Egg Nutrition Center Blog

Vitamin D: Sun, Skin & Food

It’s that time of year when the summer “glow” begins to fade as fall is right around the corner.

egg-pizza

With the days getting shorter and many people establishing new, busy routines for the school year, time spent outside starts to dwindle, so it’s important to remind clients about vitamin D intake. As we’ve discussed in a previous post, Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption in the gut and maintains adequate serum calcium and phosphate concentrations to enable normal mineralization of bone. Without sufficient vitamin D, bones can become thin, brittle, or misshapen. Aside from supporting bone health, vitamin D has other roles in the body, including modulation of cell growth, neuromuscular and immune function, and reduction of inflammation.1

Sun exposure is the primary source of vitamin D for most people. It is produced endogenously when ultraviolet rays from sunlight strike the skin and trigger vitamin D synthesis. Whether getting this vitamin from sun exposure, food, or supplements, it is biologically inert and must undergo two hydroxylations in the body for activation. The first occurs in the liver and converts vitamin D to 25-hydroxyvitamin D, also known as calcidol. The second occurs primarily in the kidney and forms the physiologically active form of the vitamin, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, also known as calcitriol.

During certain times of the year the angle of the sun may be insufficient to synthesize vitamin D and sun exposure is limited. This is especially true in the northern latitudes during winter months, like where we are here at ENC! Good news is that vitamin D can come from the foods that we eat. Eggs are one of the few foods that are a naturally good source of vitamin D, meaning that one egg provides at least 10 percent of the Daily Value (DV). Other sources of vitamin D include fatty fish, beef liver, and fortified dairy foods.2

This kid-friendly recipe for Scrambled Mini Pizzas provides a good source of Vitamin D and is perfect for a quick meal on the go, or a nutritious after-school snack.

Scrambled Mini Pizzas

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

2 tsp. vegetable oil 1-1/2 cups chopped green OR red bell peppers ½ cup chopped onion 1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning 4 EGGS ¼ cup milk ½ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (2oz.), Divided ½ cup pizza sauce 4 English muffins, split, toasted Directions:

Step 1: Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add bell peppers, onions and Italian seasoning; sauté until tender, 3 to 4 minutes Step 2: Beat eggs and milk in medium bowl until blended. Pour over vegetables in skillet; sprinkle with ¼ cup cheese. Reduce heat to medium. As eggs begin to set, gently pull the eggs across the pan with an inverted turner, forming large soft curds. Continue cooking-pulling, lifting and folding eggs- until thickened and no visible liquid egg remains. Do not stir constantly. Remove from heat Step 3: Spread 1 Tbsp. pizza sauce on each muffin half. Top with eggs, remaining cheese, dividing evenly.

Nutrition Information Per Serving

Excellent Source: Protein, Folate, Calcium and Choline

Good Source: Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin D and Iron

Calories: 313; Total Fat: 12 g; Saturated fat: 4 g; Polyunsaturated fat: 2 g; Monounsaturated fat: 4 g; Cholesterol: 196 mg; Sodium: 478 mg; Carbohydrates: 35 g; Dietary Fiber: 3 g; Protein: 16 g; Vitamin A: 801.7 IU; Vitamin D: 50.6 IU; Folate: 80.4 mcg; Calcium: 206.4 mg; Iron: 2.9 mg; Choline: 134.4 mg

References:

1)       Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2010.
2)       Ovesen L, Brot C, Jakobsen J. Food contents and biological activity of 25-hydroxyvitamin D: a vitamin D metabolite to be reckoned with? Ann Nutr Metab 2003; 47:107-13.

Author: Anna Shlachter MS, RDN, LDN