11. Love the Sunshine
Sunshine is our main source of vitamin D. It is important to get out in the open every day if possible to make sure you get enough of this essential nutrient.
Vitamin D controls so many functions - from reducing inflammation, to boosting mood, building bones, building the immune system and even preventing cancer. Today, many people worldwide are vitamin D deficient. Most of us simply don't have enough exposure to sunlight, whether because of the overuse of sunscreen (which blocks 97% of our body's vitamin D production) or because we live in a northern climate or because we do not get enough natural dietary Vitamin D (fatty wild fish like herring, mackerel and cod liver oil). When our bodies are exposed to sunlight, as much as 80% - 100% of the vitamin D our bodies need comes from the sun. Even aside from vitamin D, regular safe sunlight exposure is known to enhance energy and mood through the release of endorphins. Here are some healthy sun exposure tips:
- Avoid burning. Build up your tolerance by starting early in the spring. Build up to 15 to 30 minutes maximum of unprotected exposure no more than 4 times a week.
- Expose as much skin as you can, not just face and arms.
- Increase your intake of antioxidant rich foods by eating several servings of vegetables and fruits. These foods boost your body's natural 'internal sunscreen' by strengthening skin cells and helping to protect them from any sun damage.