Most people are told by their doctors, following the regular annual physical, that they are low in D3. Many people, including myself, spend most of their time indoors, and don't get outside much. Where I live, it's particularly difficult in the summer because it gets so outrageously hot. We are lulled by the coolness of the ac. Sure, we go to the beach or to the pool, but otherwise, all other outdoor activities can just wait until it's cooler!
Day 11 of Vegan Mofo challenges us to: Focus on a nutrient. I suspect several will focus on protein, or B12, or any other number of things our bodies need. I'm focusing on D3.
Vitamin D is, well, a vitamin. It is important for humans because it is used for preventing and treating rickets, treating weak bones (osteoporosis) and other bone related issues, like osteoporosis. It is used for conditions of the heart and blood vessels, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol. It is also used for diabetes, obesity, muscle weakness, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, bronchitis, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and tooth and gum disease. Vitamin D is also used in the treatment of some skin conditions and boosting the immune system.
You can begin to understand why your doctor might suggest you take steps to increase your levels.
Most of us probably think milk when we think about D, because it is added to dairy products. But as a vegan, we don't consume dairy. So, what is a vegan to do?
Well, you can take supplements, for one. The best way, of course, is sunlight. Spending as little as 5 to 30 minutes in direct sunlight with your face, arms, legs or back exposed two times a week between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. in the summer, fall and spring can synthesize enough vitamin D3 to supply your needs. Your body can store excess vitamin D, a fat soluble vitamin, in your fat stores and liver, for use during the winter, but stores generally last just 30 to 60 days. Another way is food.
A number of foods that are high in Vitamin D are not possible for vegans. But there are quite a few that are excellent sources, for example, mushrooms.
Another is...drum roll, please...tofu.
Spicy Baked Tofu
1 c. whole wheat bread crumbs
1 T. parsley
1 t. black pepper
2 T. vegan mayo
1 T. water
1/8 - 1/4 t. hot pepper sauce
One package of extra firm tofu, frozen, boiled, pressed, sliced into 8ths
In one bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, parsley, and black pepper. In a second bowl, mix the mayo, water, and hot pepper sauce.
Spray a cookie sheet with an oil spray.
Dip the tofu slices first into the mayo mixture, covering all sides. Then dip in the bread crumb mixture, again, coating all sides. Tap lightly to shake off excess. Place slices on the coated cookie sheet.
Bake at 450 for 15 minutes.