Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mushrooms and More!

I just love mushrooms, and the more I find out about these little globes the better I like it!  I want to share some of the latest research on these mysterious little treats from an article I recently found.  My doctor, and many others have been finding that many Americans are suffering from Vitamin D deficiency these days.  In a recent article by Health and Wellness....the following was presented....

Oh, and by the way has YOUR doctor checked your level of Vitamin D as part of your yearly physical?  It really does need to included as you will see in the articles below.  Listen up folks, it could be you are one of the many who are actually suffering from Vitamin D deficiency and were not aware of it!

Symptoms & Diseases Associated With Vitamin D Deficiency
Frank LipmanSeptember 15

It is estimated that anywhere from 30 to 100% of Americans, depending upon their age and community living environments, are deficient in Vitamin D. More than half of all American children are vitamin deficient. Supposedly almost 3/4s of pregnant women are vitamin D deficient, predisposing their unborn children to all sorts of problems. Worldwide, it is estimated that the epidemic of vitamin D deficiency affects one billion people. In my practice over 80% of patients whose vitamin D levels I check are deficient.

What are the symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency?

There is no clear pattern of symptoms. In fact many people remain asymptomatic despite low levels. But here are the more common symptoms
  • Fatigue
  • General muscle pain and weakness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Joint pain
  • Chronic pain
  • Weight gain
  • High blood pressure
  • Restless sleep
  • Poor concentration
  • Headaches
  • Bladder problems
  • Constipation or diarrhea
No one is exactly sure why this is happening apart from the fact that we spend too much time indoors and when we go out into the sun, we lather sunscreen on ourselves. I think it must be more than that. But whatever the reason, the reality is we have a major epidemic on our hands.

How much Vitamin D do WE need?

How much vitamin D you need varies with age, body weight, percent of body fat, latitude, skin coloration, season of the year, use of sun block, individual variation in sun exposure, and – probably – how ill you are.
As a general rule, old people need more than young people, big people need more that little people, fat people need more than skinny people, northern people need more than southern people, dark-skinned people need more than fair skinned people, winter people need more than summer people, sun block lovers need more than sun block haters, sun-phobes need more than sun worshipers, and ill people may need more than well people.
What I and many of my colleagues around the country are finding is that even people spending what we thought was adequate amount of time in the sun, are still showing up with low blood vitamin D levels. I am not sure why at this stage but there is an easy and cheap solution…vitamin D supplementation.
Here are some guidelines:
  • If your blood level is above 45ng/ml and for maintenance, I recommend 2,000-4,000 IU daily depending on age, weight, season, how much time is spent outdoors, where one lives, skin color and obviously blood levels. In other words if you are older, larger, living in the northern latitudes during the winter, are not getting sun and have dark skin, I recommend the higher maintenance dose.
  • If your blood level is 35-45 ng/ml, I recommend you correct it with 5,000 of vitamin D3 a day for 3 months under a doctor’s supervision and then recheck your blood levels.
  • If your blood level is less than 35 ng/ml, I recommend you correct it with 10,000 of vitamin D3 a day under a doctor’s supervision and then recheck your blood levels after 3 months. It takes a good 6 months usually to optimize your vitamin D levels if you’re deficient. Once this occurs, you can lower the dose to the maintenance dose of 2,000 – 4,000 IU a day.

What diseases are associated with Vitamin D deficiency?

Vitamin D deficiency has been shown to play a role in almost every major disease. This includes:
  • Osteoporosis and Osteopenia
  • 17 varieties of Cancer (including breast, prostate and colon)
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Metabolic Syndrome and Diabetes
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Bursitis
  • Gout
  • Infertility and PMS
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic Pain
  • Periodontal disease
  • Psoriasis
Scary list isn't it!  I wanted to share all this information in my BLOG today to say that Nutrition is really the foundation of true health and wellness.  All the exercise in the world won't help us if we don't put the right fuel in this body of ours.

 In an effort to protect ourselves from skin cancer we are avoiding the sun and slathering ourselves with sunscreen every time we leave the house.  This has turned out to be a problem when it comes to Vitamin D deficiency.  I have actually done a lot of research and found that we really NEED exposure of about ten to fifteen minutes a day of pure unadulterated sunshine on our bodies.  As with everything the word is MODERATION.  Balance is important in all aspects of our lives.  And, get this, most research shows that vitamin D taken as a supplement is NOT AS EFFECTIVE as naturally produced Vitamin D...big surprise!

 Recent research has shown that MUSHROOMS may help in this area of deficiency as is outlined in the article below:

Photo: Mushrooms
Mushrooms. Photo courtesy of Microsoft clipart.

For further reading

Vitamin D-Rich Mushrooms: A Research Success!

By Marcia Wood
November 12, 2008 Now there's an even better reason to add fresh mushrooms to your breakfast omelet, noontime burger, or dinner salad. Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists in Albany, Calif., have teamed with Monterey Mushrooms, Inc., of Watsonville, Calif., to boost the vitamin D content of white, brown and portabella mushrooms.
Thanks to UV-B light—like that in sunshine—the company's new Sun Bella line of fresh mushrooms offers at least 100 percent of the recommended intake of vitamin D in each 3-ounce serving.
An estimated 40 percent of Americans don't get enough vitamin D. The nutrient is essential for strong bones, properly functioning liver and kidneys, and a robust immune system. Some research suggests that vitamin D may reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, and Alzheimer's disease.
The idea of using UV-B light to enhance mushrooms' vitamin D levels isn't new. But Tara H. McHugh, a research leader and food technologist at the ARS Western Regional Research Center in Albany, and colleagues at Monterey Mushrooms are likely the first to determine exactly how to best use UV-B rays for commercial-scale production of vitamin D-rich mushrooms.
McHugh did much of the work under terms of a research and development agreement with the company. Monterey Mushrooms recently introduced Sun Bella mushrooms in supermarkets nationwide.
An article in the June 2008 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry documents some of the ARS mushroom studies.
ARS is a scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Here is a SIMPLE and delicious way to prepare mushrooms for your family.  Fresh mushrooms, like so many other vegetables are far superior to those mushy, watery tasteless creatures that come in a jar or a can, so don't say YUCK (Paul) til you try them.


1 Large Sweet Onion, thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 to 1 and 1/2 Pounds of FRESH mushrooms  ( I use button most of the time)
    Make sure that the mushrooms you purchase have the tops closed tightly around the stem, and
    are bright white and not slimy looking...keep it FRESH
NEVER NEVER WASH mushrooms,  if they are particularly dirty, take a DAMP paper towel or rag and gently wipe them.
Cut the mushrooms in half
Place the Onions and Olive oil in the pan first on HIGH heat for a minute or two then
ADD the halved mushrooms
Season with Garlic Salt and turn with a slotted spoon as they begin to brown
Cook the mushrooms only until crisp/tender and
Serve Immediately!
You won't believe how delicious these are!

Serve these as a delicious side dish to a healthy grilled chicken breast...YUMMO!

 Here are a few more ideas for those power packed little gems..

Mushrooms have such a versatile flavor that they can be used in a wide variety of dishes including pasta, salad and soups. Mushrooms take in flavors very well, so you can add them to many different types of cuisine.
  • Saut√© shallots, garlic and mushrooms to top your favorite burger.
  • Chop 1 cup of mushrooms and add to your favorite pasta sauce.
  • Stuff large button mushrooms with red pepper, garlic, onion, breadcrumbs and cheese.
  • Slice mushrooms and add to a healthy breakfast omelet.
  • Substitute Portobello mushrooms for steak for a heart healthy ‘Bella Stroganoff’.
  • Chop shitake or porcini mushrooms and add to a salad, or any of your favorite mushrooms
  • I love to GRILL the large Portobello mushrooms and have "mushroom burgers" add a little
  •      cheese if you like, and freshly sliced tomatoes, lettuce...once again a gourmet delite!
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
1 cup, pieces or slices (70.0 g)

Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat
% Daily Value*
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Total Carbohydrates
Dietary Fiber

Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 2%
Calcium 0% Iron 2%
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

I know, this is a lot of information...but I feel like so many times people don't really understand nutrition and fail to include the items which could most benefit them in weight management and overall health.  I am convinced that the incredible increase we have seen in recent years in ALL autoimmune diseases has a great deal to do with the foods we are eating or not eating.

Nutritional Analysis

Nutritional Breakdown
Daily Values
Daily Values (based on a 2000 calorie diet)

Fat Protein Carbs
Alcohol Other

Good points
LOOK at all those healthy things that so many of us are missing in our daily diet. Wow!  People, supplements are fine, but they absolutely DO NOT take the place of nutritious, healthy foods.




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