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Vitamin D: Best sources when the sun goes down

Dawn Viola is a research and development chef and food writer. She serves on the board of directors for Slow Food Orlando, and works with local and national companies as a healthy recipe consultant with a focus on organic, local and sus...

the sunshine vitamin

The best source of vitamin D is the sun, but what's a girl to do when Old Man Winter forces you to stay inside? Turn to food.
the sunshine vitamin

In addition to keeping depression at bay, studies have shown that daily sun exposure, with at least 40 percent of your skin exposed for 10 to 15 minutes, is your best source. Vitamin D has also been proven to prevent certain forms of cancer, heart disease and hypertension. It prevents osteoporosis by protecting and lubricating bones and helps reduce the body's inflammatory response to diseases such as diabetes and obesity. Without it, your body can't absorb and metabolize calcium.

So what's not to love? Being outside in the cold weather. Those who don't get enough exposure to sunlight in the winter months may need to talk with their doctor about getting this vitamin in the form of a supplement. Eating foods naturally rich in vitamin D can also help you turn that winter frown upside down. Although the list is short, these foods will carry your good mood through the spring:

  • Organic, sun-ripened mushrooms
  • Egg yolks
  • Pacific cod
  • Atlantic mackerel
  • Sockeye salmon
  • Sardines
  • Shrimp
  • Tuna

Deviled eggs with smoked salmon recipe

Serves 3


  • 6 hard cooked eggs
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 2 teaspoons crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon capers, chopped
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/4 cup minced celery
  • 1 cup minced wild-caught smoked salmon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh flat leaf parsley (optional)
  • Capers (optional)
  • Sesame seeds (optional)


  1. Slice hard cooked eggs in half, across the middle. Transfer yolks to a medium bowl; crush with tines of a fork and set aside. Slice a very small piece off the bottom of each egg white so they stand up straight; set aside.
  2. Mix together egg yolks, sour cream, mustard, garlic, thyme, capers, lemon zest, celery salt and celery. Add salt and pepper to taste. Fold in salmon.
  3. Using a small spoon, fill the cavity of the eggs with the salmon mixture. If desired, garnish with parsley, capers and sesame seeds.

More vitamin D-rich recipes

Baked barley with shiitake mushrooms and onions
Walnut-crusted salmon
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