Sunshine on Your Shoulder…

Although you have been cautioned about the effects of over-exposure to the sun, you may be missing the many benefits that sunlight produces in our bodies and overall health.

  • Sunlight kills germs and builds the immune system– number of white blood cells increases along with their effectiveness
  • Sunlight calms the nerves –your nervous system responds favourably to sunlight. It can help those that are stressed to relax and can also pick up the mood of those struggling with fatigue. Sunlight elevates mood for most people by increasing the production serotonin in your brain
  • Sunlight increases the endorphins – your brain manufactures and gives you a sense of well-being
  • Sunlight aids digestion – Another benefit of sunlight is that it stimulates your appetite, digestion, elimination, and metabolism.
  • Sunlight synchronizes Hormones in our bodies
  • Sunlight in moderation gives a healthy glow of natural beauty to the skin – a definite advantage of sunlight is that it gives us a healthy looking complexion.
  • Sunlight is one of the greatest sleep inducers – especially when you combine it with any form of physical exercise. Outdoor natural light is much brighter (sun 3000 lux) than indoor light (400 lux). Natural light exposure in daytime increases melatonin output at night.
  • Sunlight helps to lower cholesterol – sensible sun exposure can help lower cholesterol naturally.
  • Prevents certain cancers
  • It is crucial for the vitamin D and is the best form of vitamin D

Vitamin D… Still discovering its benefits

  • Key role in helping brain work in later life
  • May reduce risk of developing MS
  • May reduce the severity and symptoms of asthma
  • Shown to reduce the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis
  • People with TB recover more rapidly
  • Linked to maintaining a healthy body weight
  • People with high levels have a lower risk of getting cancer
  • Important role in the metabolism of calcium and phosphorous, which have various functions, especially the maintenance of healthy bones
  • An immune system regulator

Insufficient Vitamin D

  • Associated with increased
  • Types 1 & 2 Diabetes
  • Increased Cardiovascular disease
  • Increased Osteoporosis
  • Increased risk of cancer

How much Vitamin D?

From October to April in Saskatchewan, the sun’s rays are too low of an angle to obtain any vitamin D through your skin. It is very important that you supplement Vitamin D during these months. The Better Living Centre carries a quality source of Vitamin D. Vitamin D3 absorbs better and is retained longer than vitamin D2. Vitamin D should also be taken along with Vitamin K2. Contact Glenda, our nutritional consultant at Better Living Nutrition. She can help you determine how much vitamin D you should be taking.

Sun Cautions

  • Limit long term exposure in sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Use generous amounts of sunscreen if out for a length of time. Read the label. Health food stores carry sunscreens that are much less toxic. Reapply every 2 hours. Note: spend at least 10 minutes outside without sunscreen so you can get your daily dose of vitamin D—the best source!
  • The Australians say:
    • SLIP on a shirt
    • SLOP on plenty of sunscreen
    • SLAP on a wide-brimmed hat
  • If you have sunburned 5+ times, your chance of skin cancer doubles
  • Skin damage from ultraviolet (UV) radiation ages 0-20 often shows up at midlife
  • Be cautious of Winter Sun. Although you cannot get Vitamin D you can get Ultra violet rays. Winter sun reflects as much as 80% ofthe Ultra violet rays (water & sand 15-20 %) Skiers and snowboarders have higher incidence of facial skin cancer.
  • Summer Vitamin D. During the spring/summer (between April and October) – 10 to 15 minutes of noon-time sun will give you all the vitamin D you need as well as the other benefits listed above. You will know you are once again able to get vitamin D from the rays of the sun when your shadow is shorter than your actual height. As ironic as this sounds, the National Cancer Institute reports that sun exposure is linked to better survival in patients with Melanoma cancer. Some sun is extremely beneficial for us. It is usually safe to be out this long without sunscreen. Baby skin, extremely fair-skinned people need to be more cautious. Listen the to the UV index for that day. If you are dark skinned you will need to be out in the sun longer—usually 20 to 30 minutes. Try to get outside every day, not just on weekends for optimal sunshine. The area on your body that absorbs the most vitamin D is your trunk. If you work indoors, ask your boss for a picnic table out in the sun so you can go out at lunch time. A little Saskatchewan sun from the months of April to October will do wonders for your health!!
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