It’s only September, but I’ve already started to notice that the days are getting shorter. The sun isn’t as strong. And it feels a little cooler outside. Which all have me thinking about the importance of vitamin D.
I know; it’s a random thing to think about. But according to Dr. Mercola, 85% of us are vitamin D deficient. This doesn’t just mean that we don’t get enough sunlight. Vitamin D deficiency is linked with all sorts of diseases and even certain cancers, meaning it’s a vital component of overall health.
Vitamin D & Cancer
Vitamin D helps your body use and metabolize calcium, making it crucial for your bones, teeth, and mental well-being. But it doesn’t end there…
Studies show that vitamin D plays an important role in cardiovascular, hormone, and immune functions. Because vitamin D contains antioxidant properties and repairs DNA damage, among its many other roles, it may also help reduce your risk of cancer. On the flip side, if you don’t have enough vitamin D, you may be putting yourself at risk for serious health problems.
Exposing bare skin to sunlight is the primary way to increase your vitamin D levels. But what happens in the fall and winter months when there isn’t as much sunlight to get the amount we need—or when it’s too cold to run around Manhattan in a bathing suit?
I turn to nutrient-rich foods…
The Best Sources of Vitamin D
In the cooler, darker months, it’s important that you add more vitamin D-containing foods to your plate (and consider supplementation).
Next time you go shopping, pick up:
- Beef liver
Then, make these 2 must-try recipes:
Slow-Cooked Salmon, Chickpeas, and Greens: Bobby Flay’s recipe, featured in Bon Appetit, calls for a low 250° oven to yield a moist and flavorful fish. Finish with vinaigrette and capers.
Dairy Free Frittata with Heirloom Tomatoes: Do mornings better with a hearty egg and vegetable frittata bake. This is a protein-packed dish from Bravo for Paleo that you can enjoy pre- or post-workout. If you’re on a vegetarian diet, leave out the meat or replace it with more veggies.
Want more? Follow @OfficialChefT on Instagram for regular tips on how to stay healthy and Eat with a Purpose.