“Here comes the sun,” the Beatles chorused. And as children most of us heeded the call enjoying long lazy days in the sun, laughing and cherishing time with friends. As we grew older, however, we were told the sun?s rays were destructive; the ozone layer was near depletion. Soon many asked: ?Why leave the house in the first place??
Is it any wonder researchers are finding us vitamin D deficient (Ref. Harvard Health Letter 2006)? To understand why this is significant it is first important to inquire: What exactly does Vitamin D do? Yes, Vitamin D is necessary for strong bones and teeth, but what most don?t know is it is key in reducing the risk of many types of cancer including breast, colon , prostate and ovarian (Ref. The American Journal Of Public Health).
Studies now conclude that 15 minutes in diffused sunlight can set off the metabolic process in skin which creates vitamin D. Yet before tanning yourself beyond recognition: use your head. This is not permission to stay in the sun for long periods as its aging qualities are still applicable. Limit yourself to 15 minutes and choose parts of the day when you are not in direct sunlight. You know, even on a cloudy day you are absorbing the suns rays and it can also penetrate through clothing. Therefore, if you do choose to increase your exposure; use common sense.
If the sun or outdoor activities are not for you, there are other options to stock up on vitamin D as well. Salmon is rich with vitamin D, for example, as is milk. Or you could opt for cod-fish based supplements with vitamin D added. These additions to your diet are well worth your time and research. As always, do your homework and consult with your healthcare provider to choose a vitamin D option for you. Perhaps a healthy dose of fun in the sun will be just what the doctor ordered.