Ten or so days ago I talked about Vitamin D in wild-caught sockeye salmon on the 180 podcast. Other than cod livers and herring, both things you’ll be hard pressed to find or be able to eat in large quantity, Alaskan sockeye seems to be the richest whole food source of vitamin D in ze world. It is even more important this time of year (in the Northern Hemisphere), to get as much vitamin D from your diet as possible. At any kind of latitude, winter sun is insufficient to simulate vitamin D synthesis in the skin – our primary source of this mighty vitey.
So now that we’re deeply into the dark days of winter, it’s time to go salmon crazy. It is thought that humans need, between sun and diet, up to 4,000IU of vitamin D each day – maybe more. While this is easy to get in summer months while basking in the sun (a highly recommended 180 pastime), it is almost impossible to get through diet. I won’t stop you from chugging cod liver oil, but I can tell you that I’m eating at least one pound of salmon per week – sometimes two, and will be keeping this up until at least early March.
Although estimates differ, a 100 gram portion of sockeye can have up to 1,000IU of vitey D. That means a pound has close to 5,000IU, give or take. While this is certainly not 4,000 per day at a rate of 1 pound per week, it’s something substantial (the average American is lucky to ingest 200IU of vitamin D per week from whole food sources), and can hopefully tide me over until spring where I will be baking out in the sun, sans sunscreen, and getting well over 10,000IU per day. Vitamin D is a beautiful thing, and the vast majority of modern humans are thought to have major D deficiencies according to blood serum levels. This is particularly true if you are dark-skinned, live at far Northern or Southern latitudes, and don’t spend much time in the sun, minimally clothed without sunscreen.
And we’re just talking vitamin D here. This says nothing of the potentially vital long chain omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA – salmon being among the best if not THE best source in the world, or salmon’s off-the-charts content of vitamin B-12 and the mineral selenium, both thought to be nutrients of equal importance. Selenium is thought to be one of the greatest assets in avoiding heart disease.
So, without further ado, here is a video on searing up some nice, crispy-skinned wild Alaskan sockeye salmon. Enjoy with some vitamin A-rich butter, spinach, fried yams, and so forth.
Note, to get Vitamin D in salmon, the salmon must be wild-caught salmon. Amongst wild-caught salmon, sockeye has the highest level.
For more on Vitey D, check out this short post at 180 Bloggie-Style
Crank your volume a little so you can hear me over the sizzle.