Soak Up That Vitamin D - CulinArt Group

Eat Well Blog

Soak Up That Vitamin D

Did you know that when you’re soaking up the sun, your body is also producing a hefty dose of Vitamin D? When skin is exposed to the ultraviolet B ray emitted by the sun, the cholesterol in skin cells works to start the metabolic processes that are required to synthesize Vitamin D from those rays. Very few foods naturally contain Vitamin D making sunlight an important source of this essential nutrient. In fact, in the 20th century when work shifted from the farm to more industrial, indoor settings the incidence of Vitamin D deficiencies sharply increased. Season, time of day, cloud cover, pollution, skin melanin content, and sunscreen are among the factors that affect UV radiation exposure and vitamin D synthesis.  It has been suggested by some vitamin D researchers that approximately 5–30 minutes of sun exposure between 10 AM and 3 PM at least twice a week to the face, arms, legs, or back without sunscreen usually leads to sufficient vitamin D synthesis. It is important to note, however, that UVB rays are a known carcinogen and it is prudent to limit exposure from the sun and/or tanning beds and to apply sunscreen regularly.

This important nutrient has many functions in the body. Strong, healthy bones are typically associated with an adequate intake of calcium, however, without enough Vitamin D, calcium cannot be absorbed making the sunshine vitamin essential to building and maintaining bones. Low levels of vitamin D lead to low bone calcium stores, increasing the risk of fractures. When it was discovered that Vitamin D is necessary for optimal calcium absorption, the United States began to fortify milk, a natural source of calcium, with the nutrient. As a result, the occurrence of rickets, a painful disease that causes softening and bowing of the bones, began to decrease in children. Vitamin D also brings calcium and phosphorus to our teeth to maintain their strength and structure, and helps regulate how much calcium remains in our blood. If blood calcium falls too low, cramping and muscle spasms can occur. It is also involved in the functioning of the muscular, nervous, and immune system while research suggests that vitamin D, especially when taken with calcium, might help prevent certain cancers and long-term vitamin D supplementation reduces the risk of multiple sclerosis.

Only a few foods are natural sources of Vitamin D; fatty fish such as tuna and salmon as well as fish oils are potent sources while beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks contribute small amounts. Additionally, mushrooms that are grown under ultraviolet light contain Vitamin D. Fortified foods in addition to milk include certain cereals, orange juice, yogurt, margarine, and plant based milks like almond or soy milk. Obtaining adequate amounts through diet can be difficult and for certain populations, including those with dark skin, malabsorption issues, breastfed infants, or do not expose their skin to the sun will benefit from a daily Vitamin D supplement.

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  • May 20, 2020

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“What a difference a top chef makes to student satisfaction and enjoyment of campus life!  At a recent boarding school conference, food was mentioned as a key retention method and it is really true. The comforts of home are found in good food and meals enjoyed with friends. We couldn’t be more pleased with the healthy and delicious daily options presented by our chef and his team. Frank even has a suggestion box, so he is always open to new ideas and he even offers cooking classes for our students!”

“With all the prep work from Winterim ramping up and classes continuing as usual, it's a busy time to be a Forman teacher. Imagine my delight, tired as I was, when I delved into the upscale-restaurant-quality chicken parmesan our dining hall served last night. Forman is all about support, and providing our students with a dinner of that quality is just as important a measure of support as anything that happens in a classroom.”

“What a wonderful dinner we had tonight for our international families. The food was delicious and well presented as well.”

“The dinner I had tonight at Forman was not only the best meal I have had at Forman in the entire time I have been here, it was the best meal I can remember having anywhere in a long time. [It] was a restaurant quality meal, and it added to the enjoyment that the two young ladies serving me could not have been more charming. What an energizing way to finish a weekend eating a dinner like that.”

“What a night! You and your team rocked it and made us look like stars. Great working with you and know we will have more chances to work together on future events.”

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“Yesterday I ordered the special (Bloody Mary Burger) which was one of the best burgers I’ve ever tasted, [but] this e-mail is not to praise the burger.  Eating the burger reminded me of the great service, professionalism, the smiles, the knowledge and the great food that I have come to love each and every day.  Your team, who really work as a team, take their time to explain nutrition and meal ideas, and encourage healthy eating.  I wouldn’t change one thing about this crew. I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude for their hard work each and every day.”

“We are so thankful and so impressed by your immediate attention to our power outage. It was such a relief to see all the equipment and workers coming in within a few hours of the outage. Thank you for serving dinner to all [the] students in a very difficult circumstance. Please extend our thanks to your workers who braved cold weather to grill hamburgers and hotdogs.”

“Thank you and your staff for all the care and thought you give CSW adults and students. You approach events with such care and elegance- I don’t know how you do it! Especially day after day. Please thank all your staff for their wonderful work and kind manner with all of us. Here is to a great year!”

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