Get Your Sunshine On!
It’s officially summer! This time of year gives us a great opportunity to unwind, have some fun outside and recharge our health. Most importantly, we’re able to get a significant amount of Vitamin D at this time of year.
Vitamin D is crucial for our health and happiness (research is showing low levels can contribute to depression). It is a factor in so many healthy functions of the body and if we have it in insufficient amounts, we’re in trouble. ”When skin is exposed to sunshine, it makes vitamin D3, a prohormone that gets converted into prehormones that have significant effects on the body. Vitamin D3 is critically important for the development, growth, and maintenance of a healthy body. In other words, you or your kids cannot be healthy without sufficient levels. In addition to strengthening immunity and protecting against infections, vitamin D protects against many types of cancer and actually decreases the risk of skin cancer. There is evidence suggesting that vitamin D may help or cure asthma. There are even some findings that suggest that low vitamin D levels (in mothers during pregnancy and in infants) may affect the risk of autism.” (Healthy Child at www.healthychild.com) So, now is the time to take advantage of the sun’s healing effects!
Allow you and your children to get exposure to sunlight (as much skin exposure as possible) for between 10 – 30 minutes a day. The fairer the skin, the less time you need. The darker your skin, the more time you’ll need. Allow your skin to begin turning slightly pink (without burning) and then take some shade or apply some non-toxic sunscreen.
800 sunscreens were tested by the Environmental Working Group and they found that only 25 percent of them effectively protect against sunburn without using toxic and harmful ingredients. There are some great zinc-based alternatives on the market that will actually protect you from getting burned that don’t contain toxic ingredients. A couple of the brands that I have tried and like are by Lavera and Substance.
The sun is our friend. So take (most) of your clothes off, get outside and allow it to do it’s thing with you. You’ll be healthier and happier for it. As Canadians, our window of opportunity is so short. Take advantage!
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