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  • Writer's pictureAdrienne Beaupré, Holistic Nutrition Consultant

Natural Health in the Sun Part 1 of 3- Sensible Sunshine For Health

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

Sun hat, sunscreens and sunglasses
Some sun safety support!

As you know, avoiding sun burns is really important; but did you know that sun exposure is also essential? The question becomes, what’s the right amount of sun and how do we safely get what we need?

I’m light skinned, I've only freckled and never tanned and have always burned easily in the past. Luckily, my mom has been sun health aware for a long time. Growing up we went to the lake most summer mornings. Our beach blanket was often up by the tree line so we could get shade between swimming sessions. We wore T-shirts in the water (pre-rash guard!) and sun block was applied before we left home and re-applied if we stayed more than a few hours.

In the past several years, I’ve spent as much time as I can in my yard, often 4-6 hours a day, several days a week. I just love to garden. I work back and forth from the sun to the shade in balance for my body to prevent sun over exposure or burns. I wear a hat when in the direct sun for more than 20 min, add a light weight long sleeve shirt if I’m going back into the sun when I feel I’ve had enough exposure. I haven’t used sun block in years, except for when at the beach, boating or at a field setting, where I know I can’t control my sun exposure. I use non-toxic sun block and love that modern zinc and titanium based sun blocks are now non-nanoparticle and don’t make you white!

Enjoying the sun and avoiding sunburn is a win-win!

From a natural health perspective our relationship with the sun is both ancient and essential for good health. Avoiding overexposure is the key to avoiding the risks of skin cancer.

Sensible Sun Exposure Benefits Your Health:

  • We need sun exposure daily to support nitric oxide production (good for vascular health), endorphin production (mood uplifting), vitamin D (supports immune function), circadian rhythm (body clock), cellular healing and cell differentiation. Yes, sun has important positive influences on mental health, vascular health, sleep and energy balance and immune health!

  • When weather allows, gradually build up your sun tolerance. Gradual exposure prevents overexposure. Work up to getting some unfiltered sun on your skin, and on your eyes without the use of sunglasses daily with a minimum goal of 20 min for mental health and circadian rhythm support.

  • People need 10-30 minutes per day of sun exposure to produce adequate Vitamin D. If you have darker skin, you may need up to 10x more as melanin (skin pigment) blocks UV Rays that trigger D synthesis.

  • Two great sun health references based on research done by Dr Michael Hollick over the last 45 years.

    • dminder App for location specific when and how much sun to get to optimize your D levels!

    • An Interview with Dr Michael Hollick, the first 20 min explain it all!

That's all for now, but remember to check out parts 2 and 3 for more natural health in the sun information!


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