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Adding mushrooms to your diet can help increase shortfall nutrients, reach dietary goals

1 cup of mushrooms can provide 114-1110 international units (IU) of Vitamin D, according to the latest edition GDA.

A new study has suggested that adding a mushroom serving to your plate can increase the intake of several micronutrients like vitamin D, potassium and fibre, without increasing calories, sodium or fat.

Written by Longjam Dineshwori |Updated : February 2, 2021 9:02 AM IST

Vitamin D is one the nutrients that has gained a lot of attention during the Covid-19 pandemic. Lack of Vitamin D in the body has been linked to a variety of health concerns. Amidst the pandemic, some studies suggested that people with untreated vitamin D deficiency may be at higher risk of contracting the novel coronavirus than those who have adequate levels of the nutrient. In fact, a study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that over 80 percent of 200 Covid-19 patients in a hospital in Spain have vitamin D deficiency. If you want to boost your vitamin D levels and other shortfall nutrients like potassium and fibre to keep your immunity at its best, add a mushroom serving to the diet.

In a new study published in the journal Food Science and Nutrition, researchers suggested that adding a mushroom serving to your plate can increase the intake of several micronutrients, without increasing calories, sodium or fat.

They found that adding an 84-gram serving of mushrooms to the diet of the participants increased several shortfall nutrients including vitamin D, potassium and fibre.

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Mary Jo Feeney, nutrition research coordinator to the Mushroom Council in the US, which funded the study, said that their findings validated that adding mushrooms to your diet is an effective way to reach the dietary goals identified by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA).

Eating mushrooms can increase intake of these nutrients

For the study, the team asked the participants to take either a composite of white, crimini and portabella (1:1:1 mix) or oyster mushrooms based on an 84g or half cup equivalent serving.

They found that the addition the mushroom serving to the diet resulted in an increase in -

  • dietary fibre (5 per cent-6 per cent)
  • copper (24 per cent-32 per cent)
  • phosphorus (6 per cent)
  • potassium (12 per cent-14 per cent)
  • selenium (13 per cent-14 per cent).
  • zinc (5 per cent-6 per cent)
  • riboflavin (13 per cent-15 per cent)
  • niacin (13 per cent-14 per cent)
  • choline (5 per cent-6 per cent)

The increase intake of these micronutrients was seen in both adolescents and adults (both 9 to 18 years and more than 19 years of age), but had no impact on calories, carbohydrate, fat or sodium.

Specially, a serving of UV-light exposed commonly consumed mushrooms helped significantly decreased population inadequacy for vitamin D in both age groups.

Food Sources of Vitamin D

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) publish the DGA every 5 years. The latest edition of Dietary Guidelines for Americans, i.e. DGA 2020-2025 provides advice on what to eat and drink to meet nutrient needs, promote health, and help prevent chronic disease.

"Current low intakes of nutrient-dense foods and beverages across food groups has resulted in underconsumption of some nutrients and dietary components," the guidelines noted.

It provided a list of a variety of nutrient-dense foods and beverages that are some of the highest sources of calcium, potassium, dietary fibre, and vitamin D, which are considered dietary components of public health concern.

The DGA stated that 1 cup of mushrooms can provide 114-1110 international units (IU) of Vitamin D and approximately 15-20 calories, while a half cup of mushrooms can boost Vitamin D intake 57-555 IU.

Notably, a daily Vitamin D intake of 1000 4000 IU (25 100 micrograms) is needed to maintain optimal blood levels for most people.

Other food sources of Vitamin D listed in the GDA include rainbow trout (freshwater), salmon, tuna (canned), herring, sardines (canned), soy milk (unsweetened), low fat milk, plain yogurt, fortified orange juice, rice milk and almond milk.

With inputs from IANS

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