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9 Great Sources of Disease-Fighting Vitamin-D
August 05, 2011
Marilyn and I hope you're well and enjoying adding Nature's Super Foods to your diet!

Today we thought we'd share with you 9 Great Sources of Disease-Fighting Vitamin-D.

9 Great Sources of Disease-Fighting Vitamin-D

The disease-fighting properties of vitamin-D are becoming increasingly clear, but it's not easy to get enough of this crucial nutrient.

In an effort to prevent skin cancer, many fore-go the vitamin-D, producing benefits of natural sunlight.

And diets high in processed foods don't offer much D power, either.

These factors seem to be contributing to North Americans' vitamin-D deficiency.

About 40 percent of men, 50 percent of women and 70 percent of children have low levels, according to data collected in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines recommend that adults consume 400 IUs of vitamin-D daily and children under 18 consume 200 IUs.

Much is at stake.

While it's long been known that vitamin-D encourages healthy bone growth by increasing calcium absorption, a spate of recent research indicates that it can accomplish far more.

Insufficient vitamin-D, in fact, is associated with a higher incidence of chronic and life-threatening conditions such as various cancers, heart disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and cognitive decline.

Healthy amounts can impede inflammation, a component of many illnesses, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Here are nine good sources of vitamin-D.

Sunlight: A whopping 80 percent or more of the vitamin-D we need could come from the sun...if we let it.

Sunscreen blocks about 97 percent of our body's vitamin-D production.

But we needn't endanger ourselves to take advantage of the sun's benefits: Fair-skinned people need less than 30 minutes of casual exposure on bright days to meet their daily requirement, while darker-skinned individuals need about two hours.

Cod liver oil: This fish oil has a reputation for bad taste, but flavored varieties available today make it much more palatable.

According to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, which conducts nutrition research, a Tbs. has 340% of the daily value of Vitamin-D and is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a fat essential to good health.

Other types of fish oil are also high in omega-3s, but only cod liver oil contains vitamin-D.

Salmon: A popular, sometimes pricey seafood, salmon is also high in omega-3s and is available frozen, fresh or canned.

Wild salmon, however, contains the highest level of vitamin-D found in any food naturally, four times the amount present in farmed varieties, according to the Alliance for Natural Health USA, an education and advocacy group.

Tuna: Another oily fish, tuna is a popular lunch ingredient as well as a solid source of Vitamin-D.

High in protein and omega-3s, a 3-oz. (85-g.) serving of tuna contains about 200 IUs of vitamin-D.

Milk: Cow's milk, whether skim or whole, naturally contains vitamin-D, and it's also often fortified with the nutrient.

One cup contains about 100 IUs.

Fortified Cereals: Combined with vitamin-D rich milk, fortified cereals are "the predominant vehicle for vitamin-D in the United States, according to a 2004 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Most ready-to-eat cereals in the U.S. are fortified, according to the study, typically containing 40 IUs to 140 IUs per serving.

For example, Kix brand cereal contains 32 IUs per serving; Raisin Bran, 168 IUs, and Quaker Instant Oatmeal for Women, 154 IUs.

Eggs: With about 21 IUs of vitamin-D in each yolk and pure protein in the whites, eggs are a formidable nutrition source.

Mushrooms: According to research published in April in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, white button mushrooms exposed to ultraviolet B light for a few hours increase their vitamin-D content by 400%.

Combined with being low in fat and calories, this makes mushrooms hard to beat as a healthy food when eaten alone, on pizza and burgers, or in salads and omelets.

Leaving store-bought mushrooms in the sun will increase their D content (with more generated the longer they soak it in), but it will also cause the mushrooms to dry out and turn brown after about a day.

Shrimp: Another good source of omega-3s, shrimp are high in protein and low in fat and calories, balancing their slightly elevated cholesterol content.

A 3-oz. (85-g.) serving of shrimp contains about 129 IUs of vitamin-D.


If you decide that taking a D supplement is the way to go, my recommendation is to take a vitamin D-3 supplement as your body must convert vitamin-D into vitamin D-3 for assimilation.

And speaking of shrimp, here's an awesome recipe we'd like to share with you

Shrimp & Walnut Stir-Fry with Scallions

Crunchy toasted walnuts offer a wonderful contrast to the plump, juicy shrimp in this dish.

But you'll really love the sweet and sour sauce that makes this quick fix meal truly restaurant-worthy.

Rice wine vinegar is sometimes simply labeled rice vinegar, but seasoned rice wine vinegar has a touch of added salt and sugar, so reduce the honey to 2 tsp. if using.

Serves: 4

Prep: 28 min

Cook: 12 min

Total: 40 min


2 Tbs. medium-dry sherry (optional)

1 Tbs. reduced sodium soy sauce

1 lb. peeled and deveined shrimp, thawed if frozen

1/2 c. walnuts, coarsely chopped

2 Tbs. canola oil

2 Tbs. chopped fresh ginger

1/2 c. reduced-sodium, fat-free chicken broth

3 scallions, whites thinly sliced diagonally, greens diagonally sliced 1" thick

1 Tbs. honey

1 tsp. rice wine vinegar

1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch, dissolved in 1 Tbs. water


1. Mix the sherry, if using, and soy sauce in a medium bowl.

Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Drain the shrimp, reserving the marinade.

2. Meanwhile, cook the walnuts in a large heavy skillet over medium heat, tossing often, for about 3 minutes or until lightly toasted.

Tip into a plate.

Wipe out the skillet.

3. Turn the heat up to medium-high and cook the oil and ginger in the same skillet, stirring frequently, for 1 minute or until the ginger is fragrant.

Add the shrimp and stirfry for 3 to 4 minutes or until opaque.

Add the broth, scallions, and reserved marinade and bring to a boil.

Boil for 1 minute.

4. Add the honey and vinegar.

Stir in the cornstarch mixture and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute or until thickened and bubbly.

Remove from the heat, stir in the walnuts and voila, enjoy!

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