A healthy Dutch tradition for die hards

herringIf you’ve ever walked the streets of my home country, The Netherlands, there is a likely chance you saw people holding a raw fish by its slippery tail, and taking a large bite of it. The very sight of it may have disgusted you, and you probably though that the Dutchies had all gone nuts! But if you are aware of the health benefits that the herring, or ‘haring’ in Dutch, has to offer, you might just change your mind. And if you are a real die hard, you could even try one of these raw slippery little creatures for yourself!  

Herring is a very good source of vitamin B12, selenium and protein. But most importantly, it is very high on vitamin D. Virtually no food contains more of it (maybe cod liver oil, if you consider that a food). Vitamin D is technically not a vitamin, since our bodies are able to produce it. It’s actually a precursor of a hormone. People living close to the equator get most of their vitamin D from exposure to sun light. If you happen to live in more northern regions, there is big chance your vitamin D level is low, or even way to low. In fact, this is the case for more than half of the Americans, and I know for most Europeans it’s pretty bad as well.

Having a proper vitamin D level is vital for the development of strong bones and plays an important role in the prevention of many diseases such as cardiovascular disease, auto immune diseases, Alzheimer and several forms of cancer. Needless to say that we have to keep our vitamin D level sufficiently high. An easy way to do this is, is by taking a vitamin D supplement, preferably in the form of a high quality fish liver oil. And if you have the stomach for it, try raw herring!

Bon appetit!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Food, Other

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