A HEALTHY YOU
Benefits of Sunshine (and Vitamin D)
By the time March rolls around most of us are eager to get outside and start to really enjoy springtime in New England.
One of the many advantages to getting outside in the fresh air is the exposure to Vitamin D we get from the sunlight. Vitamin D has many roles in the body and is essential for peek health but unfortunately most people who live in the northeast don’t get enough of this very important vitamin.
It is estimated that more than 40% of American adults have a vitamin D deficiency. Since vitamin D is produced from cholesterol in your skin when it’s exposed to the sun, getting enough sunlight is very important for maintaining optimal vitamin D levels. Low Vitamin D levels have been correlated with many health issues including increased cases of depression, cancer, and osteoporosis.
Very few foods contain significant amounts of vitamin D although foods such as salmon, canned tuna, beef liver, egg yolks and sardines provide high amounts. While Vitamin D supplements are an effective way to maintain Vitamin D levels, because Vitamin D is made in the skin when it’s exposed to sunlight, the best bet to increase levels is to get outside and get some sunshine.
Midday is the best time to get sunlight as the sun is at its highest point then, and its UVB rays are strongest and your body may produce it most efficiently mid-day. As a result, less time is needed in the sunlight at midday.