Mushroom Nutritional Information: Getting Your Vitamin D and Vitamin B with Mushrooms

Many people are amazed at the mushroom nutritional information we share with them during talks and forays. Want to know more about the vitamins and minerals found in tasty mushrooms? Find it here

Did you know that a variety of edible and gourmet mushrooms are an excellent source of some vitamins and minerals? This is specifically the case with vitamin D and vitamin B.

A major use of vitamin D by the body is in absorbing calcium and promoting bone growth, while vitamin B, in short, provides energy. Today we’re looking at these vitamins as part of the mushroom nutritional information we have to share.

Mushroom Nutritional Information: Vitamin B

In addition to energy, the B vitamins found in mushrooms help your body break down carbohydrates and fats, and play an important role in the functioning of the nervous system. A single cup of mushrooms (species dependent) consumed daily could add the following benefits to your diet:

  • 7% daily intake of B1
  • 30-35% daily intake of B2
  • 22-25% daily intake of B3
  • 23% daily intake of B6
According to Medical News Today, "B vitamins help the body get energy from food and form red blood cells. A number of B vitamins also appear to be important for a healthy brain." Shiitake mushrooms have been shown to have high amounts of vitamin B12. The study Vitamin B12-Containing Plant Food Sources for Vegetarians confirms this. "In addition, high levels of Vitamin B12 were detected in the commercially available dried shiitake mushroom fruiting bodies (Lentinula edodes), which are used in various vegetarian dishes."

Mushroom Nutritional Information: Vitamin D

Interestingly enough, mushrooms are also a great source for vitamin D. Just like humans, mushrooms produce vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. In fact, mushrooms are the only produce source that can help people get this essential vitamin. The key here is that the mushrooms have to be exposed to sunlight. Check out our sun-dried shiitake mushrooms to help boost your vitamin D intake. They can be added to soups, risottos and vegetable dishes, or made into a delicious tea.

According to the study Photobiology of vitamin D in mushrooms and its bioavailability in humans, “Mushrooms exposed to sunlight or UV radiation are a good source of vitamin D2.”

Additionally, the study states, “A study of the bioavailability of vitamin D2 in mushrooms compared with the bioavailability of vitamin D2 or vitamin D3 in a supplement revealed that ingestion of 2000 IUs of vitamin D2 in mushrooms is as effective as ingesting 2000 IUs of vitamin D2 or vitamin D3 in a supplement in raising and maintaining blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D which is a marker for a person's vitamin D status.”

And it concludes with something that we love to share with those interested in the wonderful world of fungi. “Mushrooms are a rich source of vitamin D2 that when consumed can increase and maintain blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in a healthy range.”

When we prepare our dried shiitake mushrooms, we allow them to sit in direct sunlight for at least eight hours after harvest. This helps them soak up the sun and increase the amount of vitamin D within them. We then finish the drying process of these mushrooms with low heat indoors.

Mushrooms are a great way to get essential vitamins and minerals, and are particularly valuable in the diets of vegans or vegetarians that do not eat many animal products.

If you’d like to add more healthful mushrooms to your diet, you can begin by putting dried shiitake mushrooms in soup or stews. Or you can make teas with them, in addition to other mushrooms like lion’s mane, reishi, and chaga. Extracts are another powerful way to intake the healthful constituents of mushrooms. You can also cook up fresh mushrooms and put them into a variety of main and side dishes. Check out all of our mushroom options, including our dried mushrooms and our mushroom extracts.

Mushroom nutritional information: You can also grow your own healthful mushrooms at home

Extracts and dried mushrooms are great, but sometimes people want fresh mushrooms to cook with. Using food as medicine is becoming more accepted as a process in our world. When cooking mushrooms the cell walls are broken down and many of the nutritional and medicinal benefits become available. The easiest way to grow your own mushrooms at home is with a mushroom growing kit. These kits come ready-to-fruit so you can begin using them as soon as they arrive. There is no need to wait months for mushrooms to incubate and colonize the substrate because that process has already been done for you. With a mushroom growing kit you can have your first flush of fresh mushrooms within two weeks of starting the kits. Each mushroom growing kit is 10 pounds of colonized substrate and certified organic. You should be able to fruit between two and four pounds of fresh mushrooms throughout the kit's lifetime and depending on the species and environmental conditions.

Source for this article on mushroom nutritional information:

- Photobiology of vitamin D in mushrooms and its bioavailability in humans

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