Summer is a wonderful time when countless people and families look to spend more time outside enjoy the warmer days. With all this time outside there are a few questions that often arise. Do we need sun exposure? What can I do if I don’t get enough sun?
How the Sun is Harmful
When talking about the sun, many people are concerned about the damaging effects of the sun on the human body. Rightly so, as the sun has the potential to cause cancer and severe burns if not properly managed. Research has shown that getting much more than 15-30 minutes per day, for light-skinned people, or 2-3 hours per day for dark-skinned people, during mid-day, could be detrimental to your health. The good news is that avoiding direct sunlight or limiting damage is as easy as applying sunscreen. Carrot seed oil is highly recommended as a natural sunscreen as it significantly blocks the harmful effects of UVB rays while eliminating the exposure of toxic chemicals.
Why the Sun is Essential
But, if the sun is so harmful, why do so many doctors recommend getting exposure? It is all about vitamin D. The sun is very important when it comes to the body producing vitamin D. When skin is exposed to sunlight, the cholesterol in the skin reacts and provides energy for vitamin D synthesis. Some researchers have found that during peak sunrise (mid-day) the exposure times listed above could produce as much as 10,000 International Units (IU) of vitamin D. This is a significant amount and can be quite beneficial for restoring any depleted levels. Vitamin D deficiencies have been linked to several different types of cancers as well as depression and osteoporosis. It is estimated that around 40% of people are deficient in vitamin D. The daily recommended dose of vitamin D is 600 IU per day, however, mega doses around 10,000 IU are recommended to fill any deficiencies. Please refer to our blog titled “Signs You Might Be Deficient in Vitamin D” for more information on this vital nutrient.
What to Do When You Are Not Getting Enough Sun
While spending time in the sun can be enjoyable and healthy, it’s not always possible to get enough exposure. Many people find that they can’t make it outside during the mid-day (during its peak) and they may miss out on the benefits. This is most common in people who have indoor jobs. In this situation, there are a few things people can do to get their fill of sun.
1. Schedule time during lunch or during any work breaks to go outside for a short walk.
2. Install light bulbs that simulate sunlight indoors.
3. Supplement the body with vitamin D3 supplements. While natural sun exposure is ideal, supplementing will help fill any gaps when the sun is not available.