Supercharge your diet with foods rich in vitamin D

(BPT) - When you think of healthy bones, calcium likely comes to mind. However, without another powerhouse nutrient, your body can't absorb calcium. You need adequate amounts of vitamin D to keep your bones strong, which many people get from sunlight. The problem is, when shorter days arrive in the winter and people spend less time in the sun, vitamin D deficiency becomes a concern.

In addition to promoting bone health, vitamin D supports the body in many ways, from maintaining muscle and body tissue to boosting the immune system and supporting cognitive wellness. During cold weather months when there is less exposure to sun due to limited daylight hours and increased cloud coverage, the body may not obtain enough vitamin D. An easy solution is to adjust your diet and incorporate foods rich in vitamin D.

“As seasons change, our bodies can naturally crave comfort foods paired with seasonal produce,” said Marissa Meshulam, registered dietitian nutritionist and founder of MPM Nutrition. “As you enjoy these cozy recipes, try to be intentional about which foods you’re adding into your diet that are packed with vitamin D.”

Salmon

Americans tend to eat less fish than other countries around the world. Fish can be an important source of nutrients, and if you're looking for fish with high amounts of vitamin D, salmon is your best bet. One 3.5-ounce serving of farmed Atlantic salmon contains 526 IU of vitamin D, or 66% of the recommended daily value, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Try different preparations, from baking to poaching, to discover which you prefer. You can even purchase canned salmon and make salmon cakes or salmon salad — the same way you would make tuna salad — for a quick and easy lunch.

Mushrooms

For thousands of years mushrooms have been used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments. Today, mushrooms are widely available at supermarkets, offering a nutrient-packed plant source of vitamin D. Enjoy trying different varieties including button, shitake and oyster. For a larger mushroom that some people use as a meat substitute, try portobello, which can act as sandwich buns or even a mushroom pizza base. Have fun choosing new recipes that incorporate mushrooms in a variety of ways to make meals interesting.

Eggs

Packed with vitamins and minerals, eggs are a versatile and delicious food. But keep in mind, not all eggs are created equal. Next time you’re at the grocery store, choose Eggland’s Best eggs with the bright red EB stamp, which provide superior nutrition compared to ordinary eggs. With six times more vitamin D, one Eggland’s Best egg is equivalent to 35% of the daily recommended amount. Plus, Eggland’s Best eggs have more than double the Omega-3s and vitamin B12, 10 times more vitamin E and 25% less saturated fat, making them a go-to ingredient to boost the nutrition in any recipe.

In addition to adding foods rich in vitamin D to your diet, explore recipes that bring these items together and explore tasty flavor combinations to keep mealtime enticing. Whether you’re looking for a twist on Sunday brunch or a crowd-pleasing appetizer, Egg Portobello Boats are a meatless option worth trying.

Egg Portobello Boats

Servings: 4

Ingredients

4 portobello mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed and gills removed

Juice and zest from 1 lemon

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 shallot, minced

4 large Eggland’s Best eggs

1 head hearts of romaine

1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1 teaspoon honey mustard

Salt and pepper

Asiago cheese

Store-bought french-fried onion

Directions

1. In a large zipper top bag, combine lemon juice, zest, garlic, salt, pepper and shallot with the mushrooms. Refrigerate for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

2. Heat a grill to medium/high heat. Brush grates with vegetable oil. Place marinated mushrooms on grates, gill/stem-side down. Grill for 6-7 minutes.

3. Flip mushrooms and crack one Eggland’s Best egg on top of each mushroom on the gill/stem-side. Close lid and grill until egg whites look solid, but yolks are still runny. About 6-7 minutes.

4. Whisk olive oil, rice wine vinegar, honey mustard and salt and pepper. Spoon over romaine and tomatoes placed on serving platter or plates.

5. Place the mushrooms on top of salad and top with shaved asiago cheese and crispy onions.

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