Importance of Natural Sunlight
Did you know that two-thirds of our mitochondrial energy should come from photosynthesis? That's right the good ole sun. And the other third from our food. Mitochondria are unusual organelles. They act as the power plants of the cell.
The best way for us to get vitamin D is from the sun. Sunshine, with optimum health and optimum sun exposure, up to 20,000 IU a day is best. Vitamin D brought in by sunshine has a half-life of about 4-6 weeks in the body.
Vitamin D deficiencies are quite common today, it affects almost 50% of the population worldwide. In fact, 1 billion people worldwide are deficient in this important vitamin. It’s critical for boosting immunity, developing strong bones and metabolic regulation. (Source)
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to many types of cancers including the most deadly types of breast cancer. Lack of Vitamin D has also been linked to problems during pregnancy including pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, premature labor, and more.
Vitamin D is necessary for correct hormone formation. Sunscreen ingredients like Oxybenzone are endocrine disruptors that inhibit correct hormone formation.
Speaking of the sun, many folks who are going to be exposed for longer periods of time, want to know how to protect themselves from potential sun damage.
Let's talk toxic Chemical Sunscreen versus Mineral Sunscreen and the Solutions
There are two ways that a sunscreen can protect the skin from sun damage: with a mineral barrier or a chemical one.
Mineral sunscreens typically include ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which create a physical barrier to protect the skin from the sun.
Chemical sunscreens use one or more chemicals including oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate – all linked to hormone disruption and cancers. (Source)
PROBLEM: Reasons not to use chemical sunscreens:
1. The sunscreen chemicals raise some series concerns because most are able to cross into skin and other tissues – You probably know my stance: if you can’t eat it, you shouldn’t put it on your skin.
2. The chemicals create free radicals that have been linked to cancers and the chemicals are absorbed into your entire body via your largest organs > your skin.
3. Many of these chemicals are considered hormone disruptors. Hormone disruptors can affect how estrogen and other hormones act in the body, by blocking them or mimicking them, which throws off the body's hormonal balance. One application of chemical sunscreen can mimic using hormone replacement therapy!
SOLUTION: These are safe, rated very low on the Environmental Working Group's site, effective, non-clumping, go on smooth as butter and are waterproof!
1. Cabana (also have tinted version)
4. Raw Elements (also have tinted version)
5. Badger (super easy to find – even at Target)
6. Internal Sun Protection: avoid foods that increase inflammation, such as: processed vegetable oils, grains, sugar and increase your good fats such as eggs with yolks, grass fed beef, coconut oil, salmon, nuts and seeds, etc..
7. Focus on foods and healthy fats that support skin health, including:
- Vitamin D3 (~5,000 IU/day)- Emerging evidence shows that optimizing blood levels of Vitamin D can have a protective effect against sunburn and skin cancer.
- Vitamin C (~2,000 mg/day)- A potent anti-inflammatory, and it is powerful for the immune system too, especially when traveling.
- Coconut oil (topically and internally) – the Medium Chain Fatty Acids and saturated fat are easily utilized by the body for new skin formation and are protective against burning when taken internally and topically.
- Fermented Cod Liver Oil/High Vitamin Butter Oil Blend (also great for remineralizing teeth) – Probably the most important supplements for protection of sun damage.
My Personal Story
I used to burn quite easily in my younger years while on the S.A.D. diet. Once I switched over to paleo/keto, it was like flipping a switch. I rarely burn anymore, I get golden tan and never wear sunscreen – I definitely eat my sunscreen with a high fat diet.