Get More Sun And Live Longer

For far too long, doctors have tried to make everyone afraid of the sun and sadly, that scare tactic has worked; scientists are now finding out just how very important Vitamin D and the sun are- responsibly of course- but important none the less.

Published in the Journal of Internal Medicine, researchers found that people who get more sun tend to live longer — despite the increased risk for skin cancer those extra rays may pose — most likely thanks to that glorious vitamin D.

For the study, the team used data from 29,518 Swedish women, all who were between the ages of 25 and 64. The participants were asked detailed questions about their sun exposure, lifestyle habits like smoking, and other general health questions. The researchers then used, “advanced modeling techniques using modern survival statistics to estimate when the participants would die.” Sounds fun. Eek.

What they found was that according to the statistical model, those who avoided the sun had higher risks for death in the next 20 years than those who got at least moderate sun exposure. And specifically, those who got the extra sun were less likely to die of heart disease. Isn’t nature grand?

Now, this doesn’t mean you should spend all day long in the sun, get burned without hesitation, or become a leather version of yourself. In fact, the CDC says after just 15 unprotected minutes in the sun, that you can expect skin damage. Of course, there are plenty of ways to get responsible sun exposure and you can read about that here and here.

But also remember how protective food can be. You can eat pomegranates, cranberries, blueberries and drink green tea to take advantage of the polyphenols found in those foods, which provide anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative protection (this fends off free radicals). Also, spinach, peanuts, wheat germ and other whole grains will fill you up with Coenzyme Q10 which acts as a shield from any free radical damage that did take place (it prevents the damage from penetrating to the cells). Then eat all the cruciferous foods you desire to combat carcinogens that can lead to cancer- including skin cancer: broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, watercress, turnips, cauliflower, and radishes. And lastly, go for the foods high in Vitamin C which will produce collagen and help keep your skin looking plumper and younger. That lovely vitamin is found in mangos, strawberries, bell peppers, dark leafy greens, kiwi, broccoli, berries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, peas, and papayas!

Summer is coming and you’ve got some healthful eating to do! Enjoy the sun AND your food!

Source: Refinery 29