Thursday, May 17, 2012
Hello! I hope you have all been enjoying the longer days filled with sunshine, I know that here in San Francisco it feels like summer is just around the corner.
On that note, I'd like to talk about skin health and sunscreen. I'd imagine that most of us (myself included) were raised slathered in sunscreen and inundated with the notion that sun exposure is dangerous and will give us cancer. Now, thats not to say that continuous, extended overexposure to the sun will not cause damage, but getting the right amount in a safe way is necessary to our meet our bodies nutrient requirements! Particularly, that of Vitamin D, which plays a crucial role in our overall health.
Benefits of Vitamin D
- Increases cardiovascular function
- Promotes optimal cholesterol and blood pressure levels
- Increases muscle strength
- Essential for a healthy immune system, strong bones and teeth, and kidney function
2 Types of Sun Rays
- UVB: This type of sun ray is the "good" kind. It helps your skin produce Vitamin D, and is most prevalent mid-day.
- UBA: This type of sun ray is the "bad" kind. It penetrates the skin on a deeper level and can cause free radical damage, which is damaging to our cells. This type of ray is most prevalent during the morning and late afternoon hours. These are also the rays that can more easily penetrate through clouds, giving you those burns you didn't see coming.
So, how do I get the effects of Vitamin D without the sun damage???
While Vitamin D supplementation has been all the rage recently, getting natural sunlight is hands down the best way to absorb sunlight, as it allows our bodies to naturally produce the most beneficial form of the vitamin, vitamin D3, essential for proper cell and organ function. Safe, limited sunlight exposure without sunscreen is not only beneficial, but important. This means about 20 minutes per day with skin exposed. According to Dr. Mercola, here are a few reasons why:
"Safe sunlight exposure has also been shown to protect against as many as sixteen different types of cancer, including breast, colon, endometrial, esophageal, ovarian, bladder, gallbladder, gastric, pancreatic, prostate, rectal, and renal cancers, as well as non-Hodgkin's lymphoma."
It is a good idea to think about covering up with sunscreen and protective clothing if you find yourself in a situation with unavoidable extended sun exposure. However, keep in mind that out of all body care/hygiene products, sunscreen is the most toxic, with a myriad of scary cancer causing chemicals. Below is a list of chemicals to avoid, and some great alternative brands, also courtesy of Dr. Mercola (www.mercola.com).