- Do this one weird trick to ANY mushroom to make it far healthier
- A surprising fact about vitamin D in April
- Why low-fat diets are bad for immunity
Got any mushrooms in the house?
Top tip for you….
Put them on a plate on an open window ledge.
Seems weird, I know.
There’s a faint possibility a pigeon or seagull might nick one.
But that one odd trick will supercharge the vitamin D content of those mushrooms, so that when you eat them, they deliver a dose into your system.
You see, like your own skin, mushrooms skins create vitamin D when exposed to sunlight.
Mushrooms contain large amounts of ergosterol, which ultraviolet light from the sun converts into ergocalciferols, also known as vitamin D2.
On our skin we have cholecalciferol, which ultraviolet light converts to D3.
In terms of how long it stays in your system, D3 is better, but D2 is a good thing too.
Both forms linked to improved immune function. That’s because it switches on a gene that makes a natural antibiotic known as cathelicidin, bolstering your body’s defences.
And boy could we ALL do with a bit of that right now.
Genuinely, this little mushroom “life hack” really works.
There’s science behind it and everything!
A 2013 study at Virginia Polytechnic showed that exposing mushrooms to sunlight for 15 minutes enhanced their vitamin D content by at least a quarter of the recommended daily intake.
This applies to all kinds of mushroom including button, oyster and shiitake.
So you can either seek out and buy mushrooms online that have treated with UV light to boost their vitamin D content… or simply do it yourself by leaving regular mushrooms on a windowsill with the window open for long periods.
Making mushrooms even healthier
As you might recall from previous Good Life Letters, mushrooms are already pretty good for you.
- beta glucans which enhance your immune system
- ergothioneines that have antioxidative qualities
- nerve growth stimulators for better brain function
- plus antimicrobial compounds which can combat viruses.
So on top of ‘sunning your mushrooms’ as an extra immunity booster, you can either pack loads more into your diet over April…
Or try our mushroom complex, which contains 5 of the best forms of mushrooms you can take.
- Lion’s Mane mushroom – boosts the immune system by encouraging beneficial gut bacteria.
- Maitake mushroom – adapts your body’s immune system respond to better manage stress
- Chaga mushroom – helps reduce inflammation with antioxidant and immune supporting properties.
- Reishi mushroom – the most effective mushroom for managing inflammation,
- Shiitake mushrooms – help fight infection
You can read more about it here: [Mushroom Complex
On the subject of vitamin D…
Some big news on this, coming up…
I’m preparing some information for you this Sunday about one of the most powerful ways to get vitamin D into your system (outside of getting more sunshine).
You might think that vitamin D deficiency peaks in the darkest point of the winter…. say January or early February…. but it’s actually April, according to Steve Jones, emeritus professor of human genetics at UCL.
This week he told The Times, “In April one in three people in southern England will be below the safe limit for vitamin D.”
Jones guessed that with the added problem of lockdown keeping us indoors, vitamin D levels would drop to the lowest they’d been in the past 20 years.
It doesn’t even matter if the sun is streaming through your window this month, as glass absorbs UV light, making it ineffective for vitamin D production.
As I’ll explain over the weekend, even if you’re getting a bit of sunshine now and then, you really need to keep your vitamin D levels up.
Also be careful about what you eat…
Why low fat diets are bad for immunity
A trial published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics five years ago showed levels of vitamin D were 32% higher in test subjects after they took a supplement with a meal that had 30% of its calories coming from fat,.
This was compared with people who took the same vitamin D supplement with a fat-free meal.
The problem is Vitamin D (along with vitamins A, E & K) is fat soluble and cannot be absorbed and transported around the body unless there is sufficient cholesterol in the blood.
The ‘good’ cholesterol (HDL) on its own is not enough and a certain amount of ‘bad’ stuff (LDL & ULDL) is also needed…
Also, as we age we’re physiologically programmed to have an increase in blood cholesterol, partly for the purposes of carrying essential vitamins around to protect ageing cells.
So if you’re trying a low fat diet during lockdown, maybe reconsider!
Talking of lockdown…
How to make a stranger smile
The charity Age UK have started a ‘Postcards Of Kindness’ campaign in which they encourage people to send uplifting postcards to residents of care homes.
Many of these residents don’t have the ability to Skype, use Facebook or make facetime calls on mobile phones, so these could be a different way to show them that we’re thinking about them in these trying times.
They explain: “While it’s a small gesture, the resulting deliveries bring a great deal of joy and spark lively conversations among the older people who receive them”.
With that in mind, someone’s come up with a great idea for these cards – making designs based on old classic songs from yesteryears like Keep Smiling Through, We’ll Meet Again, Don’t Sit Under The Apple Tree, What A Wonderful World, and Pack Up Your Troubles.
These are all songs the oldest living generation in Britain will remember well – you can see them here: Postcards
Please do look out for this Sunday’s Good Life Letter in which I have some very good news about vitamin D that I know some readers have been eagerly awaiting!