Back in the Middle Ages, pale skin denoted nobility since only field workers (i.e., serfs) were tanned as a result of spending their entire day working outside. Hence, the shade of your skin became a sign of the class to which you belonged (as if the clothes you wore, or the jewelry you adorned your body with, the carriage you rode, the language you spoke, etc., wasn’t sufficient). Today, most of us have been scared into a frenzy of being exposed to the “harmful” rays of the sun less we burn to a crisp or die of cancer induced by our exposure them. Yet, without the sun, and its UV rays, life on Earth would be impossible. From plants who need exposure to the sun to complete their photosynthesis and provide nourishment to us either in the form of vegetables and/or fruits, or nourishment to the animals who then feed us, to our need of sun rays to, among other things, synthesize Vitamin D. Additionally, emerging research suggests the possible role of vitamin D in protecting against cancer, heart disease, bone fractures, autoimmune diseases, influenza, type 2 diabetes, and even depression. Furthermore, Vitamin D is absolutely essential for allowing us to absorb calcium into our bodies and create strong bones, not to mention maintain them.
Sunlight gives us vitamin D, an essential element to our survival that our bodies are incapable of manufacturing.1 Yet, each summer we slap on sunscreen (most of which are replete with toxic chemicals which do more harm to your health than the sun itself --- try coconut oil for a healthier sunscreen), shade ourselves from the sun’s rays, and bemoan our wrinkled skin. Yet, experts agree that exposure to the sun replenishes our Vitamin D supplies without having to spend money purchasing supplements, which may or may not be Vitamin D, and/or may or may not contain toxic fillers (full disclosure: EcoStar Health, LLC provides Vitamin D supplements manufactured by Biotics Research Corporation). You will not get this Vitamin D if you slap on sunscreen. However, this means that we must take certain precautions because, like almost everything, the secret is in moderation. According to most experts, the greatest value in sun exposure is when our skin turns slightly pink which, for most of us means 20 minutes daily.
Whenever we think of the sun, one word should come to mind: “Oxidation.” That’s because, while the sun is essential to life, it also causes oxidation. That’s why plants which have the greatest exposure to sunlight also have the highest levels of anti-oxidants. For example, homegrown tomatoes are higher in anti-oxidants than hot house tomatoes. The stresses of wind, sun and lack of water in homegrown tomatoes causes oxidation forcing the plant to adapt by manufacturing more anti-oxidants. Hence, as you increase your exposure to sun, you also need to increase your level of anti-oxidants. That’s crucially important for all those who work under the sun everyday such as construction workers, farmers, postal workers, landscapers, etc., all of whom are exposed to excess oxidation, especially if in addition they are exposed to toxic chemicals such as smog, car/truck exhaust, asphalt fumes, etc. So as we increase our exposure to the sun it is important to increase our consumption of foods that are rich in color (kale, tomatoes, radishes, spinach, etc.) and supplement with a broad range of anti-oxidant formula, such as Bio-Protect,2 as part of our daily nutrient regimen.
Another concern in the summer time is electrolyte imbalance. Some people develop a strange cycle of fatigue, lethargy and apathy as the summer progresses. They start out strong in May and, by mid-June when the summer heat turns up, find themselves struggling for energy. Most of the people don’t start feeling bad until they start sweating. So it’s not a vacation from a stressful job and life that you need, but an increase in minerals and unrefined Celtic or Himalayan salt. This has the added benefits of not exposing you to other fillers which your body doesn’t need, and extra calories which your gut doesn’t need.
Dr. David Brownstein, author of “Salt your way to health”, articulates the value of electrolytes. The book eloquently discusses how unrefined salt is needed for healthy adrenal glands (which most of us have over-burdened by continuously being stressed out), proper thyroid function, and detoxification. With low salt diets, our bodies retain the toxic bromine that is present in so many of our refined bakery products. Dr. Brownstein suggests that we ingest ¼ teaspoon of unrefined salt per quart of water.
Avid gardeners spearing weeds and squatting with wheelbarrows of dirt and vegetables may also want to consider nutrients to help with “athletic” injuries. A useful proteolytic enzyme is Biotics’ Intenzyme Forte.3 A double-blind study has shown that proteolytic enzymes significantly reduce skin temperatures. So Intenzyme Forte is effective if you do get too much sun.
So I say we should go out there and have some fun in the sun…with moderation!
What say you?