are many gaps in our understanding of other health effects of vitamin D, new research suggests that higher levels of the vitamin may also be important for helping to prevent chronic diseases and conditions including certain cancers, heart disease, diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Scientists have found that many of us may not be getting enough vitamin D, especially if we live in latitudes like Canada, spend most of our time indoors, use sunscreen regularly, or have diets low in the vitamin.

We get our vitamin D from two sources: exposure to sunlight, and a limited number of food sources including fortified milk, fish, eggs and fresh Canadian mushrooms. Mushrooms are the only vegetable that contains natural vitamin D.

Currently, the Adequate Intake (AI) for vitamin D for adults to age 50 is 200 IU per day. It increases to 400 IU per day for those 51-70 years and 600 IU per day for those older than 70 years.

A ½ cup serving of sliced fresh raw white mushrooms has 7 IU of vitamin D, that is 4% of an adults Adequate Intake.

Fresh Mushrooms Can Help!

Combating Cancer

•  A 2007 trial published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who took a calcium supplement that contained 1100 IU vitamin D had a significantly lower rate of cancer over 4 years compared to women taking a placebo.

•  Another study found that colorectal cancer death was inversely related to higher blood levels of vitamin D.

Diabetes Defense

•  Researchers in the U.K. found that dietary vitamin D supplementation was associated with a reduced risk of type 1 diabetes in children.

•  Data from the Nurses’ Health Study in the U.S. found that a combined daily intake of >1200 mg calcium and >800 IU vitamin D was associated with a 33% lower risk of type 2 diabetes compared to an intake of <600 mg calcium and 400 IU vitamin D.

Potential Possibilities

•  A study conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston found evidence that vitamin D intake may have a protective effect on risk of developing multiple sclerosis in women.

Steak covered with mushrooms Mushrooms Make a Difference

•  Add ½ cup sliced white button mushrooms to your green salad. Benefit: boost vitamin D by 18 IU (4% AI).

•  Use ½ cup sliced shiitake mushrooms instead of sausage in pasta sauce or on pizza. Benefit: boost vitamin D by 96 IU (48% AI).

•  Layer ¾ cup sliced sautéed fresh white mushrooms onto grilled steak or chicken. Benefit: boost vitamin D by 17 IU (5% AI).

Recipe Suggestions:

Asian Mushroom Lettuce Wraps

Baked Mushroom Topped Brie

Grilled Mushrooms with Tomato, Avocado and Feta Salad

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