Saturday, June 12, 2010

Sunshine Makes Me Happy

“May flowers always line your path and sunshine light your day. May songbirds serenade you every step along the way. May a rainbow run beside you in a sky that's always blue. And may happiness fill your heart each day your whole life through.” -Irish Blessing

Finally we got some summer-like weather today!  I don't know about you but I have really been needing some sun!   One can only keep up a positive outlook during a record rainy June spell for so long!

Sunshine is incredibly good for the soul!   The light and warmth are mood-lifting, and people just seem friendlier on sunny days.   We got out in the garden today to weed and take an inventory of the state of our plants.  Pulled out our umbrella and patio furniture for lunch and listened and watched a softball tournement from our back patio.   There was a lot of summer noises all around.   Today just had "summer is finally here!" written all over it.

One of the most interesting things about the sun is that it is also very good for your body!  We hear a lot these days about the evils of sun exposure, and I think not enough about the benefits.   The sun is actually our best and biggest source of vitamin D.   Studies show that vitamin D is essential for building and maintaining healthy bones and muscles.  Deficiencies have been linked to various cancers, osteoporosis, heart disease and multiple sclerosis- just to name a few!  

You can get vitamin D from eating salmon or drinking fortified milk, but unlike dietary or supplementary vitamin D, the sunshine variety is better processed by our bodies which take what it needs, and de-metabolizes any extra. That’s critical, because too much ‘D’ from dietary supplements may cause the body to over-process calcium and nobody really knows for sure how much supplementary vitamin D is safe.

90 percent of the vitamin D we make comes naturally from sunlight exposure to our skin.  YOU NEED SUNLIGHT.  Just 10-15 minutes of sunbeam exposure a day is enough to replenish (If you skin is darker it may take another 5-10 minutes more than that to do the trick)    

Wearing sunblock (min 25 SPF) is still recommended and very smart self care- the good news is that Vitamin D is sunblock proof! 

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