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

“Thank you for all the accommodations for food intolerances and allergies.  I continue to hear positive comments about the quality of the food and the options. Please pass along our thanks and gratitude to your whole team!!!!”

“You know that I haven't been home (India) for a long time now.  I miss my mama, I miss the food, I miss the smells, I miss the people. Starting yesterday, I started to smell my mama's kitchen at Parker.  I KNEW something Indian was brewing; I could smell the garam masala!  Thank you for the delicious tofu curry.  It made my belly and soul happy.”

“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.”

“We can’t thank you enough for all the time and effort you put into getting this emergency shipment of water to our Waco, Tx office. As always, you guys pulled out all the stops and did everything possible to help! I know it doesn’t seem like much to you, but our employees in TX that need drinking water are truly grateful. I feel so fortunate to work with such true professionals. I think you set the bar that your competition wishes they could match!”

“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!”

“We want to take a moment to celebrate all the employees who worked on the front lines during unprecedented times. Your efforts and dedication to going above and beyond are noticed and appreciated. Thank you for being the heart and soul of CulinArt Group. We couldn’t do this without you. Chef Jay and Chef Paul have been so awesome in the Hubbell Café.  There has been significant change, but they take it in stride and keep the delicious food coming.  We truly appreciate them!”

“The roasted tofu/noodle/edamame arugula salad with cabbage, carrots and red peppers was something that I would buy from a restaurant or food truck without question. It would win best school lunch in the U.S. without a doubt if there was such a competition! The textures and flavors were a perfect blend, tied together by an excellent dressing. I don't think anyone would be mad if that popped up on the menu every week. Thanks again to you and your staff for such high-quality food!”

“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! Chef Budd [and team], you overcame a new online ordering system (and hundreds of labels daily!), provided creative and healthy menus, continued to connect with local farmers to incorporate locally sourced ingredients, and worked tirelessly to serve the school community on three campuses.  While it feels like you are all a little like the Wizard of Oz right now, working behind a curtain in a kitchen far away, we sense your smiles and your passion to deliver the best possible service during these trying times. We are all so grateful!”

“I ALWAYS feel spoiled by the meal offerings at CSW (The Cambridge School of Weston) and am entirely grateful for it. As I eat today's delicious and lavish lunch (and think about yesterday's as well), I can't tell you how much I feel so well cared for here, both with the food and by the dining hall staff. CSW cares for us in so many ways, both big and small.”

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