The Budget Smart Cook Goes Sunbathing

admin / June 12, 2008

When you’re cooking on a budget sometimes you need to be aware of what foods can offer the best nutritional bang for your buck. One vitamin most of us don’t think a lot about is vitamin D. I remember back to home economics class and that it was known as the sunshine vitamin.
It seems that recently vitamin D has been taken a lot more seriously. Last year a couple of studies were published that found a connection between vitamin D levels and rates of certain cancers. It seems people who live in sunnier regions of the globe had lower rates of breast, colon and ovarian cancers.
Rickets used to be the biggest health problem connected with lack of vitamin D, but these days it seems researchers are connecting everything from high blood pressure to osteoporosis to low levels of vitamin D.
Vitamin D is present in very few foods so as budget smart cook it’s essential to include those foods in some of the meals you serve your family.

What is Vitamin D?
It’s a fat-soluble vitamin, which means our bodies can store it.

How Much Do We Need?
The USDA recommends between 200-600 iu’s per day. The older we get, the more of the upper range we need.

What Foods Contain It?
Look for milk and dairy products that are have vitamin D added to them, egg yolks, there’s also cereals that usually say they’re vitamin D enriched. And let’s not forget the dreaded cod liver oil, and yes, salmon. And some orange juice has vitamin D added to it. Good news is it isn’t destroyed during the cooking process like many other vitamins. And long time storage doesn’t reduce its potency either.

You Are My Sunshine
And you don’t just have to eat certain foods to get your daily intake of vitamin D. If we go outside, the sunlight triggers the synthesis of vitamin D in our skin. And the reason we need more vitamin D as we age is because our bodies aren’t as efficient at this synthesis. And experts say we can take in about 10,000 iu’s for just 10-15 minutes of exposure to the sun. And the good news is our bodies can store it and use it later, which goes to explain why many of us get ‘the blues’ during winter. Researchers are now finding one of the health problems connected with lack of vitamin D is depression.

Supplements
Yes, you can take vitamin D supplements, but as vitamin D is fat soluble, take too much and you’ve got even more problems. So go the food and sunshine route, and if you really think you need to take supplements, check with a doctor or nutritionist first.

A Yogurt Offer
And now some yogurt manufacturers are offering vitamin D enriched varieties. Check out this site to learn more and to print a $1 off coupon for Yo-Plus.
www.yo-plus.com

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