Tuesday, April 20, 2010

D is for Deficient

It was very distressing to hear this report about Vitamin D on NPR a few weeks ago. It stuck with me.

It's hard to imagine that something so basic is missing from 3/4ths of American's lifestyles or diets....then again, I do live in sunny Florida!

Vitamin D is a hormone that is created by exposing your skin to sunlight. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to a softening of the bones called rickets in children or osteomalacia in adults. One way to get vitamin D is to have 15-20 minutes of unblocked sun twice a week. There are many other natural and inexpensive ways to get your vitamin D.

Vitamin D's benefits vary, depending on where you get your information. I've read that this vitamin is integral to the immune system, and can decrease risks for a wide-array of maladies- Alzheimers, auto-immune disorders, birth defects, bone fractures, cancer, cesarean sections, depression, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, periodontal disease, peripheral artery disease, tuberculosis... I'm sure this isn't the half of it!

My favorite source of vitamin D is breakfast.

I start with natural bacon. You want to look for brands that tout free-roaming, humanely raised pork, such as Niman Ranch, Wellshire Farms, Maverick Ranch or Applegate Farms. I can find it at Whole Foods or Fresh Market and rarely at Publix. Pork fat is loaded with vitamin D, and bacon fat is loaded with FLAVOR!

I like to bake my bacon in the oven- 375, 10 minutes then pour off the grease and flip, 5-10 more minutes. I use every bit of grease for cooking after this. It's great for a variety of recipes, especially for cooking morning eggs.

Egg yolks are another good, natural source of vitamin D. If you didn't catch my entry about pastured eggs, take a peek to learn more about that. Pastured eggs contain 4-6 times the amount of vitamin D that store-bought eggs have!

Who knew that bacon and eggs could be so nutritious? Other sources of vitamin D include fatty fish such as catfish, salmon, eel, and sardines. Liver is rich in vitamin D.

Mushrooms can be a source of vitamin D, only after UV light exposure. I have not seen or heard of this before... but for my vegetarian friends, there may be hope. Of course, you can always defer to the artificially fortified cereals and dairy products that contain vitamin D... but I prefer the more natural route.

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Blogger HomemadeMother said...

I love giving my daughter eggs. They are super easy to make and super good for her. I once had a mother reprimand me for feeding my daughter eggs because of the cholesterol and I couldn't help but laugh a little! Eggs are truly one of nature's most perfect foods, so how could they be harmful to a little one?!?!

May 15, 2010 at 7:55 PM  
Blogger Thoughtful Mothering said...

That's funny. I eat eggs and other animal fats all the time, as well. My cholesterol levels are healthy. Fat is so important for brain development, so is cholesterol. I read somewhere that if we don't consume cholesterol, our body is smart enough to make it's own... but if we do eat it, one less thing our body has to worry about.

May 17, 2010 at 6:30 AM  

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