This Country-Wide Fear Is Harming Your Health

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Written by: Sara Wylie

Did you know that in today’s day and age, the majority of the sun’s majestic beauty is enjoyed from indoors?

Today in America, the average child spends about 4-7 minutes a day playing in the sunlight. This is mostly due to the fact that there is a country-wide fear of sunburns and therefore, skin cancer stretching all across America.

This fear is not entirely unnecessary or irrational – it is true that sunburns are risk factors for developing skin cancer.

But at the same time, this knowledge and fear has caused America as a whole to set itself up for a number of other risk factors by taking its defense against this fear to extreme and – in some cases – dangerous levels.

Overall, the majority of people prefer to avoid the sun’s rays and, when they do choose to step into the light, they do so slathered in toxic, chemical-filled sun screens (so they aren’t really exposing themselves to the light, are they?).

The Problem With Your Defense Mechanisms Against The Sun

The fact is, sunlight is just as natural a part of nature as the plants and trees. It’s a promoter of growth, a source of warmth and an advocate for health and beauty –  it is a friend to you just as it is to nature.

What’s NOT natural, on the other hand, are the chemical concoctions used to “protect” you from the sun. Sure, they may shield you for a time, but not without a cost to your body.

Here are some of the chemicals your body takes in when you use typical sunblock:

  • Oxybenzone Has been linked to cell damage and hormone imbalance and can cause skin cancer (what?).
  • Octyl-Methoxycinnamate Can cause oxidation damage to your skin, particularly to your face, creating effects of aging.
  • Benzophenone (BP2)  Negatively impacts the thyroid, not at all helping anyone with hyperthyroidism (underactive thyroid).

 

Basically, while you’re putting on sunblock and thinking it will help prevent skin cancer, you are really only adding even more triggers for cancer (plus other health threats) all over your body, probably even to places the sunlight rarely even touches.

So what REALLY is doing the most damage here?

The Biggest Thing You’re Missing Without The Sun

Along with the chemical issue, by wearing toxic sunblock and avoiding the sun as much as possible, you are also depriving yourself of one of the most essential vitamins your body needs to stay strong and healthy… Vitamin D!

Here are the main health benefits of vitamin D:

  • Bone health
  • Anti-cancer
  • Supports the immune system
  • Protects against dementia and brain aging
  • Helps with losing excess fat
  • Decreases asthma symptoms
  • Strengthens teeth

 

One of the most (if not the most) prominent nutritional deficiencies in America is vitamin D (not too hard to believe now, eh?). Yes, vitamin D can be supplemented, but the most natural, beneficial resource of it is honestly the sun itself.

What The Sun Has To Offer You

It’s important to keep the impact of UV rays under control, but there is an entire spectrum of other rays that radiate from the sun that offer individual benefits and essentials of their own. With those rays working together, the sun as a whole offers a number of incredible benefits that I’m sure you and a great number of others have been missing out on for far too long.

Here are some of the top benefits from getting healthy sun exposure:

1. Reduces Cancer Risk

Patients – particularly those suffering from breast, colon and rectal cancer – who have higher levels of vitamin D in their blood often have higher chances of surviving cancer. Bathing in the sun has also been used by some physicians (such as Dr. Zane Kime) to help with completely reversing symptoms of metastasized cancers.

2. Protects Eye Health

Vitamin D has been linked to helping with reducing people’s chances of developing cataracts, as well as lowering the risk of macular degeneration. Specific studies have revealed that people (particularly women) who were sufficient in their vitamin D intake had about a 59% decrease in developing macular degeneration.

3. Lowers Blood Pressure

Vitamin D has often shown to be nearly as effective as medication for those with hypertension, helping them get their blood pressure lowered. The warmth of the sun alone is also enough to help improve blood circulation.

4. Boosts Immunity

White blood cells (also known as T cells) are lymphocytes that naturally increase with sun exposure. These little fellows are your body’s first line of defense against invaders and are what keep your immune system functioning at its best.  

5. Strengthens Bones

Having vitamin D in your system naturally aids in the absorption of calcium, which is essential to bone growth and strengthening. The stronger your bones, the less likely you are to develop any bone diseases or osteoporosis.

6. Improves Metabolism

If you think about it, the sun can even help with things like weight loss from the way it helps improve your metabolism. Studies are still being conducted to determine precisely why it helps increase metabolism, but a known hypothesis is that, when you aren’t frequently exposed to the sun, your body naturally touches into its “winter zone” where it will retain fat to help keep you warm. Obviously, this isn’t necessary when it’s actually warm and sunny outside.

7. Eases Depression

When people aren’t exposed to the sun as often as necessary, they have higher chances of falling into a depressed state. This becomes more apparent in the winter months when there naturally isn’t as much sunlight; it is a condition known as “seasonal affective disorder” or SAD. When you get a sufficient amount of sunlight and vitamin D in your system, it has been proven that your brain function and serotonin production improve and function more properly, keeping your moods elevated.

These, along with many other benefits come along when you get the time you need in the sun and the vitamin D that your body needs to properly thrive and function.

Of course, like most good things, there is a point where too much can be harmful; the sun is no exception. It is still important to keep track of yourself and make sure you aren’t at a risk of getting sunburned.

But how can you better protect yourself when typical sunblock is dangerously harmful to your body?

Natural Ways To Protect Yourself In The Sun

There are several factors that contribute to sunburning than just the exposure itself. While you can’t so much control what rays are radiating against your skin, you can help your skin reinforce itself to stay protected while also absorbing in the benefits of the sunlight – and you don’t have to slather on all that toxic sunblock to do it.

Here are 7 ways you can help prevent your skin from burning:

1. Drink Lots Of Water – Dehydration can lead to your skin drying out, therefore leaving it more likely to burn.

2. Gradually Gain More Sun Exposure – Rather than suddenly spending hours in the sun each day, start by gradually increasing your sun exposure by the day. This will help your skin build up its resistance to UV light.

3. Don’t Wear Sunglasses – When you frequently wear sunglasses, you block the optical nerves in your eyes. These lead back to your hypothalamus, which helps determine how much UV resistance your skin needs to build up depending on how much sun is hitting your eyes.

4. Do A Liver Cleanse – The far infrared light of the sun naturally pulls toxins out of your body. Once those toxins breach your skin, they basically cook right there on your skin and cause it to burn (another reason why toxic sunblock really doesn’t make sense). Doing a liver cleanse will help reduce the toxins and heavy metals in your body and therefore your chances of getting sunburned.

5. Keep Antioxidants In Your Diet – Sunburning is often the result of oxidation in your cells. Keeping plenty of antioxidants in your diet will help lengthen the amount of time you can stay out in the sun without getting burned.

6. Supplement With Astaxanthin – Astaxanthin is a reddish pigment in the carotenoid group that acts as a particularly strong antioxidant. It has proven to help protect against a number of diseases while also protecting the skin. It can be applied directly to the skin or taken through supplementation.

7. Use Coconut Oil – Among its many uses, coconut oil can also be used as a natural sunblock. It has a SPF of 4-6 and with frequent, light application, it can help protect your skin from the sun and to strengthen its defenses.

Get Outside And Enjoy That Natural Light

Taking the proper care to help bolster your skin’s natural defenses, you can spend all the time you need in sun to not only enjoy its warmth, but also the many benefits it has to offer you. Give yourself a little exposure to start with and then gradually increase your time in the sunlight as time goes on and watch and feel how much it impacts your overall health and wellbeing.

The sun truly is a friend and is an awesome resource that is waiting for you right outside your door. Start today by enjoying its literal life-giving light and give your body the relief it needs from all that time spent indoors.

Do you know any other awesome ways to help naturally protect yourself from getting sunburned? Feel free to share with us in the comments below and enjoy that sunshine!

Sources:

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

http://simplegreenorganichappy.com/2012/05/10-health-benefits-of-sunshine-get-outside/

https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/health-conditions/depression/

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2011/04/more-evidence-on-vitamin-d-and-macular-degeneration/index.htm

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1063-astaxanthin.aspx?activeingredientid=1063&activeingredientname=astaxanthin

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Sara Wylie

Sara Wylie

Editorial Intern at Fitlife.tv
Sara Wylie resides in Utah where she is currently working as an Editorial Intern for Fitlife.tv while also pursuing a career in writing. She hopes that through her words and fiery passion, she will be able to not only inspire others to seek out and nourish their own passions, but to also help others feel what it’s like to truly be alive.
Sara Wylie
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