Pigs That Spend Days in the Sun Have More Vitamin D in Their Meat

In addition to being the magical force behind a great tan, the sun is a natural source of Vitamin D. Unfortunately, as any doctor will tell you, too much time in the sun increases the risk of skin cancer and accelerates aging. For health-conscious people trying to get their daily dose, that leaves vitamin D-rich foods like salmon and sardinesNot into fatty fish? Well, we have good news. Scientists recently discovered a delicious and unexpected source of vitamin D that could one day hit the butcher section of a grocery store near you. 

Here's the deal: pigs, just like us, get their vitamin D from the sun. Unsurprisingly, scientists have discovered that suntanning pigs have higher levels of vitamin D in their meat.


Other Health Benefits of Pork

Tragically, this research represents the very first study of its kind, so suntanned pork probably may not hit the meat cases for a while. You can, however, enjoy the other benefits of pork when prepared in a healthy way and eaten in moderation.

Though pigs are often thought of as, well, porky, pork is actually leaner than most other meats. Moreover, it's packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Eight ounces of cooked lean pork contains more than half the daily recommended amount of niacin, thiamin, and Vitamin B6. It also provides a rich source of iron, vitamin B12, potassium, and high-quality protein.

Healthy(er) Pork Recipes

Bacon, while delicious, can pack on the pounds if munched on too often. If you're looking for a healthier way to enjoy pork, check out some of our favorite recipes below.

1. Pork and Apple Stew


2. Honey Dijon Roasted Pork Loin


3. Ancho Chile Pork Tenderloin


4. Slow Cooker Chipotle Lime Pork Ribs


Researchers are looking into applying lessons learned from suntanning pigs to other foods. So who knows, maybe suntanned will become the next free-range.

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