New research recently conducted has revealed that more than a third of Irish people are relying on vitamin supplements to reach their daily recommended nutrient requirements, instead of consuming foods naturally rich in vitamins.
Additionally, there is uncertainty surrounding the volume of vitamins we should be consuming, for example, over a quarter don’t know how much vitamin D they should be consuming every day as part of their diet.
Lack of nutrient awareness
While vitamin D is important for good health, over a quarter of respondents were unaware of the benefits it has as part of their daily diet, while over half are unaware of any health benefits of the mineral selenium linked to vitamin D, which contributes to a balanced and healthy immune system.
Winter health woes
The research also shed light on health worries during the winter period. Just under two thirds of people are more concerned about their immune systems during the dark, winter months than any other period throughout the year. Even though vitamin D contributes to a healthy immune system, in excess of a third of people are more worried about being deficient in vitamin C than vitamin D.
Health case for mushrooms
Research findings showed that three in four Irish people like mushrooms for a variety of reasons, including taste and texture, versatility for cooking and because they help them reach their seven-a-day quota. However, the vast majority are unaware that mushrooms are actually high in essential minerals, copper and selenium, both of which contribute to positive health. Closed cup mushrooms are also naturally high in protein, meaning that almost half of the energy results from protein.
Commenting on the results of the research, Dietitian Sarah Keogh said, “it is not surprising to me that a third of Irish people are relying on vitamin supplements to reach daily nutrient requirements instead of eating vitamin-rich foods as part of their daily diet. We are living in a society today where convenience supersedes everything and often a supplement becomes a magic quick fix for people.
“However, it is unfortunate that many people are forgetting the power of natural foods and the range of health benefits they can provide us with. So many natural fruits and vegetables including mushrooms are excellent sources of essential vitamins and minerals – they shouldn’t be overlooked in terms of helping us reach daily recommended nutrient intakes as well as our seven portions of fruit and veg a day.”