Lacking Vitamin D? Mushrooms Can Sunbathe For You This Winter

Have you been advised by your doctor to get more vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin”?

It has become a major health concern in recent years, with the occurrence of vitamin D deficiencies slowly on the rise. In fact, almost half (41.6 percent) of the U.S. population is deficient in this crucial vitamin according to data from 2005-2006 (1).

Considering we rely very heavily on the sun’s UV light to manufacture vitamin D, winter months can make it even more difficult to meet requirements. But research shows that mushrooms can actually do it for you…extremely well.

Mushrooms Produce Vitamin D

Much like humans, mushrooms naturally produce vitamin D when they are exposed to sunlight (or another source of UV light). Their natural ergosterol gets converted to ergocalciferol (vitamin D2), which human bodies can use. 

A 2015 analysis of mushrooms from five cities showed that store-bought mushrooms contain on average 2.3 mcg of vitamin D per 100 grams (about 3-4 mushrooms), which is 23 percent of your daily needs. However, this number can be greatly increased when they get some sun.

A study by the University of Sydney found that mushrooms left in the midday sun for about one hour produced roughly 10 mcg of vitamin D per 100 gram serve. Another found that a short burst of UV-B rays increased vitamin D2 levels to 17.6 mcg per 100 grams, equal to levels found in other food sources of vitamin D, like fatty fish (2, 3).

Considering our daily requirements are 5-15 mcg (depending on age), this is significant dose of the sunshine vitamin.

Of course you should not replace vitamin D supplements with natural alternatives without first consulting your doctor, but mushrooms are a great way to boost your levels naturally.

How To Prepare Them

Simply allow your mushrooms to sunbathe outside or on an open windowsill for 1-2 hours to create your  own natural vitamin D “supplement”… one that actually tastes good too. 

As though you needed any additional reasons to eat more mushrooms.

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Janet B
Janet B4 months ago


Jetana A
Jetana A10 months ago

Please repost this article next fall, to remind those of us (such as myself) who will forget before sunbathing season ends.

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus1 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

James Maynard
James Maynard2 years ago

Good to know. I have been eating mushrooms two or three times a week lately.

Ba H.
Ba H2 years ago

great news, can they be cooked?

Charmaine C.
Charmaine C2 years ago

Thanks for the article. Most Vegans/vegetarians eat a lot of mushrooms but I will not rely on mushrooms, a source of D2, to supply me with my daily requirement of D. Until more research is done I will continue to take a D3 supplement. We live in the far north of Scotland and our physician knows we are vegans but has never done a D test or even asked. In the last two years we have had so little sunshine here that I'm wondering if the supplement we take is strong enough anyway.

Patti Ruocco
Patti Ruocco2 years ago

LOVE mushrooms!! so glad I can get a variety year round from my local farmers market!!

Jane R.
Jane R2 years ago

I eat mushrooms, but not often enough. I love them in salads, on steaks and in soups.

Bill Eagle
Bill Eagle2 years ago

I love Mushrooms. Good to know that they are high in Vitamin D

Feather W.
Feather W2 years ago

yummy idea...