The Case for Sunshine

Did you know that it is nearly impossible to get enough Vitamin D from diet alone? Vitamin D is critical to healthy cell function. So if we can't get all that we need from our diet, where do we get it? From healthy sun exposure. 

Megan Ware RDN LD says, "Despite the name, vitamin D is considered a pro-hormone and not actually a vitamin. Vitamins are nutrients that cannot be created by the body and therefore must be taken in through our diet.

However, vitamin D can be synthesized by our body when sunlight hits our skin.

It is estimated that sensible sun exposure on bare skin for 5-10 minutes 2-3 times per week allows most people to produce sufficient vitamin D, but vitamin D breaks down quite quickly, meaning that stores can run low, especially in winter."  A 30-minutes sunbathing session on a summer day, can produce 10,000 IU of vitamin D! It has also been shown that the darker your skin is, the more sun exposure you need. 

Vitamin D is important for healthy bones, regulating insulin, supports the health of the immune system, brain, and nervous system, and has a powerful mood-elevating effect, which can enhance productivity at work. So if you're in an office all day - take that lunch time walk and try to get sun on your bare arms to soak it in. 

Getting regular sunlight suggests you are spending time outdoors, appreciating open space and breathing in fresh air. The effect of getting sunlight in these experiences leads to stress-reducction. Your cells become energized thus you do too!

So before you rush to put on sunscreen, let your body soak in the sun for that precious vitamin D conversion. Your mood and your cells that make up your body will thank you.