Healthy Habits: Vitamin D!

060428c86b054780db66150230cc6bfaVitamin D is important for many things when it comes to our bodies- helping with proper absorption of calcium and bone development, controlling cell growth, aiding neuromuscular functions, bolstering immunity, and alleviating inflammation! Most folks don’t think too much about vitamin D until winter when the sun is less plentiful.

It’s true- you can get vitamin D straight from the sun. Or perhaps more amazingly, your skin can produce vitamin D with the help of sunshine. By itself though, this essential vitamin cannot be made by the body itself. Through sunlight and foods rich in vitamin D alongside the occasional supplementation, we can ensure that we have enough Vitamin D! But when the days are dark and cloudy how do we address a possible deficiency?

When we talk about Vitamin D – we’re talking about the related fat-soluble vitamins that occur in the body. You may not realize it but Vitamin D works hard once it enters your system and doesn’t stay the same (appearing as Vitamin D2 or Vitamin D3)! Vitamin D reaches every part of the body; it’s  such a specialized vitamin in the body that our body produces a special binding protein in the liver just to ensure that it vitamin D travels throughout our bloodstream!

In foods, we find Vitamin D in fatty fish, and to a lesser extent in beef liver, cheese, egg yolks, and certain mushrooms. You’ll also find that fish oils and some essential fatty acids also provide sources for vitamin D. Let’s talk about some of our favorite D sources for when there’s not enough sunshine to go around!

MUSHROOMS! We love these little guys – they’re nutritional dynamos! They are also a great source for vitamin D!

Maitake Each 1-cup serving of diced, raw maitake mushrooms contains 786 international units of vitamin D, which is more than 100 percent of the 600 IU daily intake recommended for healthy adult men and women. “Bon Appetit” magazine recommends grilling the mushrooms with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. Maitakes are normally priced at $1.99/oz but are on special for members at $0.99/oz!

Portabello When it comes to high amounts of vitamin D, Portabellos are a close second to maitake mushrooms. Hearty, these large, flat capped mushrooms have a meat-like texture and flavor when they’re cooked, making them a good low-fat red meat substitute in burgers, stir-fries, stews and pasta dishes. Normally priced at $0.69/oz on sale for members only $0.39/oz!

 Oyster Originally cultivated during the first World War, these delicate mushrooms lend themselves well to soups, stir-frys, and salads. In addition to fiber, iron, vitamin D, and niacin, these mushrooms contain heart healthy properties. Normally priced at $0.79/oz on sale for $0.39/oz for members only!

All these sources of vitamin D aren’t complete without healthy fats. Healthy oils and fats are necessary for the vitamin D to be easily absorbed. Large California Green Skin Avocados, which are less oily than Hass avocados but equally delicious and buttery provide healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats. Normally priced at $1.99 each, on sale for $1.39 for members!

In a perfect world… this would be enough! Sometimes you need an extra boost and if you’re someone who’s concerned about how much vitamin D, try out some of these great offerings in our Wellness department. Both Nordic Naturals Vitamin D3 and Garden Of Life offer supplements containing vitamin D3- one of the most recommended forms of vitamin D. Kind Organics Vegan D3 is a plant sourced alternative to the D3 that is traditionally obtained from the fat of lamb’s wool. Both products provide optimal IUs of vitamin D and are easily absorbed as they are formulated with a bit of healthy fats!

Thanks for reading, please send any comments to … HAPPY NEW YEAR!


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