This week we want to talk about one of our favorite things: vitamin D!  This is known as the “sunshine vitamin” and it’s tough for us to get sufficient amounts of it currently, since we’re all cooped up inside.  Even though you may be going on occasional outings, chances are you’re still not getting enough vitamin D.  Luckily, there are ways to get the sunshine vitamin without actually stepping outside! 

Why do we love Vitamin D? 

If you visualize yourself stepping out into the sunshine, you can probably imagine the warm bliss you experience when the sun shines down on you.  That’s because Vitamin D is produced in our bodies when we come into contact with sunlight. As the world changes, now more than ever, it can be increasingly difficult for our body to produce enough vitamin D on its own.  This vitamin has the important task of keeping our bones and teeth healthy by promoting calcium absorption.  Vitamin D also supports immunity and can help in the process of regulating mood: just a few of the reasons why we love it so much! 

What are other sources of Vitamin D? 

Since we’re not the only ones who soak up vitamin D, we can get vitamin D from different plants and animals!  Scroll to the end of the blog for a tasty recipe packed with this powerhouse vitamin! 

Salmon, Tuna, Herring, and Mackerel.  Opt for wild-caught, as farmed fish have slightly lower levels of vitamin D due to less sun exposure than their wild equivalents. 

Egg Yolks
Most of the vitamin and fat content of an egg is located in the yolk, which is where you’ll find the most vitamin D.  If you decide to consume eggs as your primary source of vitamin D, you’ll want to make sure the eggs come from chickens that are raised outside.  Opt for eggs labelled organic, free-range, or pasture-raised, as this ensures that the chickens have had healthy sun exposure. 

Mushrooms can synthesize vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, making them one of the few plant sources of vitamin D.  Mushrooms are adaptogens and have so many health benefits, so you can enjoy them knowing you are getting good nutritional value! (Adapto-what?  Check out our crash course on these amazing little helpers in our previous post: Adaptogens 101!) 

In terms of supplementing vitamin D, there are lots of options.  You can find vitamin D in the form of tablets, capsules, drops, or liquids.  There are vegetarian options for vitamin D supplements as well, usually derived from algae. 

We carry vitamin D drops at our Calgary location and are taking product orders by phone (with free shipping on orders of 3+ products).  Like anything else, the amount of vitamin D you should be taking will vary by person, and you should contact your health care provider before starting supplementation of any kind.  When purchasing supplements, always opt for a high quality product from a trusted source; if you’re unsure about the origin or quality of your supplements, we are happy to point you in the right direction.

Steal the Sunshine Salmon Recipe

Lemon Dill Salmon with Roasted Mushrooms & Carrots
Serves: 4

Ingredients:  Lemon-Dill Salmon
-4 salmon filets (based on 6-8 ounce pieces) 
-½ lemon juiced
-1 tbsp lemon zest 
-¼ cup dill, chopped
-1 tbsp parsley
-½ tsp kosher salt
-¼ tsp ground pepper
-1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Ingredients:  Roasted Mushroom & Carrots
-1 container cremini mushrooms
-1 bunch of carrots (amount needed as per your preference, 2 cups approx)
-1 tbsp fresh thyme
-½ tsp kosher salt
-¼ tsp ground pepper
-1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Chop up mushrooms and carrots (thin-medium thickness). Place in a medium bowl and season with thyme, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Season the salmon filets with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, parsely, and dill. If you want extra lemon, cut circular pieces and place on top of filets. Place salmon filets and veggies on a baking sheet (covered with foil or parchment). Cook for 15-20 minutes or until salmon is cooked through and veggies are tender! This may vary depending on your oven. 

Tips: If you want the veggies really tender, you can place them in the oven for 5-10  minutes prior to the filets going in. The salmon filets should be opaque on the outside with a slightly translucent pink color on the inside. 

Stay safe everyone! 

By Natalie Ovics, CHN

Papillon Medical & Dermatology