Monday, November 2, 2009

Ah Mushrooms...

The edible kind. Really this is about Vitamin D.

The research is in, has been in, and the experts have spoken. We need more D!
Recent headlines have warned us that our kids may be deficient, a Cooper Institute study on runners found deficiency in over 70% of the subjects they analyzed. This has a lot to do with sun exposure, skin color and even the use of sun screen or protection, which is STILL the right thing to do.

I have read research supporting Ds effect on our bodies so that we are at less risk of falling. Vitamin D also appears to be protective against some cancers. It works with calcium to strengthen our bones and certainly it prevents rickets. There is some evidence that it is helpful to the heart and in regulating blood glucose. The new wonder vitamin to be sure.

The daily recommendation for Vitamin D is still at the low end of 200 or 400 IUs a day, but many are calling for as much as 1000 or 2000 IUs a day. These include the respected Dr. Walter Willett and Dr. Kenneth Cooper.

This vitamin like others, is best when found in foods, but I gotta tell ya, there are not that many foods with Vitamin D or in amounts sufficient. The best is salmon and canned tuna as well as fortified milk products. I was excited to see that mushrooms were listed as a good source of Vitamin D in a magazine article I was reading. Here is the thing however. The magazine tells us that 3 ounces of mushrooms have 400IU (that MUST be cooked mushrooms) and that 3.5 ounces of salmon has 360IU. Do know have any idea the difference in volume between three ounces of mushrooms and three ounces of salmon or tuna!! In other words to get 400 IUs of vitamin D in sliced mushrooms on a salad, oh well, it would be like 10 cups or something of mushrooms, before you put them on the salad!

I wanted to encourage you to add mushrooms to your stir fry and salads and I still do, but you are much more likely to end up with 50 IUs not 400.

As I have said before, this is one of the vitamins I do take as a supplement. Though I also strive to eat foods that are high in calcium and D. Here is a link to the USDA data base where you can see some common foods and Vitamin D amounts, please, look at the serving size! For example the chart starts with 1/2 fillet of salmon and then 3oz of salmon.. the latter is the appropriate serving size and it has much less vitamin D, but a very good amount just the same.

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