10 Reasons to Sunbathe This Summer

For goodness sake girls, how on Earth have we’ve managed to demonise the Sun!?

Where we live in the world determines the amount of sunshine available to us at any given time of year.  This Sunshine Calendar shows just how thankful we, in the UK, should be for the most amount we’re given.

But, instead of gearing up to get outside and soak up summer sunshine, we’re spending more and more time indoors, staring into techno devices or TV screens, bombarded with media hype, bringing us paranoid messages that we should run-from-the-sun, or slather on high factor sun-block to prevent any of the sun’s demonic rays reaching our body and giving us cancer!

Sunshine is damn fine medicine

But the reality is that careful sun exposure is damn fine medicine; over the millennia, we’ve evolved to live under the warmth of the sun. The ancients and traditional cultures knew how to use the sun’s healing rays to heal all kinds of illness.  The ancient Greeks (remember Hippocrates, the ‘father’ of modern medicine?) harnessed the healing power of the sun in sunlight therapy called ‘heliosis’ – now known as heliotherapy. In more recent times (pre-1945), this therapy was used to help sufferers of T.B. with patients laying outside in their hospital beds!

So what went wrong?  Well, consider for a moment the influence the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries have had on (wrongly) influencing medical opinion and in consequence, spawning sun-phobia.  In fact, so great has been their influence, that we are experiencing an unprecedented pandemic of Vitamin D deficiency (a crucial hormone, made in the skin from the interaction of Ultra Violet (UV) light and cholesterol) bringing with it an alarming rise in all kinds of chronic diseases.

In fact, the sun’s rays at the right time of day, at the right time of year, is our most important source of vitamin D and that’s especially so for women’s health!  Discover the many reasons why in my article “Why Women Should Track Their Vitamin D”.

But UV light just one of the Sun’s frequencies there are eight more: infra-red and seven spectrums of visible light – each with its own healing power.

Go girls, but go slowly!

So this summer girls, don’t run-from-the-Sun. Moderate exposure (optimally, 20 mins a day between the hours of 11am – 2pm) brings a whole bunch of benefits.  But remember: build up your tolerance slowly, day-by-day.  If you’re not used to the sun, then your skin will be more sensitive to it and you will burn!

But, before you start a slatherin’ on your favourite sunscreen – please, please think twice!  In your effort to protect yourself from the Sun’s burning rays and the dreaded ‘C’ word, you may be doing yourself much more harm than good.

Read why in Is Sunscreen Zapping Your Energy and Harming Your Health?

So what’s so hot about sunbathing?

I like how Marcus Fellicetti sums it up here:

”Here are 10 benefits of getting a moderate amount of sun exposure:

  1. Sunlight and whole foods send breast cancer into remission. The American physician Dr. Zane Kime used sunbathing and nutrition to cure his patients. Even in terminal cases, Dr. Kime was able to completely reverse the metastasized cancer.  (Note from me:  In fact, the active form of Vitamin D (calcitriol) has been shown to block the growth of cancer tumours, encouraging cells to either adapt to their particular organ or commit apoptosis (cell suicide).  A major study on Vitamin D and cancer prevention found that women and men with higher UVB exposure, respectively had half the incidence of breast and prostrate cancer as those with lower UVB exposure. Amazingly, researchers have also found that higher blood levels of Vitamin D actually protect against malignant melanoma (the most dangerous kind of skin cancer), thought to be caused by exposure to UV light!)
  2. The sun’s light kills bad bacteria. The German solders after WWI knew of the discoveries that had been made in 1903 by the Nobel Prize winner, Niels Finsen. They used sunlight to disinfect and heal wounds.
  3. Sunlight has a beneficial effect on skin disorders, such as psoriasis, acne, eczema and fungal infections of the skin.
  4. Sunlight lowers cholesterol. The sun converts cholesterol in the blood into steroid hormones and the sex hormones we need for reproduction. In the absence of sunlight, the opposite happens; substances convert to cholesterol.
  5. The sun’s rays lower blood pressure. Even a single exposure significantly lowers blood pressure in individuals with high blood pressure. On the other hand, pharmaceutical drugs such as statins have side effects, such as robbing the body of Coenzyme Q10. CoQ10 is essential for cellular and heart energy.
  6. Sunlight penetrates deep into the skin to cleanse the blood and blood vessels. Medical literature published in Europe showed that people with atherosclerosis (hardened arteries) improved with sun exposure.
  7. Sunlight increases oxygen content in human blood. And, it also enhances the body’s capacity to deliver oxygen to the tissues; very similar to the effects of exercise. The sun has a great effect on stamina, fitness and muscular development – it even helps us to live longer!
  8. Sunlight builds the immune system. The white blood cells, which increase with sun exposure, are called lymphocytes, and these play a major role in defending the body against infections.
  9. Regular sunlight exposure increases the growth and height of children, especially babies. Many cultures throughout history have recognized this fact. Studies have shown the amount of sun exposure in the first few months has an effect on how tall the person grows.
  10. Sunlight can cure depression. The noon sunshine can deliver 100,000 lux. When we sit in offices for the best part of the day, out of the sun, under neon and artificial lights (150-600 lux), we are depriving ourselves of the illumination of nature. Sunlight deprivation can cause a condition called seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a form of depression. It is more common in winter months, but also common in people who work long hours in office buildings.’’

REASON #11:  IT MAKES YOU FEEL  SO. DAMN. GOOD!

References:

Featured Image Credit: Endless Summer National Geographic

Mind Body Green: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-5999/10-Healing-Benefits-of-the-Sun.html

Red Light Therapy: https://redlighttherapy.lighttherapyoptions.com/infrared-light-therapy/

Visible Spectrum: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visible_spectrum

Using the Spectrum: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/standard/physics/health_physics/using_the_spectrum/revision/2/

Malcom Kendrick: https://drmalcolmkendrick.org/2016/03/23/sunbathing-is-good-for-you/

Mercola: The Healing Power of Sunlight: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/03/22/healing-power-sunlight.aspx

Ben Greenfield: Pink Makes You Docile: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2015/08/pink-makes-you-docile-orange-makes-you-buy-stuff-red-makes-you-mad-how-to-use-color-light-therapy-for-mood-cognition-healing-more/

Vitamin D Council – Melanoma: https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/health-conditions/melanoma/

WDDTY – Sunbathers live longer: https://www.wddty.com/news/2016/03/sunbathers-live-longer-and-avoiding-the-sun-could-be-as-dangerous-as-smoking.html

 

 

 

Izabella Natrins

After 30 years in the health space, as qualified holistic nutrition and lifestyle health coach, digestive health practitioner & nutritional chef and a writer, a speaker, partner, a mum & grand-mum, I'm here to use my expertise and experience to help women shine at midlife and live the rest of their lives, the BEST of their lives in much better health. My Femergy@40 Nutrition and Lifestyle Health Coaching programmes empower, support and inspire busy, midlife women who are fighting fatigue, struggling with overwhelm, weight, sleep, energy and with niggling or with multiple diagnosed health issues. My book Once Upon a Cook - Food Wisdom, Better Living will make you want to change the way you eat, reclaim your kitchen and take back your health.

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10 Responses

  1. Helen says:

    Great article! I totally agree. As a redhead who lived in Bermuda for 6 years people are horrified to hear I very rarely used sunscreen. Literally they look like I’m crazy when I admit it. When you live somewhere like that you don’t spend lots of amount of time in the sun and my skin built up a tolerance so I ever burnt when going about my daily life on my scooter. Coconut oil worked great for a little protection. The only days I used sunscreen was if I was going out on the boat for a full day and would be in and out of the water multiple times. I see so many people who are far too caucious with the sun these days and their health suffers for it.

  2. Jo Romero says:

    I love spending time in the sun – only problem is I burn very easily because my skin is really pale. As soon as I start to notice a slight pinkness I head indoors for a few hours until the sun’s a bit cooler or into the shade. I didn’t know it also lowered cholesterol though! Great post.

  3. A very thorough and once again well-written piece, especially loving the section on Vitamin D3 and cancer prevention/treatment. This blog is such a great and fascinating resource!

  4. Carolyn says:

    Loved reading this Isabella and I agree with you entirely. There is an unbelievable deluge of advice from the beauty industry telling women to put on sunblock every single day. The emphasis is always on appearance rather than health and is so damaging

    • Exactly! And it’s so wrong that, despite all the reasearch evidence to the contrary, the beauty industry is still allowed to persist with misinformation and fill their products with unlabelled toxic chemicals 😡

  5. Donna says:

    Wow! What a fascinating article Izabella, thanks you so much! Being from Africa we grew up either totally over exposed and then totally under exposed. What is needed is a good balance and common sense!

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