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

“I just wanted to express my thanks and give two thumbs up for the updates to our lunch menu. My selections have been quite tasty—corned beef Reuben, jambalaya—and I appreciate that, too! I am looking forward to trying some new items in the coming weeks. Keep up the good work!”

“I have really appreciated the wonderful cafeteria staff we have via Culinart and the thoughtful meals they provide our kids. They're truly one in a million. I have also really appreciated the dedication Parker and CulinArt share to sustainability and green practices on campus. I am so thankful that Parker has chosen CulinArt, a company that shares Parker values, and that they took the time and effort at such a hard time to make sure that Parker is always on the forefront of green practices and safety - never compromising.”

“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!”

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

“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.”

“Thank you so very much for the AMAZING dinner you provided for the President, Dean and Jim & Marilyn Simons. They really enjoyed it!! It was perfectly thought out and delicious. Your expertise and impeccable presentation and taste were truly appreciated!”

“I wanted to recognize the individuals at the Valley Forge Site Café who have been supporting us throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic.  I have been onsite at least a few days every week since June 2020 and I noticed that the team continued to provide quality and timely service for breakfast and lunch.  They effectively packaged the food to maintain CDC guidelines. Thank you!  ”

“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!”

“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.”

“Dear Chef Anthony: Hi! It’s the kids from Room 223 [and their teacher, Mrs. Smith]. We thank you for providing us with such great snacks and lunches! We know how hard you and your staff work. We have been talking as a class and we came up with some of our favorite snacks. We really love the brownies, chocolate chip cookies, and Scooby snacks. The soft pretzel bits are really good, too. Thank you again! ”

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