This month Tesco launched the UK’s first ever range of mushrooms which are grown in extra light to naturally enhance their vitamin D levels similar to wild outdoor grown varieties.
The private brand mushrooms contain a substance called ergosterol which allows them to naturally make vitamin D when they are exposed to light.
The launch of the new range includes Chestnut, Baby Chestnut and Portobello mushrooms.
It follows a recent report by health experts who are concerned that people do not get enough vitamin D – needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy – during the darker winter months.
Tesco mushroom expert Marek Kutera said: “As we head into the winter months, we know it can be increasingly difficult to meet the daily recommendations for Vitamin D from a natural source.
“These delicious mushrooms will make it easier than ever for shoppers to get all of their allowance from a key cooking staple.
“Just one portion- around four Chestnut or one to two Portobello mushrooms – in your Spaghetti Bolognese is all it takes.”
Vitamin D, which helps to control the amount of calcium and phosphate in our bodies, is found naturally in a small number of foods including oily fish, red meat, egg yolks and mushrooms.
It is also naturally created in our bodies when exposed to sunshine.
Updated advice from Public Health England in July said that ‘in spring and summer, the majority of the population get enough vitamin D through sunlight on the skin and a healthy, balanced diet. During autumn and winter, everyone will need to rely on dietary sources of vitamin D.’
The mushrooms are grown exclusively for Tesco by Monaghan Mushrooms who are based in the Republic of Ireland.
Vicki Psarias, founder of Honest Mum, an award-winning parenting and lifestyle online magazine said: “Knowing that I don’t have to rely on the British weather over the winter months for my family to get their vitamin D, is fantastic news.
“It’s even better that we’re able to get the vitamin from something as simple as fresh mushrooms, which is something that we eat every week.”