Here's the funny thing about that happy-making nutrient called Vitamin D: It's both a vitamin and a hormone your body produces when exposed to sunlight. That's a pretty rad dual status to have, but it also means that when it's too snowy and cold to bike to work or sunbathe, humans must turn to eating their Vitamin D. Of course, few foods are rich in the stuff, which is why lots of breakfast cereals say "Fortified!" on the box. D's a slippery little vitamin to catch. And the negative effects of a Vitamin D deficiency on the heart, bone health, and more are being studied all the time (gory details here).
So how are adult people supposed to scrounge up the recommended 600 IU (International Units) of Vitamin D a day? A united front of several tactics is probably best, from making the effort to stroll outside for 10 minutes every few days to swallowing supplements. But let's talk about the edible tactics right now, because that's the most fun.
Happily, the foods that do naturally contain Vitamin D are the best foods. They're rich in fat and totally classy, giving you a great excuse to dab your mouth with linen napkins instead of paper towels for an evening. Check it out:
Oily Fishes Salmon, sardines, tuna, and herring (pickled herring)! These fatty fishes are the biggest D hitters around, sometimes wielding over 90 percent of the recommended daily dosage for adults. Grab a salmon filet at Coastal Seafoods, a tin of lovely Ortiz Spanish sardines harvested off the coast of Galicia, or some melty line-caught white tuna (you'll never go back to StarKist, promise) from our shop.
Japanese Food Because Japanese cuisine is the master at combining ultra-savory individual ingredients, three of which happen to be fat with Vitamin D: caviar, tofu, and mushrooms. Get your deficient butt to Kyatchi or Origami in Minneapolis and tuck into some salmon roe, deep-fried tofu, or a bowl of hot udon noodles with mushrooms. Maitake mushrooms alone will hand you 131 percent of your daily D, and those succulent beads of caviar will provide you with 20 percent. They also pop in your mouth like salty Gushers, so that's a bonus.
Cheese and Butter And of course, a Vitamin D deficiency is an excellent opportunity for a fondue of melty Alpine-style cheeses like Comté, Appenzeller, and Gruyère. Or, it's a reason to add a little extra Cravero Parmigiano-Reggiano and another pat of butter to morning eggs (also great for Vitamin D!). OR, an excuse to have all of your friends over for a giant, sprawling cheese tasting with lots of wine (which is apparently good for the heart) and mischief.
Happy Supplementing, buddies.