Sunshine makes everything feel better! Sunlight is one of the best sources of vitamin D for our bodies. Vitamin D helps us maintain healthy bones and teeth and helps protect us from a range of illnesses too. But it’s important to understand how to safely get the vitamin D you need without damaging your skin. This blog explains how to safely get vitamin D from sunlight.
How does our skin get vitamin D from sunlight?
When your skin is exposed to sunlight it generated vitamin D from cholesterol. UVB rays (the sun’s ultraviolet rays) reach the cholesterol in the skin and provides the energy for vitamin D generation.
What are the risks of not getting enough vitamin D?
Lack of vitamin D can cause weak bones and/or teeth. It has also been linked with fostering illnesses like depression, osteoporosis and muscle weakness.
What foods contain vitamin D?
Fish oil, egg yolks, sardines, salmon and beef liver are all foods that contain vitamin D. If you’re not a fan of sea food or are vegetarian you should consult your doctor to find out about an appropriate vitamin D supplement.
How to safely expose yourself to sunlight
Midday is when UVB rays are the strongest, which means you can efficiently get the sunlight you need in only a few minutes.
People with darker skin have more melanin. Melanin is a compound that absorbs UVB light to protect your skin. Because people with darker skinned people have more melanin they can afford to spend a bit more time in the sun than people with light skin.
More skin exposure, means more vitamin D. 10 – 30 minutes a day, three days a week, in a shorts and/or t-shirt will do the trick! Remember to wear a thin layer of sunscreen to protect the skin from burning.