Vitamin D may decrease your colorectal cancer risk, but you may not be getting enough- especially if you’re as sun-savvy as you should be!

Vitamin D is found in very few foods in nature, but it’s readily available in the sky! Exposure to sunlight, without sunscreen, causes your skin to synthesize the vitamin. It is essential for calcium absorption and for aiding in the regulation of cell replication, which goes awry in cancerous cells.

Healthy men and women between 19 and 50 years old are recommended to take in 5mcg (200IU) of Vitamin D per day. Those between the ages of 50 and 70 are recommended to take in 10mcg (400IU) per day. For reference, the average North American daily diet is thought to include about 100IU.  For more information, we suggest the USA’s National Institute of Health’s Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet.

If you’re being careful about the sun to decrease your skin cancer risk, how do you ensure that you’re getting enough Vitamin D to decrease your colorectal cancer risk?

Though sun exposure is an efficient source of Vitamin D synthesis, there are a number of diestary options. Fatty fish are a decent source, and include catfish, salmon, and tuna, and the vitamin is also naturally found in egg yolks. Mushrooms are thought to be the only naturally-occurring vegan source of Vitamin D- and like humans, they need UV exposure in order to synthesize it. Of course, an average multivitamin contains nearly 100% of your recommended daily intake, and separate Vitamin D supplements are also widely available on the market. As always, we recommend talking to your physician or your pharmacist before introducing any supplement!

Click here to read about mushrooms and Vitamin D2 formation in a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Click here to read an LA Times article about mushrooms and UV exposure.

After the cut, enjoy a delicious recipe from user yongfook at Nibbledish. With salmon and mushrooms, this dish is twice as nice for your Vitamin D intake!

Pan-Roasted Salmon with Wild Mushrooms

Click here to see the original recipe!

  • boneless salmon fillet
  • juice of half a lemon
  • curry salt (1/3 curry powder to 2/3 salt)
  • 2 varieties of mushroom, whole
  • one clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • splash of balsamic vinegar
  • handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  1. Rub the salmon with lemon juice and sprinkle with curry salt.
  2. Heat a little olive oil in a hot griddle pan to a very high heat, lay the salmon on and bring it down to 2/3 heat. Don’t touch it.
  3. Heat some olive oil in another pan for the mushrooms. Add the mushrooms to the pan along with the garlic. Toss, add a little balsamic (some white wine would do nicely here too, I think) and season with freshly ground salt and pepper. Bring the heat down.
  4. When the salmon is 2/3 cooked the way up (you will be able to see the flesh colour change) flip it over. Again, don’t touch it. It should sit there until it is done, which will take another couple of minutes, depending on the thickness of your fish.
  5. Scatter the fresh parsley on the mushrooms. Serve with the salmon.