Jena DeMoss: April showers leaving you in the dark? Bring the Sunshine with Vitamin D – Austin Daily Herald

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If you need a pick-me-up after the long winter months, look no further than Vitamin D! Vitamin D may be just the tool you need to provide your body with mood-boosting, disease-fighting, and bone-strengthening benefits. Add vitamin D-rich foods to your grocery list and enjoy time in the sun while your body manufactures vitamin D to reap all its benefits.

What’s the buzz behind vitamin D? Vitamin D’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and neuroprotective properties support immune health, muscle function and brain cell activity. Additionally, vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that your body needs to build and maintain healthy bones. Your body can only absorb calcium, the main component of bones, when vitamin D is present. Your body also makes vitamin D when direct sunlight converts a chemical in your skin into an active form of the vitamin (calciferol). Studies show that vitamin D can reduce the growth of cancer cells, help control infections and reduce inflammation. Many organs and tissues in the body have receptors for vitamin D, suggesting important roles beyond bone health benefits.

Vitamin D is not found naturally in many foods; however, vitamin D can be found in salmon, eggs, mushrooms, and fortified foods. Use these simple ways to incorporate these vitamin D-rich foods into your diet:

• Salmon — Add cooked or smoked salmon to any fresh green salad for a boost of vitamin D and protein.

• Eggs — Eggs aren’t just for breakfast! Consider hard-boiled eggs for a vitamin D-rich afternoon snack.

• Mushrooms – Try the “mix” by adding ground mushrooms to ground beef to increase bulk while reducing overall saturated fat content and providing a good source of vitamin D.

Want to know more about vitamin D? Our team of dietitians are thrilled with the external launch of Vitamine, our personalized vitamin subscription program! Vitamine was created to help individuals continue to achieve their health and wellness goals, especially when there is a large selection of vitamins available to customers which can be confusing. This is a dietitian-led program; if you need extra help, you know you have the support of food and nutrition experts. You can also take the quiz on www.vitaminewellness.com to get personalized recommendations from our team of dietitians.

Enjoy this delicious recipe packed with vitamin D:

Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

For 6 persons

all you need

• 2 packages (10 oz each) Hy-Vee Large Portabella Mushroom Caps

• 2 tablespoons Hy-Vee Select olive oil, divided

• Hy-Vee salt, to taste

• Hy-Vee ground black pepper, to taste

• 1 can (15 oz) Bush Reduced Sodium Chickpeas, drained and rinsed

• 2 cups peeled and cubed sweet potatoes

• 1 cup chopped zucchini

• 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

• 1 medium yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped

• 4 oz Kraft Pepper Cheese, grated

• ¼ cup of tahini

• 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice

• ¼ cup of water

Everything you do

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking dish with parchment paper; put aside. Wipe mushrooms; scrape the lamellae and remove the stems. Place mushrooms, cap side down, in prepared baking dish. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven. Season with salt and pepper; put aside.

2. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat while the mushrooms roast. Add chickpeas and sweet potatoes; cook for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in zucchini and red and yellow peppers.

3. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Spoon the sweet potato mixture into each mushroom. Top with cheese. Roast 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

4. Whisk together tahini and lemon juice; whisk in water until smooth. Serve with mushrooms.

Recipe source: Hy-Vee.com

Recipe link: www.hy-vee.com/recipes-ideas/recipes/vegetarian-stuffed-portabella-mushrooms

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