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 our clients are saying

“Many, and I do mean many, thanks for a great Parents Weekend.  I heard from so many happy parents and you all work very hard to make it happen.  In gratitude and kindness…”

“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.”

“Even though we see challenges every day, each one of you rises to the occasion and makes it seem so easy. I cannot express how impressive it is to see you all work in such a fashion. You are true professionals.”

“I just wanted to give a huge compliment to the cook at Main Street. Today I had the Salmon Super Bowl and it was amazing!!!! Every day I go in there she always has something that looks too wonderful to pass up! Thank you for always having such a variety of food!”

“I wanted to take this moment to thank you and your staff for making the Athletic Celebration absolutely wonderful. I cannot say enough great things about the event. The food was outstanding and the service was fantastic. Thank you for your help from start to finish.”

“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!”

“Thank you for including me today in the food waste demonstration/[chef competition] and flattering me with the role of “judge.” I will proudly don the [Stop Food Waste Day] apron the next time I plan an “event” in our own kitchen. I think this is a very worthwhile cause and the statistics you read off are staggering. They, alone, can intimidate a home chef, let alone be the “driver’ for a professional one.”

“The CulinArt team has been great to work with and has been super flexible. Having worked with other dining services at different institutions, having a dining team that is open to menu changes has been a great resource for our events. ”

“Just want to take a moment to thank you for running such a great kitchen. It’s been a huge benefit to have such a delicious and various assortment of foods to choose from, all without having to leave the building. I’m always amazed at the daily variety and the quality of food that is offered. The cafeteria has made my food choices as easy as can be.”

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