Learn your ABC’s…. of nutrition—Part 4

simply well with holly niles


simply well with holly niles


This week our focus rests on VITAMIN D.  It is one of the most studied and debated nutrients over the last many years. We had learned the many roles it plays in the body, acting more like a hormone and the importance of ensuring you get sufficient amounts through diet and supplementation.  Blood sugar balance is affected by Vitamin D levels with lower levels connected to diabetes.  It works in synergy with minerals like calcium and magnesium to help build your bones and your white blood cells need Vitamin D to support your immune system. We can make vitamin D by absorbing it into our skin from the sun.  Our liver and kidneys must go through steps to convert the absorbed form into the active form. Not everyone gets a lot of sun exposure and there are questions as to how well some of us can do that conversion. It’s likely best to find ways to ingest it or supplement it.  Best dietary sources are cow’s milk salmon, sardines, eggs and shitake mushroom.


Simply Easy Tip: 

Sardines are a great source of protein, healthy fats and Vitamin D. They make a great snack or can be added to a salad.  Wild Planet is a quality brand with BPA free cans.


Simply Supportive: Synergy K

Many people, especially in the winter months, don’t get sufficient sun exposure and may not eat many food sources of Vitamin D.  Supplementation is often needed to ensure you get your daily requirements.  It’s a great idea to get your PCP to check your levels but 2,000 IUs is a good dose for most people. Synergy K has 1,000 IUs and includes Vitamin K for better absorption so 2 per day would be a good target.  To order this product, you can contact our front desk at (860)519-1916 or email Info@IntegrativeWellnessAndPT.com. You can also visit our website by clicking on the link above.


Simply Supportive: Thai Salmon with Ginger & Shiitake Mushrooms


3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce
1 teaspoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon Sriracha (more or less to taste)
3 tablespoons sesame oil, separated
8 ounces’ shitake mushrooms, stems removed and roughly chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
6 6-ounce salmon filets
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 cup sliced scallions, green part only
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves


In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, fish sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, Sriracha, and 2 tablespoons sesame oil.

Preheat oven on broiler setting. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place salmon filets on a baking sheet and brush with lime and soy mixture. Place under broiler for 3 to 4 minutes.

While salmon is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add garlic and ginger and saute for 30 seconds, stirring frequently. Add red pepper, sauteing from 1 to 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes until mushrooms are almost done. Whisk cornstarch into remaining soy mixture and pour into skillet. Continue cooking for 1 minute until glaze is thickening. Remove from heat.

Remove salmon from oven and spoon mushroom and ginger glaze over filets. Return to oven and continue broiling for 4 to 5 minutes or until salmon flakes when pressed. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of filets.

Remove from oven, garnish with sliced scallions and cilantro, and serve immediately.

Adapted from: http://southernboydishes.com/2014/09/13/thai-salmon-with-ginger-and-shitake-mushrooms/



Simply Well newsletter #67: The ABCs of nutrition, Part 4 PRINTOUT (pdf)