We typically associate summer sun with summer FUN, but did you know the sun offers powerful health benefits as well?
The sun can be an excellent source of Vitamin D. By simply getting 10 minutes of peak sun on 3 quarters of the unprotected body, you can absorb an adequate amount of vitamin D. Of course, any additional exposure to the sun should be after a generous application of sunscreen.
Despite the sun being such a great source of vitamin D, current research shows nearly 40% of Americans are deficient in the vitamin. With evidence suggesting vitamin D deficiency can contribute the development of cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease, and auto-immune disorders, it’s time to consider improving our vitamin D levels.
Vitamin D functions to:
- Maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus which are key building blocks to strong bones
- Help boost your immune system
- Protect against a variety of diseases
Since very few foods in nature contain Vitamin D, it’s important to choose healthy sources that have vitamin D, such as:
- Fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, tuna and mackerel
- Fortified foods including milk and breakfast cereals
- Low-fat cheese
- Egg yolks
- Beef liver
This week’s recipe for 7-Layer Mediterranean Dip is a delightfully fresh combination of anti-inflammatory foods topped with low-fat feta for a good dose of Vitamin D. Serve it with grilled salmon and you got a D-packed meal perfect for this beautiful spring weather!