7 unique and healthy recipes to boost your vitamin D levels

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Vitamin D is essential for your body. Try these vitamin D-rich recipes for better development of bones and teeth.

Vitamin D is known for keeping our body healthy. It mostly helps in promoting calcium absorption, aiding in bone health, among many other health benefits. It may be called the “sunshine vitamin”, but regular sun exposure is not the only way to get enough of this nutrient. There are many food sources to get this important vitamin. Here are some vitamin D-rich recipes that you can try at home.

What is vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential for maintaining healthy bones and teeth, as it helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus, says nutritionist Shruti Keluskar. It also plays a crucial role in supporting the immune system, muscle function, and cell growth. In pregnancy, it is essential for healthy bone development in the baby, says the expert. You must have enough of this vitamin, as vitamin D deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of developing pregnancy complications such as preterm labour, as per a 2023 study published in the BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth journal.

Salmon is rich in vitamin D. Image courtesy: Freepik

Healthy recipes to get a vitamin D boost

According to National Institutes of Health, adults over the age of 19, should have 15 micrograms of vitamin D every day. But not everyone is able to meet the requirement. About a billion people in the world have vitamin D deficiency, according to a research published in StatPearls in 2023.

Here are some recipes to improve vitamin D intake through diet:

1. Marinated salmon with curry leaves

Ingredients

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  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 3 teaspoons of oil
  • 2 spoons of spice mix
  • Chopped curry leaves – 10 grams
  • Chopped coriander – 20 grams
  • Salt as per taste

Method

  • In a small bowl put the spice mix, chopped curry leaves, coriander and a spoon of oil then combine them.
  • Marinate the salmon fillets with this mixture and leave it aside for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Drizzle some oil on the grill pan and grill the fish for 5 minutes on each side.

By grilling the salmon, its natural oils and nutrients are retained, says Keluskar.

2. Fortified orange drink

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of fortified orange juice
  • 1 banana
  • ½ cup of Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon of honey

Method

  • Blend all the ingredients until smooth.
  • Pour into glasses and enjoy

3. Creamy mushroom medley soup

Method

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  • 1 bowl of chopped mushroom
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth
  • 2 spoons of watermelon seeds powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Coriander for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon of oil

Method

  • Take a large pot, add oil and sauté onions until translucent.
  • Add garlic and mushroom, cook until mushroom becomes brown.
  • Pour in vegetable broth. Let it simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add watermelon seeds powder and let it cook for another one minute.
  • Season it with salt and pepper.
  • Blend the mixture until smooth then serve it hot, garnished with coriander.
Mushroom soup rich in vitamin D
Creamy mushroom medley soup is full of vitamin D. Image courtesy: Freepik

4. Creamy mushroom pasta

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of wheat pasta
  • 2 cups of fortified plant-based milk (almond or cashew milk)
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • ½ cup of sliced mushroom
  • A pinch of oregano
  • A handful of dried basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  • Cook pasta until it is firm, drain the water then set it aside.
  • Heat olive oil over medium heat in a pan.
  • Add minced garlic and sliced mushroom to the pan and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Sprinkle in oregano, and dried basil.
  • Pour in plant-based milk to the pan and bring to a simmer until it thickens.
  • Season it with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the pan and let it cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Serve the creamy vegan mushroom pasta hot.

5. Sunny dairy boost

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • ½ cup of Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup of mix nuts
  • ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon powder

Method

  • In a blender, combine milk, yogurt, nuts, and cinnamon powder.
  • Blend them until you get a smooth drink.

6. Spinach and quinoa egg bowl

Ingredients

  • 1 small cup of quinoa
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 spoon of oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of chopped spinach (50g)
  • ¼ spoon of turmeric
  • ¼ spoon of coriander powder
  • ¼ spoon of cumin powder
  • 2 green chillies
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves

Method

  • In a medium pan, bring two cups of water to a boil. Add in quinoa, reduce heat to low and let it simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, whisk eggs.
  • Heat oil and add chopped green chillies, garlic cloves and eggs. Let the eggs cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add spinach and all the spices.
  • Add the cooked quinoa and let it simmer for 5 to 6 minutes.

7. Sunshine cereal chaat

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of fortified cereals
  • 1 cup of diced paneer or Indian cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup of finely chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup of chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup of chopped fresh coriander
  • 2 tablespoon of lemon juice.
  • 1 teaspoon of chaat masala
  • Salt to taste

Method

  • In a large bowl, mix fortified cereal, paneer, onions, tomatoes and coriander.
  • Drizzle lemon juice, sprinkle chaat masala, and add salt then mix well.

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