Adequate sun exposure maximizes vitamin D production, so it’s important not to apply sunscreen every time you step outdoors. The vitamin D council advises that a minimum of 40% of the body should receive direct sun exposure for optimal vitamin D production. The hands and face produce little or no vitamin D, the legs and arms some, but the torso produces the most vitamin D when exposed to natural sunlight. Dr. Russell Blaylock, MD, author of the Blaylock Wellness Report states, “30 minutes of direct sunlight produces up to 50,000 IU of vitamin D.”
Vitamin D is vital to our health in so many ways. It aides in calcium absorption, strengthens bones and muscles, boosts immune function, and reduces your chances of cancer, heart problems and stroke. While you understand how important vitamin D is to wellness, if you are prone to sunburn, you may be reluctant to sunbathe. If your skin isn’t conditioned to the sun’s rays, start exposing it in small doses, 10 to 15 minutes a day without applying sunscreen, before the thermometer rises above 80°, and weeks in advance of your vacation at the beach.
The foods you eat and apply to your skin could boost your tolerance to the Sun and build a resistance to sunburn and sun damage.
Are you eating foods that protect you? Eating a whole foods diet promotes skin health from the inside-out. Studies show that consuming tomatoes helps reduce susceptibility to sunburns. Research indicates that the powerful antioxidant lycopene, which is found in tomatoes, provides an extra level of protection against sun damage. When we eat tomato paste and similar tomato products, we are consuming the nutrients which naturally protect growing tomato plants from summer sun damage: lycopene, tocopherols (vitamin E), and beta-carotene. Thus, we benefit from its antioxidants in a similar manner.
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