Three out of four people are low on vitamin D, an important vitamin that helps to reduce respiratory illnesses, protect against viral infections, improve your mood and even helps to cut the risk of heart disease significantly. Don’t miss out on these immunity benefits. While many people suntan to get their vitamin D, with the delicious vitamin D meals below, you’ll restore your body’s natural levels of the “sunshine vitamin” without worrying about the potential health drawbacks of the sun’s UV rays!
1. BREAKFAST: Southern-Style Banana Pudding
Who says you can’t have dessert for a healthy breakfast? The secret to this decadent morning treat are egg yolks. While many people struggle to find uses for leftover egg yolks, yolks are one of the best dietary sources of vitamin D. Each yolk has 218 IU (international units of vitamin D), and you need approximately 600 IU daily.
The bananas add lots of other health-boosting benefits, such as potassium and fiber, so this “dessert” is as nutritious and filling as it is tasty!
2/3 cup agave nectar (or any other healthy sugar substitute, such as organic honey or coconut sugar; you want the equivalent of 1 cup of standard granulated sugar)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 3/4 cup coconut milk (or other full-fat milk, including dairy milk)
4 large egg yolks (ideally from local, free-ranged hens)
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp butter or butter substitute
Bag of unsweetened granola
4 large bananas, sliced
In a saucepan, combine the sweetener of your choice with flour and salt, then whisk in the milk.
Heat gradually until it starts to bubble and thicken. This may take approximately 10 minutes.
In a mixing bowl, place the four egg yolks. Then, slowly whisk in the warm flour mixture.
Pour the egg-and-flour mix back into the saucepan and cook, stirring continuously for a couple of minutes. You should have a nice, thick pudding texture that’s creamy yellow in color.
Remove the saucepan from your stove and whisk in the butter and vanilla. Set aside.
In a 2-quart baking dish, pour a layer of granola. Then, add in half of your sliced bananas.
Pour half of your pudding mix onto the bananas. Repeat, laying granola and bananas and pudding.
Place the entire baking pan in your fridge overnight and enjoy for breakfast the next day!
2. LUNCH: Chickpea and Sardine Salad
A single can of sardines provides more than 170 IU of vitamin D. The sardine fisheries in many countries are very, very tightly regulated, which means sardines are one of the few types of fish that you can eat guilt-free if you’re worried about environmental sustainability (just remember to look for a third-party certification, such as a seal on the label from the Marine Stewardship Council).
Besides being high in vitamin D, these budget-friendly fish are rich in other immunity-boosting properties, including protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and selenium. This light and flavorful lunch — one of our reader favorites when it comes to vitamin D meals — reimagines canned sardines not as an afterthought, but as a stunning center piece in a delicious lunch that also contains fiber-rich chickpeas, antioxidant-rich herbs, and the surprising zestiness of lemon.
2 cans of sardine fillets (approximately 12-18 fish total)
1/4 cup olive oil or the oil of your choice
2 tbsp whole-wheat flour
1 tbsp cornmeal
Pinch of salt and pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 (16-ounce) can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2/3 cup cucumber, diced
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup pitted and sliced black olives
1 medium lemon (juiced and zested)
1 tbsp mint leaves, chopped
1 tbsp chives, chopped
Mix the flour, cornmeal and seasonings together in a bowl and set on the side.
Open the cans of sardines and fish out each fillet (pun intended) and pat with a paper towel to dry them gently. Set the fish to the side, too.
In a separate salad bowl, combine the rest of the listed ingredients (from the chickpeas down to the chives).
Once the salad is assembled, cook the sardines (they’re already cooked before they’re canned, but this extra step turns them into salad superstars). Simply heat the oil in a pan. Dip the sardines in the flour mixture you created in step one, then place them in the hot oil. Fry each side of the sardine for 30 seconds and set aside on a plate covered in paper towels.
Toss three or four fried sardines on your salad and enjoy!
3. DINNER: Balsamic-Grilled Portabella Mushrooms
There is only one plant-based dietary source of vitamin D: Mushrooms. Oddly enough, portabella mushrooms grown outdoors or in a greenhouse where they’re exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays are a great source of vitamin D! (Other mushrooms that are high in vitamin D include shiitake, crimini, etc.)
This dinner starts your evening on a high note and perfectly concludes this full day of vitamin D meals. The medley of veggies are filling and very high in immune-strengthening plant flavonoids. And the tangy-sweet flavor of the balsamic glaze (fully permeating the mushrooms after a long marinating session) complements the meaty, juicy flavor of the mushrooms.
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil or an oil of your choice
4 portobello mushrooms, stems cut off
4 fresh thyme sprigs
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or an oil of your choice
Pinch of salt and pepper
6 cups of mixed baby greens (ideally local and organic)
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese or a plant-based cheese substitute
First, create your marinade. Combine the vinegar, oil and garlic in a big plastic bag or bowl, add in the mushrooms and the thyme, and let it marinate for a couple of hours.
Next, char the sliced peppers in a dry frying pan, letting them get crisp and caramelized. This may take 5-10 minutes depending on the size of the pepper slices and the type of pan you’re using. Set aside to cool.
On your barbecue, brush the grill with the tablespoon of olive oil then place the marinated mushrooms on the hot barbecue (don’t discard the bowl of extra marinade!). Grill for four minutes on each side, then remove from heat and let it cool. Once cooled, cut the mushrooms into thin strips.
Assemble your salad by mixing all the ingredients together, and enjoy!
More Ways to Support Your Health
Your diet and these vitamin D meals are just one piece in your immune system’s wellness puzzle. Thymic proteins are another piece. It is the job of these thymic proteins to train the body’s immune system to effectively seek and identify diseased cells. Unfortunately, your levels of thymic proteins fall as you get older. BioPro-Plus 500 offers a full dose of thymic proteins to help restore your body’s natural levels. Maximize your health by combining these Vitamin D meals with healthy supplements!
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