Top 3 health: Foods with high amounts of vitamin D – Allentown Morning Call

Half of the U.S. population is estimated to be vitamin D deficient (depending on your age, you need between 400 and 800 IU of vitamin D a day.)

“Vitamin D is one of the important tools to keeping your bones healthy,” says Carlene Thomas, a registered dietitian nutritionist. Plus, it helps improve mood, immunity and weight loss.

Before you go reaching for the supplements, check out these three nonfortified foods that serve up the sunshine vitamin in the tastiest ways possible. They’re courtesy of Rodale’s Organic Life, published by Rodale Inc. of Emmaus.

SHARP CHEDDAR

1 Sharp cheddar has 11 times more vitamin D and way more flavor than the lowfat stuff (so you usually eat less). Plus, cheese could actually help you lose weight; it contains butyrate, a fatty acid that, when eaten in moderation, can keep your waistline trim. Vitamin D: 12 IU per 1/2 cup serving.

EGG YOLKS

2 Forget egg white omelets; the yolks are the real nutrition stars. The yellow center is where you’ll find vitamin D, B vitamins, antioxidants, and nearly half the protein.

And contrary to popular opinion, the cholesterol in eggs doesn’t increase your risk of heart disease. Free-range and pasture-raised eggs have higher levels of vitamin D. Vitamin D: 41 IU per large egg.

WHOLE MILK RICOTTA CHEESE

3 When it comes to cheese, ricotta is a vitamin D standout — and the whole-milk kind has almost double the vitamin D as lowfat. Creamy ricotta is also loaded with body-toning protein (14 g per 1/2 cup), plus leucine, an amino acid that promotes fat burning. Vitamin D: 12 IU per 1/2 cup serving.

www.rodalesorganiclife.com

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