If you’re looking for vitamin D this winter, look no further than The Blend™.
Winter can be tough, especially for those in colder climates. There’s something about the shorter days and longer nights that can really throw you for a loop. We often chalk it up to the time of year, but lack of sunlight actually does affect us in scientifically proven ways.
When we lack access to the sun’s rays, we also lack access to the most common producer of vitamin D. Although the majority of Americans consume sufficient amounts of most nutrients, vitamin D is consumed by many individuals in amounts below the estimated average requirement. In fact, the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans identified vitamin D as a nutrient of public health concern because low intakes are associated with health concerns.1 Vitamin D helps build and maintain strong bones by helping the body absorb calcium, therefore insufficient levels can lead to rickets in children and osteoporosis in adults.2
When we’re out in the sun, ultraviolet (UV) rays trigger vitamin D synthesis. Some mushroom growers took note and began exposing their mushrooms to UV light during the growing process, increasing the overall vitamin D content.3 (Look for specially marked packs!) Certain mushroom varieties, such as crimini and portabella, contain higher levels of the plant sterol, ergosterol, which converts to vitamin D upon exposure to UV light and, in turn, results in a higher amount of vitamin D. So when you cook with mushrooms, it’s like adding sunshine to your meals!
Mushrooms are great year-round but they’re even better in the winter when you know you’re giving your body the vitamin D it craves. Mushrooms can be eaten sautéed on their own or added to entrees, but The Blend™ is another easy way to work them into your diet. When you blend chopped mushrooms with meat, you can enhance the flavor of your favorite meals, reduce fat and calories, and get that precious vitamin D.
If you’re looking for vitamin D this winter, look no further than The Blend™. Get started with these blenditarian favorites:
- For fungi fanatics: Classic Stuffed Mushrooms
- For chilly nights: Mexican Mushroom Meatball Soup
- For holiday meals: Sausage and Mushroom Stuffing
There’s more where those came from, too! Explore more blended recipes here.
1 Vitamin D Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. National Institutes of Health: Office Of Dietary Supplements. Reviewed November 10, 2014. Introduction. 2nd paragraph.
2 IOM (Institute of Medicine). 2010. Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D. Washington, DC, National Academies Press. Report Brief. Health Effects of Vitamin D and Calcium Intake, 1st paragraph; Table. 4. McHugh T. UV processing of mushrooms increases vitamin D content. Food Technology 3/15. Page 75, 3rd column, 2nd paragraph.
3 U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2015. 8th Edition, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, January 2016.