Vitamin D-Boosting Recipes To Promote Menstrual Health
Vitamin D - The sunshine hormone
'Soaking yourself every single day in the early morning sun is good for your health!' 'Drinking milk builds strong bones and teeth'. Most of us have grown up hearing our family elders makes such statements throughout our growing up years.
The reason is, every time we exercise early in the morning and soak ourselves in the early morning sun, our body is busy manufacturing Vitamin D. Vitamin D, also known as the sun vitamin, can also be obtained through certain foods and supplements. Thus Vitamin D is both the hormone that our body manufactures as well as a constituent of the food we eat.
Vitamin D - The many roles it plays
Vitamin D plays multiple roles in our body. It regulates the absorption of calcium and phosphorus and facilitates the functioning of the immune system. Thus, Vitamin D facilitates normal growth and development of teeth and bones and improves our body's resistance to certain diseases. It regulates insulin levels and facilitates the management of diabetes. Vitamin D supports lung function and cardiovascular health. It also places the role of influencing the expression of genes involved in cancer development. In addition, there are certain benefits of vitamin D for women's health.
Vitamin D for menstrual health
Can Vitamin D affect the menstrual cycle? Yes, it can! Low Vitamin D concentrations are associated with disturbed menstrual cycles. At times, excess production of hormone-like substances called prostaglandins can trigger painful periods also termed dysmenorrhea. It has been reported that vitamin D reduces the production of prostaglandins and eases symptoms of dysmenorrhea. A variation in mood and physical symptoms can take place several days to 2 weeks before menstruation. These symptoms include depression, irritability, tension, fatigue, sleep disturbances, somatic complaints such as abdominal cramping, and headache. This phenomenon is known as premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Vitamin D also plays a role in preventing and/ or treating mood and gynaecological disorders that share common features with PMS.
Vitamin D - Are you getting enough of it?
We hope that the article so far has described the benefits of Vitamin D for women's health. Getting sufficient sunlight is the best way to help the body produce enough vitamin D. Some food varieties also serve as a source of vitamin D.
- Fatty fish, such as salmon, herring, sardines, mackerel, and tuna
- Egg yolks
- Beef liver
- Fortified milk, soy milk
- Fortified cereals and juices
- Cod liver oil
How to get vitamin D, you ask? Interesting and healthy recipes containing these ingredients can boost your Vitamin D levels and in turn benefit your menstrual health. Do try some of them to maintain a balance of this sun vitamin.
1. Chicken mushroom soup
Mushrooms are a rich source of Vitamin D. Chicken with lean meat serves as a rich source of protein. Chicken mushroom soup will make up for the Vitamin D levels in your body. Here is a tasty and healthy recipe high in vitamin D!
You will need:
- Chicken thigh, skinless and boneless (500 g)
- Lemon juice (1 tbsp)
- Button mushroom (300 g)
- Chicken stock (250 ml)
- Olive oil (2 tbsp)
- 2 chopped shallots
- Pea (50 g)
- Finely chopped parsley
- Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan. Use flour to dust and season the chicken and make sure that all sides of it are brown. Set aside.
- Add mushrooms to the pan and fry until they are soft. Set aside.
- Add shallots in the pan with 1 tbsp of olive oil and cook. Then add lemon juice and chicken stock.
- After the mixture starts to bubble, add chicken and mushrooms into it and cook for at least 15 minutes.
- Lastly, add the peas and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy this vitamin D rich recipe.
2. Scrambled egg burritos
Each egg yolk provides about 40 IU of vitamin D, about 7% of the recommended dietary allowance of 600 IU. Here's a tasty recipe high in vitamin D.
You will need:
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon low-fat milk
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- Dash of coarsely ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon butter
- 4 tablespoons reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- 2 (8-inch) fat-free flour tortillas, heated
- 4 tablespoons chopped seeded tomato, divided
- 2 tablespoons bottled chunky salsa, divided
- Whisk the first 5 ingredients (through pepper) in a medium bowl.
- Scramble the whisked egg mixture in butter at medium heat.
- Sprinkle 2 tablespoons cheese down the center of one tortilla; top with half of the scrambled egg, 2 tablespoons tomato, and 1 tablespoon chunky salsa.
- Roll up burrito-style (fold bottom-up and sides to center). Repeat with remaining ingredients.
Do try out this recipe high in vitamin D for better menstrual health.
3. Yogurt berry cups
Here is a tasty post-meal vitamin D rich recipe that also contains high amounts of calcium and antioxidants.
You will need:
- 4 teaspoons honey
- 1 cup Greek or plain whole-milk yogurt
- 2 1/4 cups strawberries, sliced
- 1 cup blueberries
- Chopped, toasted walnuts
- Whisk 4 teaspoons of honey into 1 cup yogurt.
- Spoon 1 tablespoon yogurt mixture into each of your serving bowls.
- Layer each portion with 1/2 cup strawberries, 1 tablespoon yogurt mixture, 1/4 cup blueberries, 1 tablespoon yogurt mixture, and the remaining 1/4 cup strawberries.
- Finish with the remaining 1 tablespoon yogurt mixture and 1 tablespoon chopped nuts.
Vitamin D deficiency can affect your periods! Start taking care of your health by ensuring an adequate amount of Vitamin D. Incorporate the above tasty recipes high in vitamin D as a part of your day-to-day life. Experiment more with Vitamin D rich recipes to whip up tasty meals for better menstrual health.
Did you like our Article?
- Vitamin D may ease painful periods. Available at WebMD
- Bahrami A, et al. High dose vitamin D supplementation can improve menstrual problems, dysmenorrhea, and premenstrual syndrome in adolescents. Gynecological Endocrinology. 2018 Aug 3;34(8):659-63.
- 9 Recipes That Contain Vitamin D Available at Health