Health & Nutrition

World Health Day: Natural Foods Like Mushrooms Are More Effective Than Supplements, Says Health Expert

7 April 2021
  • World Health Day (7th April) encourages Brits to look after their health by making informed food and activity choices
  • Celebrity nutritionist Rob Hobson supports the ‘food as medicine’ movement, highlighting that foods such as mushrooms, are now by-passing supplements to boost and support our health
  • Rob Hobson offers five healthy lifestyle tips for optimum nutrition this World Health Day
  • Hobson explains mushrooms are a natural source of vitamins D and B6, with just eight medium-sized vitamin D enriched mushrooms delivering 100% of your RI

Since the start of the pandemic, Brits have embraced a renewed focus on their health and wellbeing and have taken a careful look at how they sustain this lifestyle.

Millions are reviewing their habits, looking at everything from diet and what foods we put into our bodies, to exercise and how frequently we move.

Over the past 12 months, building and maintaining a healthy immune system has increasingly become a priority, with people purchasing supplements known to support this.

Spinach, Mushroom, Avocado and Bacon SaladHowever, a health expert today has step forward claiming that FOOD is the ultimate medicine, declaring certain vegetables can be just as effective as costly supplements.

Celebrity nutritionist, Rob Hobson explains, “The UK grows and produces an abundance of fresh produce like mushrooms, that are stocked on our supermarket shelves. Although most consumers are unaware that natural foods like mushrooms, are as effective, if not more effective than taking supplements to boost our health.

“It’s never been more important for us to ensure we’re consuming enough of the essential vitamins and minerals we need to live a healthy life. In fact, recent research has demonstrated the link between getting sufficient vitamin D in order to minimise the effects of Covid-19[1].”

Hobson adds “the latest NHS advice urges the public to consider increasing their vitamin D intake from 5 micrograms to 10 micrograms.”

“While many Brits may turn to supplements for their vitamin fix, British and Irish farmers and growers are enriching mushrooms with vitamin D, with just eight providing 100% of your daily recommended intake (RI).

British and Irish farmers and growers are enriching mushrooms with vitamin D

Mushrooms are also a natural source of vitamins B2, B3, B5 and B6, with one 100g serving of Vitamin B6 mushrooms providing 30% of your daily recommended intake (RI).”

The food-as-medicine movement has been around for decades, advocating that food should be made a formal part of treatments rather than relying solely on medications or supplements.

Prescribing nutritional changes or implementing activity programmes has been found as effective to prevent, limit or even reverse illnesses by changing what patients eat[2].

Although supplements may plug dietary gaps, the fresh food we eat is packed with nutrients necessary for good health, such as magnesium, calcium, and essential vitamins[3].

Experts suggest that food offers three primary benefits over supplements: Greater nutrition from the complexity of foods, essential fibre to help digestion and help prevent certain diseases, and protective substances like “phytochemicals” that occur naturally to help prevent cancer, heart disease and diabetes[4].

Rob Hobson offers his top five healthy lifestyle tips for optimum nutrition this Natural Nutrition Month:

Rob Hobson’s Top Five Healthy Lifestyle Tips:

  1. Incorporate vitamin D enriched mushrooms into at least one meal every day. If you can’t get your hands-on vitamin D enriched mushrooms and can only find regular mushrooms, place them in the windowsill when the sun is out, and they become a source of vitamin D
  2. Cook from scratch during the week to ensure you are consuming healthier meals. Use a selection of simple, natural ingredients and avoid using processed foods. Home cooking means you control everything that goes into your meal and can choose to make something low fat, low cholesterol or low sugar. On average, homemade meals contain more vegetables, less carbohydrates, and less fat than any other meal[5]
  3. Ensure you drink a minimum of 2 litres of water a day. This helps to cleanse toxins from your body, provides you with energy and helps fatigue. Staying hydrated can bring a good dose of brain power and vitality to your day
  4. Go outside for at least an hour’s walk or daily exercise each day in the fresh air. This should reduce time spent sitting down and break up long periods of not moving with some physical activity. Exercise can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing diseases like type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease
  5. Limit foods high in harmful fat, sugar or salt. Replace saturated fats with unsaturated fats, and reduce consumption of sugary and salty snacks, opting for low sodium products instead

[1] UK keeping research on link between vitamin D and Covid under review | Coronavirus | The Guardian

[2] Food As Medicine: It’s Not Just A Fringe Idea Anymore : The Salt : NPR

[3] Should you get your nutrients from food or from supplements? – Harvard Health

[4] Food vs. Supplements: What’s the verdict? (omrf.org)

[5] Studies show eating homemade is healthier – DishDivvy

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