The Vitamin D dilemna

KB lost her first tooth last night!  Its been a long process as she waited until it was sufficiently loose before letting me pull it.  It has sparked alot of discussion on oral hygiene though, and that has subsequently brought us to discussions on keeping our bones healthy and strong as well (mostly because we talk about the health benefits of milk!).  All this talk of bone health, along with the time of year reminded me of vitamin D.  I have been taking vitamin D for years to battle Seasonal Affective Disorder.  I’ve always stayed fairly active throughout the winter, but sadly, most of that activity takes place in an arena where the sun doesn’t shine.  I find vitamin D helps to keep me active throughout the winter and keeps the winter blues at bay so I can enjoy my second favorite season!

Here in Canada vitamin D has been in the news alot.  Several studies have been conducted trying to determine what is the right amount needed and both Health Canada and the FDA have approved healthy levels that they recommend for the maintenance of healthy bones.  Based on those levels Statscan has released some interesting stats.  Apparently one in 10 Canadians are not getting the recommended amounts, and about 4% of Canadian are so low that they are at risk of chronic illnesses like rickets or cancer.  Taking things one step further, many experts believe that Health Canada and the FDA’s levels are much lower than they should be to prevent chronic illness.  Using the above study Statscan found that two thirds of Canadians are WELL BELOW what these experts believe they should be at.  Many are calling this a “world wide problem” and some have even labelled it an epidemic.  You may be thinking that this study shows that most of Canada is actually doing pretty good, but keep in mind that, although about 90% of us have ‘adequate’ levels, only about 35% of us have OPTIMAL levels.  One other thing to point out is that not a single person in the study showed levels that were too high (or toxic), which is good because I know we all worry about taking too many vitamins as well.

Vitamin D’s primary function is to help the body absorb calcium and phosphorus.  Our bodies can’t do it on their own, they need to get vitamin D from somewhere, and if they don’t then they begin leaching out the calcium that is already in our bones, causing some very harmful health consequences.  In children vitamin D deficiency can lead to bone defects and there is even a link to Multiple Sclerosis.  Health Canada recommends 200-600 IUs per day for healthy bones (1 cup of fortified milk has about 100 IUs of vitamin D) but experts say it should be upwards of 3000 IUs a day for anti-cancer and chronic illness benefits.  If you remember back to the stats above, you can now see why some are saying this is a very serious problem. Most Canadian fall into the 200-600 numbers, which is nowhere near 3000 IUs a day.  I’m sure eventually they will figure out the right range, but for now I’m content in taking supplements to increase the amount I get each day and I make sure that KB and The Hub get their daily dose as well!  I know alot of people don’t like to take supplements but this is one that you may want to consider, especially considering our increasingly ‘indoor-fast food-video games and computers’ lifestyles.  But if you really don’t want to take any supplements here is a recipe for some vitamin D filled salmon from Tosca Reno:

This recipe appears in Your Best Body Now: Look and Feel Fabulous at Any Age the Eat-Clean Way by Tosca Reno,

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 13–15 minutes plus marinating time    Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons wasabi paste or 1 tablespoon wasabi powder

1 1⁄2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

1 1⁄2 tablespoons ginger, minced

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon honey or molasses

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

4 salmon fillets, each 4 ounces

Directions

1 In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except salmon until well combined. Place in a zippered plastic bag; blend well. Add salmon, seal and toss to coat. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

2 Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

3 Place marinated salmon on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, discarding marinade.

4 Bake until fish flakes easily with a fork, about 13 minutes.

 

Tip: Add 1 1⁄2 tablespoons red miso paste to the marinade for an extra kick! This salmon goes perfectly with your favorite brown rice.

NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING: Calories: 315, Calories from Fat: 180, Protein: 23 g, Carbs: 11 g, Dietary Fiber: 0.2 g, Sugars: 6 g, Fat: 20 g, Sodium: 566 mg

MMM  Doesn’t that sound like a great, comforting, winter dish?  Other foods to keep on your meal plan for vitamin D are tuna and other fish and seafood, egg yolks, fortified milks and cereals.  So load up on vitamin D and beat the dreary winter!

Take care everyone 🙂

I’m Happy, I’m Healthy, I’m Fertile, ttfn, xo

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