Get Some Sun!
The sun is important for our well-being!
If you get outside for a walk during the day, you’ll notice you feel better afterward and it’s partly due to the sun exposure! Vitamin D is an important thing we get from sun exposure. According to a 2009 study, three-quarters of Americans are deficient in vitamin D! Prolonged deficiency in vitamin D is dangerous and can cause issues such as osteoporosis, light-headedness, excessive sweating, fatigue, depression, and research also suggests it has a role in the advancement of breast, colon, ovarian, and prostate cancer.
Sun exposure is the best way to meet your vitamin D needs. When your skin is exposed to the sun without sunscreen for roughly 10 minutes, you likely absorb about 10,000 units of natural vitamin D (the amount varies based on skin tone). Most experts recommend getting 10 to 15 minutes of direct sunlight daily, without wearing sunscreen, if you are fair to medium toned. If you have dark skin, you will likely need more time in the sun to make enough vitamin D, possibly 40 minutes to one hour. If you are worried about the sun exposure for your skin, try applying sunscreen to only your face and hands but not your limbs (assuming your limbs are exposed). This will leave enough skin exposed to properly create the vitamin D you need.
One of my tricks is to put sunscreen on any exposed parts of my body—like legs, hands, neck—just prior to going out for a walk everyday. Sunscreen takes about 15 minutes to actually kick in and start blocking the UV’s, which means I get a few minutes in the light before I’m fully screened!
Proper sun exposure actually has been shown to reduce the body’s cholesterol levels! This is in part because cholesterol is used to make vitamin D in the skin from the action of sunlight. Pretty cool, huh? See how things are a system of many processes that all work together to produce health?
Also regularly incorporate into your diet natural food sources of vitamin D!
Food sources of vitamin D
- Carp fish
- Maitake mushrooms
- Wild salmon
- Portobello mushrooms
- Rainbow Trout
- Egg yolks
- Raw milk
- Pork, particularly ribs
- Ricotta cheese