New research commissioned by The UK & Ireland Mushroom Producers has revealed thay one in four people in the country are not getting their daily recommended vitamin D intake, with a further quarter having “no clue” on what the recommended daily amount even is.
The research also found that 22 per cent of people agreed to being worried about developing a weak immune system.
"With winter starting to descend upon us, getting enough vitamin D from natural food sources such as mushrooms becomes even more important than other, sunnier months of the year," the group stated.
"The body is designed to get vitamin D from sunshine through the skin, but through the darker months this is much harder to achieve, especially in the UK. With more local lockdowns rapidly being introduced, thousands of Brits will be spending less time in the sunlight than usual this winter."
However, nutritionist Rob Hobson has a solution, revealing that mushrooms, when exposed to the sun, can provide as much vitamin D as a health supplement.
Much like our skin, mushrooms transform ultraviolet light from the sun into the vitamin and continue to do so even after they have been harvested – they are the only vegetarian food that can make vitamin D as they contain a specific compound called ergosterol.
“Mushrooms often go unnoticed in the fruit and veg rainbow that we’re advised to eat," Hobson explained. "They are commonly overlooked as a significant source of the sunshine vitamin D.
“As we prepare to spend less time in the daylight winter, we need to explore different ways of finding how to best get what our bodies need," he outlined. "A readily available and easily-forgotten source is mushrooms, which can be bought specially enriched with vitamin D.”
The latest NHS advice urges the public to consider increasing their vitamin D intake from 5 micrograms to 10 micrograms, while Matt Hancock also recently advised that everyone in the UK should consider taking/eating more foods with vitamin D.
Hobson said that eating just eight vitamin D-enriched mushrooms a day would provide the daily recommended amount.
“If you can’t get your hands on vitamin D enriched mushrooms and can only find regular mushrooms, place them outside on the window sill when the sun is out and they become a source of vitamin D," He noted.