The Importance of Vitamin D
Did you know vitamin D is the only vitamin that our body can make itself? When our body is exposed to sunshine, it produces vitamin D. Pretty cool! Vitamin D is essential for bone health, cardiovascular health, and hormone regulation. It helps manage blood sugar, enhances the immune system, and boosts concentration and memory.
Vitamin D Deficiency: A Growing Problem
Our modern lifestyles are causing us to spend more time indoors and away from the sun. When we are outside, we are taking more measures — like sunscreen and UV-protective clothing — to protect ourselves from the sun’s harmful rays. While these are smart and important measures to take, it means that it’s harder for our bodies to produce vitally important vitamin D. In fact, over 40% of Americans are vitamin D deficient and this number is significantly higher in African Americans and Latinos due to increased melanin in the skin.
When we don’t consistently get enough vitamin D, we increase our chances of developing type 1 diabetes, certain types of cancers, and bone and muscle pain. Symptoms of deficiency include feeling weak or fatigued, depression, muscle cramps, and getting sick often. Talk to your doctor if you believe you may have a vitamin deficiency. A simple blood test can help determine whether or not you have a deficiency.
Increasing Vitamin D with Mushrooms
One surprising way to increase your vitamin D intake is with Monterey Mushrooms®. Most commercially raised mushrooms are grown indoors in the dark and therefore don’t contain significant amounts of vitamin D. Monterey Mushrooms® teamed up with the U.S Department of Agriculture to replicate vitamin D-rich sunlight indoors. When mushrooms are exposed to this light, their penetrable tissue responds similarly to the way people do: by increasing vitamin D content.
As a result, Monterey Mushrooms® “High Vitamin D” labeled mushrooms are a great source of vitamin D. Eating a dozen of their medium-sized “High Vitamin D” mushrooms gives you all the vitamin D you need in a day.
Monterey Mushrooms® doesn’t use any additives, supplements, or chemicals to manipulate the nutrition of their mushrooms. All that’s used is their specially devised proprietary “sunlight.”
Ready to boost your vitamin intake with delicious mushrooms? Get cooking: 15 Mushroom Recipes For An Extra Kick of Vitamin D
Vitamin D Mushrooms on the Podcast
Recently in episode 81 of The Produce Moms Podcast, we featured Lindsey Occhipinti, the marketing manager at Monterey Mushrooms. Occhipinti explains how the high vitamin D content of Monterey Mushrooms is produced from an expedited process where the ergosterol is converted to vitamin D through a post-harvest process involving the exposure of the mushrooms during packaging to a precise wavelength of ultraviolet light. To learn more about the process, listen here.
A Special Note for Vegetarians and Vegans
“High Vitamin D” mushrooms are the only significant source of vitamin D you’ll find in the produce department. Other fruits and vegetables don’t have penetrable tissue like mushrooms and therefore don’t produce significant amounts when exposed to sunlight. Vegetarian and vegans should especially take note as most other food sources of vitamin D are meat, fish, or dairy based. Adding “High Vitamin D” mushrooms may be especially important for you!
Be sure to look for High Vitamin D mushrooms from Monterey® Mushrooms at your local grocery store. Store locator.