The sun is extremely beneficial for our bodies- it gifts us with the highest amount of natural Vitamin D, which is a very vital nutrient for proper functioning and improved immunity, and the warm rays can improve mood and sleep quality. In fact, we all need to get about 20 minutes of unblocked sun on a daily basis to get adequate amounts of Vitamin D into our bodies. That being said, there are some guidelines to follow to ensure that you do not burn your skin with too much sun exposure.
– Prep your body for sun exposure. If you are not used to being in the sun unprotected, start with 5 minutes a day for one week, and increase by 5 minutes each week thereafter until you are getting 15-30 minutes each day.
– Eat foods that prepare your body internally and protect against harmful UV radiation effects:
o Red Apples (block/kill cancer cells)
o Green Tea (fights free radicals/decrease inflammation)
o Strawberries/Kiwis/Oranges (block development of cancer cells/decrease inflammation)
o Watermelon/Tomatoes (protect against UV radiation-induced effects)
o Carrots/Sweet Potatoes (protect against/repairs cells from UV radiation-induced effects)
o Fish/Avocados/Coconut (Decrease inflammation)
– Use natural, organic sun screens. Many of the common creams out there are filled with toxic chemicals that are harmful to the skin (ironic, huh?). Some good brands include Coola, Raw Elements, Aubrey Organics, Alba Botanica, and Dr. Mercola.
– Use clothing, hats, umbrellas, and sunglasses to cover your skin from the sun- they are easy ways to get protection without having to lather chemicals onto your skin.
– Drink lots of water!
– If burned, apply aloe Vera (from the actual leaf, which you can buy at the grocery store). Cut the tip of the leaf, and rub the gel-like liquid over the skin. You can also put aloe Vera in your drinks for extra hydration.
– Drink even more water! The sun dries out your skin, so beat dehydration with some good H2O.
– Cucumbers all around! Slice ‘em up, and put them in your water, on a salad, or even on your skin- they are incredibly hydrating and have high antioxidant healing properties.
– Rub coconut oil on your body to help replenish the skin- healthy fats are key to good health (especially skin health!)
Same rules apply when it is an overcast day- do not be fooled by the sneaky clouds!