D is for Defense!
Did you know that Vitamin D is one of the most important immune system strengthening nutrients and can reduce the risk of colds and flu? Along with Vitamin C and zinc, Vitamin D has been shown to have effects on how our immune system works to fight off infections. Given the precarious times we're in, it's important to focus on a healthy lifestyle and diet full of vitamins and minerals to help our bodies thrive.
Unfortunately, very few foods naturally contain Vitamin D. Here are the best sources according to the National Institutes of Health:
Fatty fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel
Fortified milks (cow milk, soy milk, almond milk and oat milk)
Another way to get your daily dose of Vitamin D is to go outside! The body makes Vitamin D when the skin is directly exposed to the sun (trying to get your sunshine through a window won't work -sorry!). Of course it's important to not over-do it. Keep in mind that extended exposure to sunlight can increase the risk for skin cancer, so you'll want to balance a bit of sun time with the recommended daily intake of Vitamin D through foods and beverages.
Check out this Mushroom Omelet recipe from the NY Times Cooking section which includes 3 ingredients from the list above (eggs, hard cheese, mushrooms and milk) for a Vitamin D packed breakfast! Pair it with a delicious green smoothie and you've got yourself a perfectly balanced, vitamin and mineral rich meal!