Regulated sun contact does wonders for our body. Exposed to the sun, our bodies produce vitamin D, which helps us absorb calcium. This in turn is responsible for sturdy, healthy bones. But there’s more to healthy sun exposure than vitamin D. It is, in fact, UVB from the sunlight that provides diverse, therapeutic benefits for the entire body.
Even though the sun is most intense during noon, it is also the most advantageous time for reaping these comprehensive benefits it has to offer. According to latest scientific findings, sun exposure between 11am to 2pm generates abundant vitamin D due to effective penetration of UVB into human skin. This in turn can prevent acne, psoriasis, eczema and other skin disorders. Furthermore, it facilitates muscular stimulation and relaxation, boosts the body’s immune system, helps reduce body odour, and aids in reducing inflammation throughout the body.
Here are some tips to help you benefit from the healing power of sunlight without suffering the detrimental side effects:
Be mindful of your background and skin’s ability to be out in the sun. The ailing, elderly and fair-skinned require just 10-15 minutes of sun exposure at peak hours. The young and darker-skinned may require comparatively more time in the sun to harness the benefits. Caution: Gradually work your way up to sun exposure and do not try to reap all on your first day!
Take protective measures through your diet intake by consuming foods rich in EPA, DHA, and astaxanthin which strengthen our immunity against UV damage. This can be done through the consumption of wild, fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines, as well as seaweed, green tea, and pastured butter.
According to some studies, recommended sun exposure is around noon. This would help you get the much-required UVB exposure as opposed to the UVA exposure that you get in the morning and late afternoon.
In case of intended prolonged sun exposure (20 minutes or more), please ensure that you go out only after applying a natural sunscreen.
You may also consider a prescription for a UVB-based heliotherapy lamp from your doctor. If you’re lucky, this might even be covered by your medical insurance.