Archive for the ‘Functional Food’ Category

Why You Should Avoid Red Meat

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Back in the year 2001, I decided to become a staunch Seventh – day Adventist believer, and after relaxing my spirituality, I have come to discover that the lifestyle I adopted has increased my strength and vigor in daily performance of personal and corporate duties. Alertness duration, ease of conception, muscle’s ability to strain on heavy load, and general good health, measured against the period that I was a slug, lazy boy, has, according to me, been influenced by the positive change of lifestyle.

Adventists have an organized teaching on health that focus on the four facets of human life and this is spiritual, mental, physical and social. On physical, emphasis are on eight sure ways that a man can be spiritually fit without taking in a lot of diet prescription and dos and donts found in most of the health guidance we come across from other spheres of life. The eight sure steps to health and happiness are given as Nutrition, Exercise, Water, Sunlight, Temperance, Air, Rest, and Trust in Divine Power whose acronym is NEW START.

On nutrition, the importance of consuming a lot of vegetables and fruits is emphasized with warning against consumption of meat and meat products. Special emphasis is laid on the advantages of abstaining totally from red meat.

Causes of tumor and cancer cells have been greatly attributed to the presence of such cells in the red meat that we consume. Though it has been found that meat protein is good for you health because meat provide you with the eight essential amino acids, it has been shown by scientific studies and research that those who consume a lot of red meat are more likely to contract cancer than those who major their diet on vegetables and fruits. Other research areas on functional foods have considered that more than 98% of foods considered functional foods are from the plant kingdom.

Reasons why red meat is not healthy for humans is due to the fact that a lot of meat sold in the market are not ‘natural’ meat but meat that come from ranches kept under ‘artificial’ conditioning for good muscles. Feeding and chemical treatment given to the animals meant for slaughter makes the animals grow big, fat and huge within a very short time, with the chemicals (hormones, antibiotics, and enzymes) depositing on the muscles and get their way to the human body. These chemicals react with the human body physiological functions in many ways some of which are yet to be fully understood and appreciated.

Even if red meat is consumed from a domesticated animal through the traditional way, there is risk of zoonotic disease transmission due to improper care and animal husbandry. A lot of dieses are shared between the animals and man, and since the proper level of hygiene to totally isolate these ailments from the tissues of the animal by chemical or/and heat treatment would sometimes mean denaturisation the animal protein, it would be prudent just to forgo consumption of red meat (or even all kinds of meat if so considered) for the advantage of your own well being.

Recent studies have also shown that overcooking of meat (if you might just want to overcook it in order to get rid of all kinds of diseases associated with improper cooked meat) would also be a major cause of cancer. And even to under do the cooking poses your health to risk of acquiring the cancer you would want to avoid by overcooking.

And finally, some logical reasoning; if we did not tend thousands and thousands of slaughter animals, especially those that feed on a lot of green vegetables, and cultivate just enough greens for human consumption, we would save a lot in resources and everyone would get sufficient food since one animal consumes quantity of greens that could feed over 10 people. Don’t you think that being a vegetarian could reduce the rate of global warming?

Understanding the Link Between Fatigue & Leaky Gut Syndrome

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Do you feel lethargic, fatigued, and find that you have trouble focusing or concentrating at specific times of the day? If so, the complication you are experiencing with cognition and energy may be attributed to a unique digestive complication known as Leaky Gut syndrome. In adults who live with this complication, there is a marked risk for long term effects on both physical performance as well as mental performance.

Leaky Gut syndrome, LGS, is the term used to describe a unique digestive health complication that is implicated by the size and spacing of the cells in the intestinal wall. In healthy adults, the intestinal wall tissue is comprised of cells that are space to such a specification that food particles and nutrients we digest are not permitted to enter the bloodstream directly. When living with LGS, these same tight spaces are malformed, leading to a greater likelihood of leakage of digestive particles into the bloodstream and then creating complications in the brain.

When our bloodstream is overloaded with what the body perceives as “foreign objects”, a natural immunity response occurs, causing inflammation. When inflammation sets in, our brain and nervous systems are not permitted to function at optimal levels. It is important, therefore, to keep the blood stream healthy and free of as few toxins as possible.

To determine if Leaky Gut syndrome is the culprit behind your fatigue, lethargy, and general lack of focus and concentration, it is important to determine how you feel after you eat or drink certain products. If, when consuming caffeine, you feel bloated and as if you have much distention in the abdomen, this could be indicative of a Leaky Gut complication.

When suffering from complications that may be related to LGS, it is important to make an appointment with a gastroenterologist to determine what treatment may be needed. Once confirmed as LGS, most physicians will recommend a lifestyle change to a very strict diet that will control symptoms and reduce inflammatory response in the body when nutrients pass the intestinal wall and into the blood stream. The key to optimal health, however, lies in protecting the bloodstream as best as possible by keeping all nutrients in the intestinal wall for proper digestion and physiological use.

Sources: The Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders, by Carol Turkington, p. 106.

Top 10 Probiotic Foods

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Probiotic foods contain live bacteria that are beneficial to human health. These bacteria strengthen the digestive system and help eliminate toxins and improve overall health. Many probiotic foods can be helpful in staying fit and losing weight as well. The top ten Probiotic foods are as follows

1. Yogurt

Yogurt is the most popular probiotic product containing the bacteria: Lactobacillus Acidophillus. Yogurt was also the first known Probiotic health food. Since the 1920s it became known as acidophilus milk and was used as more than just a food item. If you want to buy yogurt for this reason you should shop for brands with live cultures.

2. Buttermilk

Buttermilk also carries Probiotic health benefits. This can be used on its own or as an addition to fresh fruit smoothies. Buttermilk can also be used when baking and as a substitute for regular milk in many recipes.

3. Kefir

Kefir grains are used to make a drink that is also contains fermented milk. The process of fermentation is done overnight. The drink has a very sour taste and is made more palatable by mixing with it with fresh fruit or sweeteners.

4. Tempeh

Tempeh is a soy product that has been fermented. The result is a beneficial mold binding the whole soy beans together. The texture of Tempeh is a lot like meat and it is a great replacement for meat in vegetarian dishes; as it has proteins and vitamin B12.

5. Miso

Miso comes from the Japanese and is made by fermenting beans and grains. It is used as a seasoning for sauces, soups and spreads. Popular types of miso include Shiromiso (white miso), Kuromiso (black miso) and Akamiso (red miso).

6. Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is actually a kind of pickled cabbage that is fermented in brine. Many people don’t know that this popular food is probiotic as well.

7. Kim Chi

Kim Chi is the Korean version of Sauerkraut and this fermented cabbage has a pungent smell and spicy flavor. Koreans use it as relish or side dish.

8. Brewer’sYeast

This is actually a by product of the beer making process. The nutrients that are cast off as beer is being made, come together in the form of Brewer’s Yeast to serve as a beneficial probiotic.

9. Soy Sauce

Soy Souce is very popular and contains probiotic benefits. Fermented soy sauce is a great idea to use with soups, rice and Asian food recipes.

10. Pickled Vegetables

Almost all kinds of pickled vegetables contain probiotic nutrients that will ensure a better digestion and healthy immune system.

It is also important to note that PREBIOTICS are foods that probiotics are known to consume. Having prebiotics like honey, fruit, raw apple cider vinegar, sprouted wheat and tomato will help the bacteria to thrive in your digestive system and aid better health.

Top 10 Probiotic Containing Food Sources

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Probiotic foods are becoming very popular these days. Probiotic foods contain a live bacterium, which is supposed to be beneficial to humans and not harmful in any way. Although many people have had mild stomach upsets, diarrhea or flatulence when first starting this diet. Usually these foods are digested easy. Do you know what foods contain probiotics? I am going to share with you a few products that contain probiotics.

One- Yogurt made from milk inoculated with thermophilus, streptococcus and lactobacillus or acidophilus. Milk may come from cows, goats, sheep or even water buffalo. Yogurt helps to fight eczema.

Two- Laloo’s goat milk frozen yogurt contains s. thermophillus, l. bulgaricus and l. acidophilus along with bifidus. Lactose intolerant people tolerate frozen yogurt pretty good.

Three- Good belly juice contains lactobacillus plantarum 299y, which helps with irritable bowl syndrome. This juice contains twenty billion live probiotics per serving.

Four- Attune wellness bars contain five times more live active cultures than yogurt and has less sugar. Attune bars promote healthy immune systems and digestive systems by fighting colds and flu.

Five- The Dan active dairy drink helps fight colds and flu.

Six- A few other food sources containing probiotics is, some soft cheeses, buttermilk, miso soup, tempeh, kefir. These products include the lactobacilli and bifid bacteria, which are components of lactaid acid bacteria that are present in fermented dairy products.

Seven- Kashi Vive Cereal contains active probiotic cultures and ginger. This cereal contains an excellent source of calcium and vitamin d.

Eight- Sauerkraut is hypoallergenic and easily digested and loaded with vitamins b and c. Sauerkraut helps to fight breast cancer in women.

Nine- Chocolate is another source for probiotics and has four times the good bacteria as ones contained in dairy products.

Ten- Pickles are a great source of probiotics and can be used in many food recipes.

There are advantages to using probiotics. They help remove gas and decompose waste. Keeps your digestive system balanced. It is useful for women and men who have taken antibiotics for a long period and helps to stimulate the immune system reducing the chance for infections. Probiotics control growth of pathogenic bacteria and viruses by crushing toxins and producing antibodies and anticarcinogens. Improves and reduces inflammation. Probiotics reduces high blood pressure and cholesterol. Probiotics help to balance sex hormones and improve fertility and lowering your chance of new growth of substances that cause cancer.

The disadvantage of using probiotics is side effects which usually are mild and include, gas or bloating, infections that require antibiotics and to much stimulation of the immune system.

Before trying any new foods or supplements please consult with your doctor first. He or she knows your health history and can advise you on what will or will not work best for you.

For more information on probiotics please visit:

Top 10 Foods for Healthy Bones

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

According to the FDA, during growth the body “builds a scaffold of protein and fills this in with calcium-rich mineral (“Bone”).” Vitamin D is also needed to help the body absorb and use the calcium. Obviously, protein and calcium are therefore the most important things you need to develop and promote healthy bones throughout your life. Vitamin D can easily be taken as a supplement to help your body use the calcium. It’s recommended that you get 1,200mg of calcium each day until your mid-twenties. These are the top 10 foods to include in your diet for healthy, strong bones.

1. Milk
Milk is the absolutely best food to promote healthy bones. Milk has high levels of calcium, as well as protein. Milk almost always has vitamins D and A added as well, making it a perfect strong-bone food. One cup of milk has about 300mg of calcium.

2. Yogurt
Yogurt can be a great source of calcium and can easily be packed in a lunch or eaten at breakfast. A serving of yogurt has about 300mg of calcium, as much as milk.

3. Calcium-fortified soy milk
This type of soy milk has no lactose, making it a great option for those that suffer from lactose-intolerance. It also has 300mg of calcium.

4. Tofu
Half a cup of tofu has 250mg of calcium to help your bones, giving a boost of calcium to individuals that have lactose-intolerance or those that do not eat animal products.

5. Frozen yogurt
This frozen treat has about 100mg of calcium, making it a bone healthy treat.

6. Cheese
Cheese is a great source of calcium for your bones and can be used in cooking, on a salad, with crackers, or enjoyed by itself. Different varieties of cheeses have differing amounts of calcium so be sure to check the nutritional information. Grated parmesan cheese, for example, has an overwhelming 1,376mg of calcium per cup! That’s more your recommended daily amount and almost 5 times the amount of milk!

7. Broccoli
Each cup of chopped broccoli, boiled, contains more than 200mg of calcium, a great option for vegetarians looking to improve the health of their bones.

8. Collard greens
One cup of this vegetable has almost 350mg of calcium for your bones, better than a glass of milk! Foods like collard greens and broccoli show that you don’t just need dairy foods to increase the chances of healthy bones.

9. Oatmeal
Instant, flavored oatmeal that’s been fortified has about 150mg of calcium, which is helpful for helping your children reach their daily amount of calcium to help them grow strong, healthy bones.

10. Chocolate pudding
Another healthy treat that’s great for kids, each 1/2 cup serving of chocolate pudding made with mix has about 150mg of calcium.

The Top Tummy Slimming Foods

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Recently I have decided to lose weight. I have been investigating the best diets out there. They run the gamut from no fat to vegetarian to diets where you eat only the food they give you, such as Jenny Craig or Nutra System. They all have something to offer. I think it is tantamount to religions. There are so many , because people are so different. There are different religions because people have different preferences. There are different diets because every one is different. I am on a diet right now, so am only investigating one of the newest diets on the market, which is the Abs diet. The basics of the diet are included here. Also listed, are the main foods on the diet, what their purpose is, and what health problems they fight.

The Ab Diet comes complete with a web site and an accompanying book. The Abs diet is the newest member of this new trend, having it’s own web site at I was rather impressed with the web site and what it entails. The site gives the details about why the diet works, what foods are ab friendly foods, and even allows you to sign up as an official abs diet member on the web site. People are asking however, what is the secret to the abs diet? The secret is the foods that are considered ab friendly. The basis of the diet is about what you eat, not what you leave out. This is quit different as compared to the average diet now days. They also focus on eating six small meals a day so as to trick your body regarding calories. Also, this serves to make sure you are not ever very hungry. The purpose of eating in such a fashion is that you lose fat and add lean muscle mass. While in the long run, you will not lose as much weight as on other diets, you will be healthier. Why would you want a diet where you don’t lose as much weight? Remember that you are adding lean muscle mass. The bottom line is that muscle weighs more than fat. But muscle is definitely healthier for you than fat.

The main foods to eat with the Abs Diet are included here. The interesting thing is, these foods are not only good for fighting fat, but have added health benefits as well.

Food 1) Almonds and nuts – The purpose is to build muscles. Nuts help to fight obesity and to stop heart disease.

Food 2) Beans and legumes – The purpose is to build muscles and help burn fat. Beans and legumes fight obesity and help blood pressure.

Food 3) Spinach and green vegetables- The purpose is to neutralize free radicals. Spinach fights caner and heart disease.

Food 4) Diary Products – The purpose of dairy products are to build strong bones. These foods fight osteoporosis and obesity.

Food 5) Instant oatmeal – The purpose of oatmeal is to boost energy and reduce cholesterol. It fights heart disease and colon cancer.

Food 6) Eggs – The purpose is to build muscles and burn fat. Eggs fight obesity.

Food 7) Turkey and other lean meats – The purpose is for building muscles and a strong immune system. Turkey and lean meats fight obesity and help with memory loss

Food 8) Peanut Butter – The purpose is to build muscles and burn fat. Peanut butter fights muscle loss and helps to decrease wrinkles.

Food 9) Olive oil – This lowers cholesterol and boosts the immune system. It fights obesity cancer, and heart disease.

Food 10) Whole Grain Breads and Cereals – The purpose is to prevent the body from storing fat. Whole grain foods fight high blood pressure and heart disease.

Food 11) Extra protein whey powder. Yes, you might have to go out and purchase this at a health food store. The purpose is to build muscles and burn fat. It helps obesity.

Food 12) Raspberries and other fresh berries. The purpose is to protect the heart, enhance eyesight, and prevent cravings. Berries fight heart disease and obesity.

Everything that I have read, states that all 12 foods much be eaten together. They work as one, so be sure and don’t leave any food out. If you forget one food on a particular day, just add it the next.

I am losing weight on another diet, but what I like about the Abs diet, is the added benefit of all the foods that work together. Check the web site out and see if you think this diet might work for you.

The Problem Remedies and Prospects of Global Obesity

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

The global problems of the overweight and obesity are due to the fact that most of us take in more calories than we use, and this is caused by two factors. We live insufficiently physical lives, with energy requirements so low that our appetites cannot adapt prop­erly, and living in today’s cafeteria culture, we eat too many foods with an excessive calorie to micronutrient ratio.

We need to find ways of integrating more physical activity into our lives – whether this means walking part way to work, eschew­ing lifts and elevators, gardening or taking dance classes. And we need to change our eating habits, switching to foods with a reduced calorific density and a high micronutrient content.

In the near future the food industry will be doing more in this respect, producing ranges of familiar foods with enhanced micronutrient/calorie ratios. Look out for ingredients such as Litesse, HiMaize and Splenda. Many food companies with an interest in quality foods are already looking at these and other functional ingredients.

In the meantime, and for those who prefer to prepare their own meals, there are a number of simple food choices which automatically create dishes with high micronutrient/calorie ratios, fermentable carbohydrates and a low glycaemic load. For those who want to take their nutrition and likely health prospects to the next level, a broad spectrum micro- and phyto-nutrient support program would be a logical addition. Such programs should include not only the currently defined vita­mins and minerals but also appropriate levels of flavonoids, isoflavones, lycopene, lutein and glucosamine, at the very least. Other nutrients such as astaxanthin, betaine, Q10, acetylcarnitine, the galactolipids and the conditionally essential sugars and amino sugars are under review, and may well join the must-have’ list as more data accumulates to support their inclusion.

If we can achieve real improvements in the lamentable state of the western world’s nutritional status, significant improvements in public and personal health will inevitably follow. The wide­spread incidence of Type B malnutrition makes a major contribu­tion to accelerated aging and disease; rectifying Type B with better food choices and properly designed supplements will delay the onset of disease, and lead to improved life expectancy – as any health veteran could tell you.

Life extension will bring massive social and personal changes in its wake. If you know, for example, that you have an excellent chance of extending your healthy and functional middle years into the nineties or beyond, the impact of this knowledge on decisions about career structure, family planning, politics and pension plans will be profound.

Hospital wards and indeed whole hospitals will close – for the right reasons. The delivery point of most healthcare will shift from the surgery and pharmacy to the supermarket checkout.

Tomorrows functional foods will have basic nutrition and health information on the label and more detailed information concealed in bar codes which you will access using hand-held bar-decoders, already in use in many supermarkets. For those with an unhealthy interest in nutrition, yet more information – clinical trials and such-like – will be available on websites that can be perused on the decoders, or on the computer at home.

In the next phase, information about the foods you purchase will be integrated with home-use diagnostic programs, already widely available, and home-use diagnostic kits that measure levels of biomarkers in your blood, sweat, urine and breath. (A bio-marker is a measurable characteristic of a biological system that changes in illness or in the run-up to illness, or upon exposure to physical or chemical damage.) And this in turn will be inte­grated into your online shopping program, guiding your food choices so that the next time the supermarket delivers, it will be a range of products designed to satisfy your taste-buds and keep you healthy.

This will of course be optional, but as preventive health is so much cheaper than the current model of crisis-management medicine, the government will doubtless provide cash incentives to those who consistently make healthy choices, and keep their biomarkers in the green zone.

Another option will be to make your food/health profile avail­able online to your GP, so that when – if – something starts to go subliminally wrong, the doctor will know about it at an incredi­bly early stage; early enough to vastly improve the effectiveness of treatment, and the quality of your life.

Hard to believe we could generate such substantial health gains in this way? Look no further than Finland, where dietary shifts over the last two decades have reduced the national blood pressure enough to cut the incidence of heart attacks and strokes in half. And that’s just the beginning.

The Importance of Iodine Rich Foods

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Iodine is a trace vitamin that is very crucial for the proper functioning of the human body. Iodine plays an important role in the metabolism in the body by helping it create the thyroid hormones. It also helps in maintaining a strong immune system and helps in the proper functioning of the brain. Iodine deficiency is a very common problem in under developed and developing countries. However, it also affects many people the developed countries.

The amount of iodine present in foods depends upon the concentration of iodine in the soil. With continuous use of the soil for agricultural purposes, the iodine content in it gets gradually reduced. Foods grown in such de-mineralized soils lack the required iodine content and may result in iodine deficiency diseases in the consumers.

The best nutritional source of iodine is sea food. The plants and animals that live in the seas store and concentrate a high amount of iodine. This makes sea food very rich in iodine. Though not commonly consumed, sea weed i.e. kelp is also very high in iodine. In fact, for this reason it is used as a nutritional supplement. Meats and dairy products are also rich in iodine because iodine is routinely added to farm feed. However, animals feeding on fodder grown in de-mineralized soils may lack the required iodine content.

People who do not consume sea food on a regular basis and iodized salt are particularly prone to iodine deficiency diseases even in the developed countries. However, iodine deficiency is not so widespread like that in the underdeveloped countries due to availability of iodine supplements and general awareness about deficiency diseases.

Iodine deficiency causes the thyroid gland to malfunction. The hormones secreted by the thyroid play an important role in metabolism and energy release. Thyroid malfunction i.e. hypothyroidism causes obesity. It also affects the immune system of the body which makes the body less resistant towards infections and disease.

Iodine deficiency also causes brain damage. Iodine deficiency during pregnancy causes a condition called cretinism in the infants. This condition is very wide spread in underdeveloped countries. Iodine deficiency in the childhood causes poor mental development and impairment of intelligence quotient in the children. Studies estimate that more than 50 million people in the world are currently suffering from brain damage due to iodine deficiency.

The best way to prevent iodine deficiency is to consume iodized salt. Iodized salt contains added iodine to ensure the correct amount of iodine supply in the food. Iodized is available in almost all countries of the world. In many developing countries, the Governments and other NGOs have taken initiatives to increase the use of iodized salt and to raise public awareness.

The Various Health Benefits of Bananas

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

There are several different health benefits of bananas that the average person is not aware of. Bananas are actually extremely good for your heart and your nerves. A single banana contains an astounding 400mg of potassium. Potassium is one of the most important nutrients when it comes to keeping your heart and nervous system healthy. Potassium plays an extremely large role in muscle contraction which is required for the pumping of the heart, food digestion, and athletic activities. Scientific studies from the American Heart Association, the University of Maryland Medical Center, and Colorado State University have shown that diets that are low in potassium often result in high blood pressure and an increased risk for strokes. The majority of Americans currently don’t have enough potassium in their diet. The daily recommended amount of potassium is 4g which can easily be reached by eating one or two bananas in a day.

Another one of the health benefits of Bananas is having healthy bones and kidneys. If you’re taking in the proper amount of calcium then your body will surpass calcium loss through urine. In turn, this reduces the risk of kidney stones developing in the body. The University of Kansas was responsible for figuring that one out!

Other health benefits of bananas include the fruit acting as a mood enhancer or mild sedative. Tryptophan is one of the twenty building blocks in amino acids and helps to produce serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical that has a calming effect on the brain thus acting as a mild sedative!

Bananas are also good for your blood which is another one of the health benefits of bananas. This tropical fruit is an outstanding source of Vitamin B6 which converts tryptophan to serotonin and also aids in the creation of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is one of the most common substances found in our blood stream. Vitamin B6 is also extremely important when it comes to the development of antibodies to fight off infections and maintain a healthy immune system.

Another health benefits of bananas is the fact that it has high amounts of dietary fiber. One banana can contain as much as 16% of the dietary fiber that you need in one day. Diets that are high in fiber have even been linked to having a decreased risk for coronary heart disease.

Perhaps the best part about having a banana in your diet is that they are extremely cheap and available at almost any super market. If you want to spice things up a little bit why not try making a banana smoothie every morning! Either way, there are certainly a lot of health benefits of bananas that might entice you to include them in your diet! The source for the information found in this article was the University of Maryland Medical Website.

The Best Vitamin D Rich Snack Foods

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Many of us are not getting the recommended amount of vitamin D, either in our diet or outside in the sunlight, thanks to sunscreen and lives spent increasingly indoors. Since a lack of this vitamin has been linked with illnesses ranging from osteoporosis and rickets to depression, PMS, and even cancer, it behooves us all to ensure we are getting as much vitamin D in our diet as we can – up to 50 mcgs for adults and 25 mcgs for infants. Talk with your doctor before exceeding these limits, since vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin. (

While vitamin D is available in supplement form, most people absorb it better when ingested as a part of the diet. Vitamin D can also be made naturally through sun exposure, but if your skin is dark or you regularly use sunscreen (as you should), you are most likely not benefiting from the full benefits of the sun. Where can you find vitamin-d rich foods? Well, few foods naturally contain vitamin d – few snack items, that is – but there are many products that are fortified with vitamin D.

  • Egg yolks. They contain a whopping 18.3 IUs of vitamin D. The whites contain no vitamin D, so if you generally whip up an egg white omelet or discard the yolk when eating eggs, you won’t get the benefits of all the vitamin D contained in the egg. Boil some eggs for a quick, on-the-go healthy snack or whip up some egg salad with fat-free mayo and Dijon mustard for a tasty sandwich (bread is also often fortified with vitamin D!).
  • Fortified milk. Cow, goat, and soy milk can all be fortified with vitamin D, but do check the label to make sure your favorite brand is. Add some frozen berries, a bit of sweetener (honey works wonderfully), and a splash of vanilla for a yummy smoothie.
  • Fortified cheeses and yogurts. Not all are fortified, so check the label. String cheese or a cup of yogurt can be a quick, healthy snack filled with protein, calcium, and, of course, vitamin D.
  • Calcium fortified juices. Juices that have added calcium will also have added vitamin D to aid in absorption. Look for 100% juices, rather than fruit drinks, and double check the label to ensure it is fortified with both calcium and vitamin D. Juice adds more calories to your diet than does fruit, so use sparingly.
  • Cereal. Many breakfast cereals are fortified with vitamin D. Take some dry for a quick and easy healthy snack, or add a splash of milk for a double dose of vitamin D and a yummy breakfast or snack.
  • Note that not all milks, cheeses, yogurts, juices, and bread products are fortified with vitamin D. Check on the label to make sure that your chosen product or brand is indeed fortified. And while you’re checking, look also at the nutrition label – just because something is fortified, doesn’t mean it contains the full daily requirement. Add up your vitamin D from all sources to maximize the benefit of the sunshine vitamin.

Even if you don’t think you are vitamin D deficient, you may still be. Because I am obviously extremely fair skinned, and I spend a bit of time outdoors every day for a few minutes without sunscreen, I assumed my vitamin D levels were fine. However, after my doctor recommended adding supplemental vitamin D foods to my diet, I tried it, and my usually horrible PMS didn’t arrive one month. No, I wasn’t pregnant. The added vitamin D reduced my symptoms to the point that I wasn’t even aware of them. I’m now a believer, and you will be too.