It’s officially summer!
For me that means long days, hot nights, and Kansas thunderstorms. It means dirt under my fingernails, vine ripe tomatoes, and mosquito bites that beg to be itched.
It means a leg-burn every time I sit down on the leather seat of my car.
And it means more time in the sun.
You probably know that your body produces vitamin D from sunshine. But did you also know…
Vitamin D is technically a hormone. It’s a chemical messenger that regulates calcium and promotes healthy bones and teeth. It also may prevent cancer and other degenerative diseases.
Our body synthesizes vitamin D from cholesterol and a certain type of sun rays called UVB rays.
Our body can produce extra vitamin D and store it for use in the darker days of winter, helping us stay sufficient all year round.
It’s important to get LOTS of sunshine in the summer months so we go into the winter with plenty of reserves. Here are three tips for getting more vitamin D this summer:
1. Look at your shadow
The amount of vitamin D we synthesize depends on the angle of the sun and how much atmosphere is blocking its rays. The sun is weaker in the winter months because of its angle, and the same thing applies in the morning and evening. The best time for vitamin D is around mid-day, so here’s an easy trick to let you know if you’re “in D-zone.” (Pun intended. Sorry.)
The best time to get vitamin D is when your shadow is shorter than you are.
Take a look behind you and start soaking up the sun when it’s at it’s peak.
2. Use sunscreen when necessary – But when it’s not, don’t
To be clear, it’s never good to get sunburned. Wear sunscreen or protective clothes when you’re going to be out for a long period of time and could get burned.
But also know that sunscreen blocks UVB rays, which means it decreases vitamin D production.
Be wise, but don’t be afraid to show some bare skin for at least a few minutes each day.
3. Eat more fish!
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, and one of the best food sources is fatty fish.
Adding wild-caught fish to your diet – and eating pasture raised meats, dairy, and eggs – will increase your intake of vitamin D.
What are your favorite ways to get vitamin D? Do you like to hike, swim, or nap outdoors? Or are you a full-on European-style sunbather? 😉
Leave a comment below and let me know!
Have a happy, healthy Tuesday,