The clever hack that can lift your vitamin D levels

Try this simple trick to boost your vitamin D levels. It’s free, easy and backed by science.

Around one in four Australian adults has a vitamin D deficiency.

Known as the “sunshine vitamin” because it forms in the skin when it is exposed to UV from sunlight, vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium to keep our bones and muscles strong and healthy.

The cooler months can play havoc with our vitamin D levels as we tend to stay indoors more often.

But a simple hack with mushrooms can help make up some of the shortfall.

Supercharge your mushrooms for a vitamin D boost

Nutritionist Michaela Sparrow says bathing mushrooms in sunshine can boost their vitamin D levels.

“Mushrooms already contain some vitamin D, but extra sunlight exposure creates more vitamin D,” Michaela says.

“When you purchase your mushrooms, give them a good rinse in water and then put in a dish outside in the sun – midday is best – for around an hour or so.

“This will greatly increase the vitamin D levels.”

Dietitian Lisa Renn says putting 100g of mushrooms – around three button mushrooms – in the midday sun for about an hour in winter could provide double the amount of vitamin D needed each day.

“The mushrooms might go a little bit brown but they’re still good to eat, it doesn’t affect their taste,” she says.

Lisa says tanning the mushrooms won’t impact any of their other nutrients.

What does the research say?

US researchers found exposing mushrooms to sunlight for as little as 15 minutes and even on cloudy days significantly increased their vitamin D levels.

The largest increases were in oyster and enoki mushrooms, followed by portobello and shiitake varieties.

Button mushrooms had the smallest increase, but even just 15 minutes of sun exposure resulted in a 15 per cent increase in vitamin D levels.

How to make vitamin D-rich mushrooms at home

  • Clean mushrooms with water or gently brush off dirt
  • Slice mushrooms
  • Place on a tray covered in aluminium foil (shiny side up)
  • Take outside and orient mushrooms with the gills facing the sun
  • Leave for around 30 minutes to an hour
  • Enjoy your supercharged mushies!

Written by Bianca Carmona.