The vitamin D-ish – the best food pairings to get the most vitamins on your plate this National Vegetarian Week

National Vegetarian Week is taking place this week (10th-16th May), highlighting the benefits of opting for a meat-free diet. Recent research has revealed that a whopping one in five Brits are vitamin D deficient and unaware how to get their daily vitamins through a vegetarian diet2.

The latest NHS advice urges the public to consider increasing their vitamin D intake from 5 micrograms to 10 micrograms3 but many of the foods highest in vitamin D such as salmon, shellfish and red meat, are not vegetarian friendly.

The UK and Ireland Mushroom Producers is enriching mushrooms with vitamin D, with just eight Vitamin D mushrooms providing 100% of your daily recommended intake (RI).

Mushrooms are the only vegetarian food that can make vitamin D as they contain a specific compound called ergosterol.

Ergosterol is converted into vitamin D when exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation, similarly to how human skin synthesises the vitamin in response to sun exposure.

Celebrity nutritionist Rob Hobson says on the subject, “With many vegetarians contemplating how they can achieve their daily dose of vitamins, there are ample vegetarian foods which are vibrant and exciting to eat, while helping your body absorb more nutrients each day.”

Rob explains mushrooms are the ideal, versatile ingredient to incorporate into a range of vegetarian dishes as they are heat stable, so cooking with the fungi will not affect its overall vitamin levels.

He has also suggested some of the best food pairings to obtain the optimal number of vitamins and nutrients from your plate – quick and simple to whip up this National Vegetarian Week.

Best Nutrient-Packed Food Pairings and Recipe Suggestions:

Mushroom Shakshuka:

– Vitamin D mushrooms: Just eight medium-sized Vitamin D enriched British and Irish mushrooms deliver 100% of your recommended intake

– Eggs: Rich in phosphorus, calcium and potassium, eggs also contain 15% of the RDA for vitamin B12

– Tomatoes: A major dietary source of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to many health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. They are also a great source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K

Vegetable Stir Fry:

– Vitamin B12 mushrooms: Just four medium-sized Vitamin B12 enriched mushrooms deliver 100% of your recommended intake

– Broccoli: 1 cup serving of cooked broccoli contains 1 mg of iron, which is 6% of your DI. A serving of broccoli also packs 112% of the Daily Value for vitamin C, which helps your body absorb iron better

– Tofu: A half-cup (126-gram) serving provides 3.4 mg of iron, which is 19% of your RDI and provides 22 grams of protein per serving

– Asparagus: High in vitamin K, providing 57% of the RDA, and a source of folate, providing 34% of the RDA

Veggie full English Breakfast:

– Vitamin D mushrooms: Just eight medium-sized Vitamin D enriched British and Irish mushrooms deliver 100% of your recommended intake

– Hovis Fabulous Fibre bread: Per 2 slices provides 7.8g Fibre (25% RDA)

– Spinach: 100 grams of raw spinach contains 2.7 mg of iron, 15% of your RDI

– Halloumi: Provides 25% of the Daily Value of calcium and 15% of sodium

– Linda McCartney vegetarian sausages: A serving of 2 sausages provides 15.5g protein

– Baked beans: 8% of your RDA for Iron, and contains 6 grams of protein

Baked, Stuffed Sweet Potatoes:

– Vitamin B6 mushrooms: Just one 100g serving of Vitamin B6 mushrooms provides 30% of your daily recommended intake (RI)

– Sweet potatoes: A medium-sized sweet potato contains 3.8 grams of fibre and 100 grams provides 100% of your RDA for vitamin A

– Black beans: A half-cup (86-gram) serving of cooked black beans provides around 1.8 grams of iron, and 10% of your RDA. They are also a good source of folate, magnesium and potassium

– Avocado: A 100-gram serving provides 26% of your RDA for vitamin K, and 20% for Folate

– Cheddar cheese: Contains 200mg calcium (20% of your daily value) per ounce

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