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Our blog offers content about healthcare, healthy living and the culture at Hannibal Regional.


The Sunshine Vitamin

Unfortunately the amount of sunshine in a day is dwindling. The sunshine is essential for our health, most importantly our skin. Our skin contains vitamin specific precursors that when exposed to ultraviolet light or sunshine, a conversion occurs in which one very important vitamin is given the ability to be utilized by our body. What vitamin is this? Vitamin D! With inadequate sun exposure to our skin, this conversion cannot happen, and our body misses out on all the wonderful health benefits of vitamin D. Not to mention, vitamin D is already lacking in the average diet and deficiencies are quite common.

Why take vitamin D?

  • Helps with the absorption of calcium
  • Positively improves mood
  • Aides in neuromuscular function, helps prevent against autoimmune diseases, maintain healthy immune function & reduces inflammation
  • Maintains adequate serum calcium and phosphate concentrations for normal mineralization of bone.

What foods contain Vitamin D?
Canned salmon, tuna, milk (all milk has vitamin D added, not just “Vit D” milk!), fortified orange juice, enriched cereals

Who especially at risk for deficiency?
Breastfed infants, older adults, those with inflammatory bowel disease & fat malabsorption conditions, those with limited sun exposure, those with dark pigmented skin, those who are obese or have underwent gastric bypass surgery.

How much should you get?
Experts who specifically study the area of vitamin D agree that all ages can safely consume 1000 IU's through supplements, which is far more than most vitamin D supplements on the market contain. Like all vitamin/mineral supplements, you should inform your healthcare provider of any changes you make to your supplemental regimen.

Fun Fact: Did you know that you have something in common with a mushroom? Our skin is similar to that of a mushroom when absorbing sunlight. Mushrooms grown outdoors have more vitamin D than those grown inside. Taking mushrooms out of the package and putting them in the sunlight for about 15-30 minutes boosts vitamin D content!

Grilled Portabello Mushroom Caps

  • 1⁄2 cup olive oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 1⁄2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3 crushed garlic cloves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 portabello mushroom caps

Directions

Combine all ingredients (except portabellas). Let the oil mix sit to absorb all the flavors. Brush  oil mix over both side of mushroom caps. Grill on high, underside down. When underside is well done (about 4-5 mins) flip over and grill again for same length of time.

Serving ideas

  • Add mushroom cap to whole wheat bun with your favorite burger toppings.
  • Top with your favorite rice mix or stuffing.
  • Crack an egg in middle of rounded side, sprinkle with shredded cheese and bake until egg is done to your lighting.

 

Blog post provided by:
Katie Foster, RDN, LD
Clinical Registered Dietitian


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