THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF SUNLIGHT
We are well aware that there can be dangers of over exposure to the sun, but did you know that sunlight offers many benefits to human health?
One of the amazing properties of sunlight is that it is converted to Vitamin D through the skin, in a similar way to how plants convert sunlight into food. This vitamin is essential for healthy bones, teeth, muscles, and your immune system.
Scientists have found a link between Vitamin D DEFICIENCY and a number of serious chronic illnesses - see my article here. They have also found a link between chronic illness and a person’s location. The least sunny places on Earth see a higher incidence of chronic illness.
Maintain your Vitamin D levels with sunlight
Advice from the Alliance of Natural Health is to:-
Expose around 80% of your body to the sun for around 15–20 mins every day during the summer. If you’re dark skinned, you may need up to 6 times longer to achieve the same result. Never burn your skin in the sun. Stay out half the time it takes to turn pink and then cover up or move into the shade. But if you live in the UK, you probably need to take a Vitamin D supplement, at least in the winter months.
Most sunscreens contain chemicals that are ‘hormone disruptors’ such as parabens. This is a preservative and does nothing to protect your skin. You can make your own sunscreen with coconut oil and zinc oxide. Message me for the recipe.
Serotonin and melatonin
Exposure to sunlight increases the brain's release of a hormone called serotonin, known as the feel good hormone. Low serotonin levels are linked to depression. Serotonin is converted to melatonin in darkness. Melatonin is a hormone which helps you to sleep but also protects and repairs UVR skin damage!
As a nation we are spending increasingly more time indoors, never more so than in recent times. So, get out in the sun, and enjoy its free health benefits!
THE IMPORTANCE OF VITAMIN D IN IMMUNITY
I have previously written about the health benefits of sunlight which we convert to Vitamin D through our skin. But now we're officially in autumn, it's a good time to consider whether we need additional Vitamin D and why.
Am I deficient in Vitamin D?
The NHS says, “During autumn and winter the sun isn't strong enough in the UK to produce vitamin D. That means we have to rely on getting it just from the food we eat but it's difficult to get enough vitamin D from food alone. Taking a supplement helps to keep levels of the vitamin topped up during the colder months.”
Older people are especially affected. It is estimated that between 40-100% of European elderly men and women are vitamin D deficient.
Colds and flu
“Vitamin D combats both bacterial and viral infections, “- William B. Grant, PhD, Director, Sunlight, Nutrition, and Health Research Center.
How much do I need?
The Vitamin D Council recommends adults take 125 mcg/day, children 25 mcg/day per 25 lbs (11 kg) of body weight and infants 25 mcg/day.
Chronic illnesses linked to Vitamin D deficiency
Research has linked many chronic illnesses to Vitamin D deficiency including:-
Other important nutrients for a healthy immune system
Many consider that as well as Vitamin D, Vitamin C and zinc are important, for children as well as adults. For recommended daily requirements, and other useful information, see NUTRITIONAL PROTOCOLS (The Alliance of Natural Health).
Vitamin D and Chronic Diseases
Benefits of Sunlight: A Bright Spot for Human Health