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Ingredient spotlight: Mushrooms

Mushrooms are one of those vegetables that gets a bad rap from the haters, but for those of us who dig fungi, we get some much more than a tasty addition to our meal. We get a powerhouse full of fantastic plant-based nutrition!

In today’s post we’re talking all things mushroom, so if you are a hater, you may just change your mind and become a shroom convert.

Boost your Vitamin D levels

Did you know that mushrooms are the only fruit or vegetable source of Vitamin D? No need to risk skin cancer by baking in the sun, just add some mushies to your day.

The reason mushrooms have Vitamin D is because, just like humans, they produce it from exposure to sunlight. This process happens in mushrooms when a precursor, called ergosterol, reacts to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation converting it into Vitamin D.

Vitamin D is essential for strong, healthy bones as it plays a crucial role in the regulation of calcium and the maintenance of phosphorus levels in the body. Lesser known benefits of Vitamin D include immune boosting properties, regulating mood, and maintaining or losing weight.

Reduce your cancer risk

Like many other vegetables, mushrooms are high in antioxidants. Antioxidants play an important role in ridding the body of free radicals, nasty things which harm the body’s cells. This harm can lead to diseases like cancer. 

It’s not just the antioxidants in mushrooms which help to fight off cancer; Vitamin D also has its part to play. Studies have shown the Vitamin D in mushies can inhibit the growth of cancer cells! 

Other anti-cancer components in mushrooms include folate which helps prevent the formation of cancer cells. And selenium which assists the liver in detoxifying cancer-causing compounds from the body. 

Amp up your immunity

An American study has shown mushrooms may improve immune function by boosting the production of antiviral proteins that are released by cells when they’re protecting and repairing the body’s tissues.

Another study showed promising results with mushrooms improving the growth of immune system cells which may help heighten the body’s immunity.

In an American review of the immunological roles of five major mushrooms, the discussion said that “preliminary research in humans… is promising for treatment” and called for further research into the benefits of mushrooms on the immune system.

Take care of your heart health

Mushrooms include a cocktail of compounds which contribute to overall heart health, starting with fibre, potassium and Vitamin C. The low levels of sodium in mushies also work with potassium to lower blood pressure. 

Another win for mushies is their beta-glucan content. Beta-glucan has been shown to lower levels of bad cholesterol in the blood. On this note, the phytonutrients found in mushrooms help to prevent cells from sticking to the walls of blood vessels. Why is this important? It assists in avoiding plaque build up. 


Whether you’re already a mushroom lover (or a recent convert!) now is the time to put more shrooms on your plate. How about scrambled eggs, mushroom, grilled tomato & basil on six-grain sourdough toast with butter? Or why not try spaghetti mushroom duxelle with peas & parmesan?

See what’s on this week’s menu and order your mushroom meals with us today.

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