Milk It: Vitamin D

07 Apr 2016
POSTED BY Y Magazine

It’s essential to get enough Vitamin D in your diet and milk, rich in the nutrient, is a great way to get your share.



Many people know that sunlight is one of the best sources of vitamin D, and living in sunshine-rich Oman should mean most of us are getting more than the recommended levels.

In fact, there’s a prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among residents in the Sultanate, particularly among Omanis. That’s because, particularly in the sweltering summer months, we often don’t spend enough time outdoors.

And while sunscreen is important to protect you from the sun’s harmful rays, it prevents the body from making vitamin D.

So it’s no surprise that, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (an annual US-government booklet aimed at promoting health and well-being), many Americans are falling short of getting the recommended amount of vitamin D. Getting insufficient amounts of the vitamin can be linked to health concerns.

A study by Sultan Qaboos University also found that women are more likely to be vitamin-D deficient than men.

Consuming foods high in vitamin D, such as milk, is an easy way to boost intake levels, regardless of how much time is spent in the sun.

Why is vitamin D important?

Vitamin D works with calcium to help build and maintain strong bones. Plus, vitamin D helps protect children from rickets and older adults from osteoporosis.

Vitamin D also helps muscles move, while nerves need it to carry messages between the brain and every other part of the body. In addition, a growing body of research supports other potential benefits of vitamin D. According to the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report, it may reduce the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Why milk is a good choice

Unfortunately, there aren’t many natural food sources of vitamin D, but milk is fortified and is therefore an excellent source. In fact, milk is the top food source of vitamin D in many diets. Each 220ml glass contains 30 per cent of the daily value of vitamin D plus eight other essential nutrients, such as eight grams of high-quality protein. So if you drink the recommended three cups of milk each day, you can get 90 per cent of your daily vitamin D requirement from milk alone.

Want an easy way to add vitamin D to your day? Try pairing a glass of milk with your breakfast or morning snack, such as falafel-avocado toast. For more recipe ideas, visit milklife.com.

* Family Features

Recipe: Falafel-Avocado Toast

Falafel Avocado Toast

Servings: 4 (2 pieces of toast each)

Ingredients:

  •  1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
  •  1 can (400g) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  •  2 tbsp lemon juice
  •  1/2 tsp ground cumin
  •  1/4 tsp garlic powder
  •  Tabasco sauce, to taste (optional)
  •  1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  •  1/4 cup sliced scallions
  •  8 slices wholegrain bread, toasted
  •  16 slices thinly sliced ripe tomato (about 3 small tomatoes), divided
  •  24 slices thinly sliced cucumber (about 1/2 an English cucumber), divided
  •  8 tbsp fat-free plain Greek yogurt, divided

Method:

  • In a medium-sized bowl, mash the avocado and chickpeas together with lemon juice, cumin, garlic powder and Tabasco using a fork. Alternatively, pulse in food processor to coarsely mash. 
  • Fold in bell pepper and scallions then divide among the toasted bread. Top with tomato and cucumber slices and one tablespoon of yogurt. Pair each serving with a 220ml glass of milk.

Nutritional information per serving: 430 calories; 12 g fat; 2 g saturated fat; 5 mg cholesterol; 25 g protein; 59 g carbohydrates; 13 g fibre; 460 mg sodium; 440 mg calcium (45% of daily value); 120 IU vitamin D (30% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using fat-free milk and include a 220ml glass of milk.


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