Here in San Diego, it feels like summer has arrived in full-force! The sun is out (what happened to all that may-gray stuff?) and the days are longer. For most of us, this means more time spent outside! But do you feel like you can actually enjoy it??? With everyone telling you “stay out of the sun, or you’ll get skin cancer!” OK, we get it…skin cancer sucks. But even though there are dangers to getting too much sun, there are also dangers to getting too little sun.
Vitamin D plays a key role in many of our internal processes, like blood sugar regulation, bone health and immunity. According to Christa Orecchio at the Whole Journey, integrative psychiatrist Dr. Sarah VanAnrooy has even used Vitamin D to treat depression! She has found that people experience substantial improvement in their symptoms within the first 2-4 weeks of integrating the use of Vitamin D, though it usually takes a full year of Vitamin D treatment to fully balance their health.
There are lots of foods that are high in Vitamin D (like Cod Liver Oil, Wild Caught Fish, Raw Milk, Oysters, Beef Liver & Egg Yolks) but the most efficient way for our bodies to attain “D” is through some good ole’ fashioned SUNSHINE!
Wanna Know How Your Body Converts Sunlight Into Vitamin D? OK, Let’s Get A Little Sciency!
“Your body is able to produce its own vitamin D3 when your skin is exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, specifically ultraviolet (UVB) radiation. When UVB rays hit your skin, a chemical reaction happens: Your body begins the process of converting a prohormone in the skin into vitamin D. [sources: The George Mateljan Foundation, Holick].
If you’re a nerd like me and you want to read more on this, then check out this Link.
I recently learned that in order for our skin to soak up all that luscious vitamin D that the sun is giving us, our skin must be unprotected! Yup, you read that right, I’m telling you to STOP wearing sunscreen, and instead Start Practicing Sensible Sun Exposure! Well, at least for the first half hour anyway. Here’s what I propose:
- Head outside and enjoy around 15 minutes of pure, unfiltered SUNSHINE.
- Learn how long you can be outside in the sun before you start to hit the Pink Zone (ie, your skin begins to turn a little pink). For me, I know this is about 30 minutes.
- Put on (a physical*) sunscreen about 15 minutes before you will begin to turn pink.
* you’ll learn more about the difference between a chemical sunscreen and a physical sunscreen in next week’s blog post.
It all goes back to learning your body and understanding how it works. So get out there and get yourself some Vitamin D (in moderation)! Your body will thank you!
Do you know what else contains Vitamin D? TALLOW from Grass Fed Cows! So head on over and get some of our luscious Body Butta to give your skin a little extra boost of Vitamin D!
Next week I’ll discuss different types of sunscreens, and some safe(r) alternatives that I’ve recently discovered!
Remember your skin is your Largest Organ. Treat It Well.