The Matakana Naturopath
Seeking The Sun
Updated: Apr 1, 2020
We may be in lockdown with COVID-19, but staying indoors may be jeopardising our physical and mental health. So if you can within close proximity of your #STAYATHOME bubble, seek out some rays and harvest some vitamin D!
Seeing supplements jump off the shelf as fast as toilet paper, it may just be time to start using natural sources of vitamins and minerals.. that don't cost a thing and are sustainable enough to get us through these uncertain times.
UVB rays are the most absorbable source of VITAMIN D
Vitamin D is a 'fat-soluable' vitamin which means it is a cholesterol-like substance and has a role in autoimmune diseases, regulating the immune system, depression, pregnancy, allergies, brain development, bone mineralisation and cardiovascular health.
With winter fast approaching and an increased risk of developing influenza, adequate vitamin D levels now is extremely important. Vitamin D can be stored in the liver for up to three months, so making the most of the sunshine while you can will help you get through the darker months ahead.
Depression is on the rise. The current economic crisis, job loss, deaths and illness that surrounds us during this global pandemic of COVID-19 is enough to make any optimistic enthusiast fall into a dark slumber. Yes exercise, healthy eating, maintaining some sort of social connection are all very helpful for getting through tough times. However, when your world is caving in around you and those simple tasks are becoming difficult... SEEK THE SUN until you have enough warmth and lightness to grab some water, have a snack and reach out to someone you love - even if that someone is your cat. Have a chat.
Some things to note about absorbing
vitamin D from the sun:
1. Sunscreen blocks it out. Avoid it if you can. Try short bursts of quality sunshine (20mins) outside of the midday heat.
2. Long durations of sun exposure can inactivate some of the newly formed vitamin D, therefore short bursts are more efficient than long sun-bathing stints... (and better at reducing your risk of developing sun cancers)
3. Cigarette smoking also blocks absorption... So if you're still smoking and think that taking a puff outside will boost your vitamin D... Think again. 4. Clothing prevents absorption. Hey... If you can get some sunshine in the privacy of your own backyard, why not take it all off 😉
Not all D's are the same...
Vitamin D3 - Cholecalciferol. This is the form that is found in animal products, fish oils and is also produced in the body after exposure to the sun. If your location doesn't offer adequate sunshine, dietary intake of egg yolk, sardines, salmon are your pals!
Vitamin D2 - Ergocalciferol. This is the synthetic form found typically found in supplements and formication of foods such as bread and cereals. Vitamin D2 is also found in plant-based foods - mainly mushrooms.
Ingestible forms of vitamin D from food or supplementation have only a 50-80% absorption rate when entered via the gut... and variations can also be considered for those with digestive complications regarding bile salts and/or fat metabolism.
Therefore your best bet for adequate vitamin D.... is to seek the sun!
Stay safe, stay healthy, stay inside (but get some sunshine)