Size Determines Risk of
Vitamin D — The Sunshine Vitamin
Vitamin D helps with calcium and phosphorus absorption, but it’s not just for the bones! Vitamin D is also important for the health of your nerves, muscles, and immune system. It plays a role in regulating insulin levels, diabetes management, supporting lung function, and cardiovascular health. Recent research even shows a link between vitamin D deficiencies and depression.
The current recommended dietary allowance (RDA) is 600 International Units (IU), and for those over the age of 70 it’s 800 IU of Vitamin D. This is a baseline recommendation.
Where do we get it?
We get vitamin D by three ways: through diet, supplements, and our skin. Yes, Vitamin D is so important your body makes it with a little help from the sun! In the winter months many Iowans and individuals living in the upper one-third of the U.S. have difficulty maintaining adequate vitamin D levels.
Therefore, focusing on Vitamin D rich foods during these months is especially important. Fatty fish like canned chunk light tuna, wild salmon (pink or sockeye), sardines canned in oil (drained), Atlantic herring, Eastern oysters, mackerel, and cod liver oil naturally contain vitamin D. Eggs (yolks) and beef liver are also good sources.
Some foods are fortified with Vitamin D, meaning it is added during the processing. For example, all milk is fortified and contains about 100 IU per cup. Sometimes other foods are fortified like yogurt, breakfast cereals, orange juice, soy milk, and almond milk.
Research Based Recommendations
Despite the ability to get vitamin D from food and the sun, an estimated 40-75% of people are deficient. To reach the therapeutic levels recommended by the scientific research community, a dietary supplement would probably be required. Before starting a supplement it’s important to speak with your health care provider to ensure it’s safe for you.
Try our Spicy Tuna Salad recipe today! Visit the Spend Smart Eat Smart website or phone app for recipe and more preparation tips! https://spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu
• Movie theater hack: “When buttering up your popcorn, grab a straw and stick it down into the tub. Line up the straw with the butter dispenser, and you can distribute butter into the lower layers of your popcorn. Remove the straw and finish off with butter over the top.”
— P.A. in Florida
• “Defog your bathroom mirror with a quick shot of shaving cream. Smear all around and wipe off with a clean, dry face cloth.” — L.A. in Georgia
• Use one leg of a pair of stockings over the hose of a vacuum cleaner to “dust” a bookcase. If you have small knickknacks they won’t get sucked up, but dust will. If your stocking gets clogged by a dust bunny, just wipe it off and continue.
• A toilet paper or paper towel roll slit down the side makes a handy clamp for keeping wrapping paper
• Go Green Tip: Most large chains have really gotten on the bandwagon with reusable shopping bags. Here’s a tip to help you have one with you at the right moment. Keep several in the trunk. Purchase one or two foldable bags. There are some that fold small enough to fit comfortably in a woman’s purse. Keep one of them hanging from your gearshift, and if you attach it to a carabiner clip, you might remember to clip it right to your belt!
• Common substitutions: Recipe call for arrowroot starch? Substitute all-purpose flour.
• “Cabbage leaves go limp in freezer, making them easier to roll. This is especially helpful if you are making a big batch of cabbage rolls!” — V.W. in California
• Need to heat up two plates of leftovers? Form the food into a ring (which is better for even heating anyway), then set a microwave-safe glass or mug on the center of the plate. Set the second plate of leftovers on top.
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