As the days shorten and the weather turns chillier, absorbing vitamin D from the sun becomes more challenging. Why does that matter? Less vitamin D can lead to a weakened immune system, fatigue, joint pain and even impaired wound healing. Essentially, vitamin D helps your whole system run better, from your digestive system to your nervous and circulatory systems. Vitamin D can help your body ward off diseases, while also boosting your mood and helping to fight depression. It also enhances the body's absorption of calcium, which helps form and maintain strong bones, and aids in maintaining muscle strength, healthy body fat levels and body tissue health.
How can you make sure to get enough vitamin D as the season changes? Registered dietitian and nutritionist Dawn Jackson Blatner offers a few expert tips on healthy hacks for your diet:
Opt for fatty fish when eating seafood
When you're looking for a seafood option for meals or when dining out, choose the fattier types of fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines and anchovies, as they are rich dietary sources of vitamin D. In addition, oysters and shrimp are also good sources of vitamin D.
Choose high quality eggs with increased vitamin D content
Eggs are a great option for vitamin D, but keep in mind that not all eggs are created equal. Eggland's Best eggs contain six times more vitamin D and 25% less saturated fat than ordinary eggs. In addition, independent testing has revealed that Eggland's Best eggs have stronger shells than ordinary eggs, which leads to less breakage and helps them stay fresher longer. Eggland's Best's patented method of production and verification ensures that every Eggland's Best egg has these superior qualities.
Add mushrooms to your diet
Mushrooms are another great way to add some vitamin D into your diet! You can add some fresh mushrooms to your salads or add cooked mushrooms into your favorite meals. When mushrooms are exposed to sunlight, they produce vitamin D. Not all mushrooms have been exposed to sunlight, however, so look for packages that say vitamin D enhanced or put your mushrooms in sunlight for 1-2 hours. Shiitake mushrooms are the best choice since they produce the most vitamin D.
Take a supplement
If you're concerned about your vitamin D levels, consult your health care professional to be tested and to ask for recommendations for an appropriate vitamin D supplement dose for your situation.
You don't have to suffer through the colder months of the year feeling deprived of vitamin D. With some adjustments to your daily diet, you'll boost your body's health all winter long.
For a quick and easy recipe that's packed with vitamin D, try this flavorful and nutritious Mushroom & Onion Dutch Baby.
Mushroom & Onion Dutch Baby
Prep Time: 40 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Yield: 6 servings
- 8 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 8 oz button mushrooms, sliced
- 5 large Eggland's Best eggs
- 1 ¼ cup whole milk
- 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- 1 cup grated aged Gouda cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
Preheat oven to 425°F.
In a large sauté pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat and cook for 2-3 minutes until melted and foamy.
Add onions and cook, stirring for 2-3 minutes until they begin to soften.
Add the herbs, then stir in the mushrooms and cook for another 3-5 minutes until they are browned and softened as well. Remove from heat.
Put the Eggland's Best eggs, milk, flour, salt and pepper into a blender and blend at high speed for about a minute.
Stop, scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula, and blend for another 30 seconds.
Place the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter into a 12-inch cast iron skillet and put the pan into the oven.
Wait until the butter is completely melted and bubbling, then carefully take the pan out and swirl the butter around to make sure the pan is coated.
Spread the onions and mushrooms on the bottom of the cast iron skillet. Pour the egg and flour mixture on top.
Finally, sprinkle cheese all over and put back into the oven for 20 minutes, until browned on top. The pancake will puff up as it bakes.
When finished, take the Dutch baby out of the oven.
You can scatter more sage and thyme across the top, if you desire.
For a more decadent touch, melt a tablespoon of herb butter on top of the pancake as soon as it leaves the oven.