Sun is essential. How can you get more
My children are both lifeguards, spending all day, 5 days a week on French coastal beaches during the summer. And, they wear very little sunscreen!
It’s only when there’s a massive heat wave (like right now) and the sun is relentless for days on end that they need to wear sunscreen. My son has it easier. Like me, he doesn’t really burn.
My daughter is the opposite. But, she manages to mostly avoid sunscreen using my secret strategy. More on this later!
As for me, when summer is in full swing, all I can think about is getting out into the sea and the beautiful sun!
You’re perhaps unsure what you should do, the list of sun-uncertainties is long. Do you avoid the sun? Do you put on sunscreen? Which factor? Do you avoid the sun between 12-4pm, or wear long sleeve shirts?
The bottom line is that regular sun exposure is both good and necessary. So, let’s get the basics straight!
SUN IS ESSENTIAL TO YOUR EXISTENCE
Without the sun’s heat and light, the earth would be a lifeless ball of ice-coated rock. Although some microorganisms living in the Earth’s crust would survive without the Sun, the majority of life would enjoy only a brief post-sun existence. Photosynthesis would halt immediately, and most plants would die in a few weeks!
⏩ It is not just plants that absorb and metabolise sunlight. Human beings do it too! I covered this in a newsletter last year. You can find it in my online Health Guides here.
SUN IS ESSENTIAL FOR YOUR GOOD HEALTH
⏩ The human eye contains photosensitive cells in the retina. These cells are stimulated by the sunlight, and in particular, from the blue light spectrum. Most importantly, these cells have connections directly to the three hormonal glands of critical importance to the body.
The three hormonal glands are located in the brain, and work synergistically to control the major functions in the body.
⏩ Scientific research shows us that regular exposure to UVB from sunlight and to vitamin D reduces your risk of:
- different types of cancers (including breast, colorectal, lung, prostate, melanoma),
- heart disease,
- multiple sclerosis,
⏩ Sun exposure increases your white blood cells, your army against germs, viruses and infection.
⏩ Sun is vital for pregnant women & their babies: it helps prevent preeclampsia (a condition that causes maternal & foetal death). The more optimal the level of vitamin D of a pregnant woman, the lesser the risk of the child’s future health complications.
OPTIMUM VITAMIN D LEVELS ARE ESSENTIAL TO OUR HEALTH
⏩ Precious vitamin D! Exposing the body to sunlight, for even as little as 10-15 minutes, allows us to produce vitamin D.
⏩ This sunshine vitamin is not really a vitamin at all. It is a prohormone that the body produces. Because it is a prohormone, it influences the entire body.
Here are just a few really important benefits of vitamin D.
- Protective effects against cancers
- Antiviral & antibacterial properties
- Cardiovascular health
- Immune boosting & immune modulating properties
- Bone strength and health
- Protects pregnant women against preeclampsia
- Diabetes – blood sugar health
- Neurological and cognitive health
- Maintenance of overall health
- Cellular growth and development
WHEN SHOULD I EXPOSE MYSELF TO SUN
There are 3 ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths: UVA, UVB & UVC.
🌤 UVA is considered the ” bad guy ” because it penetrates the skin more deeply and can cause more free radical damage (premature ageing of the cells). UVA rays are quite constant during daylight hours throughout the entire year.
🌤 UVB is considered ” the good guy ” – it’s the wavelength that helps the skin produce vitamin D. However, to catch UVB rays, we simply cannot avoid UVA. The best time to catch the UVB rays is around noon time (depending on your geographical location).
Do be careful though.
Moderation is the key here. Build your tan progressively. If you burn easily, this may mean only 10-15min for you. Otherwise, cover yourself, keep to the shade, or, when really necessary, use sunscreen. Try to find a natural version that works for you.
🌤 UVC, the shortest & most damaging of all UV rays, never reach the earth because they are completely filtered by the atmosphere. This is why in places where the protective ozone layer is damaged, you need to protect yourself and be extremely cautious.
WHICH PART OF THE BODY
The most important part to be exposed to the sun is not your face but your arms, legs and torso. You need to expose at least 40% of the body without sun-blocking sunscreen!
SUNSCREEN OR NOT?
1️⃣ You can start by eating lots of colourful fruit and veggies. They’re filled with antioxidants which will make you more resistant to burns. (This is what my kids do.)
2️⃣ Take astaxanthin in summer. This is one of the most powerful antioxidants, protects skin cells from UV radiation (therefore a natural sun blocker) and is one of the best cures to treat sun allergies. (Also what my kids do.)
Finally, my children have also been exposed to the sun without sunscreen a lot (and carefully) in their life, and have gradually built resistance. You can do the same.
Again, this is my advice:
Start by first taking astaxanthin and gradually build up your tan. Make sure your diet is high in antioxidants, and then you can slowly start decreasing the amount and the frequency of your sunscreen.
Love & light, Dejana ✨
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