11 Vitamin D-Packed Recipes for Better Health


The sweet embrace of sunlight holds a powerful secret to better health. Often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D is a crucial nutrient that plays a significant role in a number of processes in the body. As a result, adequate vitamin D is essential for overall health and well-being. As the National Institutes of Health notes, optimal vitamin D levels improve bone health and reduce inflammation in the body. Mayo Clinic states that vitamin D also plays a role in improving immunity and muscle health.

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that your skin can make when it’s exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. As Harvard Health Publishing describes, this process takes place only when the sun’s rays are at the correct angle and, therefore, for many who live a distance from the equator, does not take place during wintertime. It is also important to note that too much exposure to UV light greatly increases the risk of skin cancer, per the American Cancer Society, and extended exposure is not recommended.

The good news is that some foods contain vitamin D. Unfortunately, though, the list of foods that are naturally high in vitamin D is short, and meeting your needs through food alone may prove difficult. The NIH lists the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin D for those 1 to 70 years old as 600 international units (IU) (15 micrograms) and the RDA for those over 70 is 800 IU (20 micrograms). While salmon is a top source of dietary vitamin D, it provides just 570 IU per 3-ounce serving. Other top food sources of vitamin D include trout, mackerel, sardines, and mushrooms that have been exposed to UV rays, per research. Here are 11 recipes packed with vitamin D to help you meet your dietary needs and reap the health benefits today!


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