Food for thought about how to live healthy!

The Sunny Side of Vitamin D

Spending enough time outdoors is essential to living a healthy lifestyle. While fresh air and a change of scenery can help reduce stress, it’s actually the Sun that provides the most important necessity that can only be found outdoors: Vitamin D. When UVB light hits your skin it synthesizes a type of cholesterol found in your skin, creating Vitamin D.

Vitamin D is one of the most beneficial supplements available, yet a new study published earlier this year found that Vitamin D deficiency is common in obese adolescent teens. Since 2009, it has been reported that 70% of American children are Vitamin D deficient.

Vitamin D is important in adults, but is found to be most beneficial in kids because it can prevent numerous diseases later on in life. Children with adequate amounts of Vitamin D have lower risks for developing diabetes, cancer, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, arthritis and rickets in middle to old age.

Benefits of Vitamin D for all ages include reduced stress, healthier skin, stronger bones, regulated immune system, and maintaining a healthy body weight.

It doesn’t take a two hour tanning session every day to get enough Vitamin D. Two 15-minute sessions of exposure to sunlight every week can produce enough Vitamin D.

Plan to spend part of your Labor Day outside, whether it’s playing catch with the kids, lounging by the pool, or taking a walk in the park. Use a mild sunscreen, like an SPF 30, so you can prevent getting sunburned without completely blocking the Sun’s UVB rays.

Since it’s too hot to do anything strenuous (108 degrees is the high in Phoenix today), my roommate Maria and I decided to do something fun in the Sun without the sweat:

Maria is feeding pigeons breadcrumbs while they rest in the shade.

Pigeons flock to Maria as she scatters breadcrumbs on the ground.

A pigeon looks for any leftover crumbs.

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