Vitamin D is a unique vitamin required by our body, whose best source of extraction is the sun. This vitamin is made from cholesterol in your skin when it’s exposed to the sun. It is the reason why getting enough sunlight is important for maintaining optimal vitamin D levels in the body.
The importance of Vitamin D for your body
Vitamin D also known as the sunshine vitamin, plays an important role in carrying out the essential functions of your body. Your body makes Vitamin D, when the sunlight hits the cholesterol present in your skin cells. When your skin is exposed to sunlight, the ultraviolet B (UVB) rays hits the cholesterol and provides energy for vitamin D synthesis to occur.
Vitamin D also helps the cells in your gut to absorb calcium and phosphorus, which are essential for maintaining strong and healthy bones. Low levels of Vitamin D levels in the body is often linked to health problems such as osteoporosis, cancer, depression and muscle weakness.
When is the best time to get Vitamin D from sun?
The question still remains intact, that when is the best time to expose yourself to the sun? Several studies have proved that midday is the best time to sunbathe. At noon, the sun is at its highest point, and its UVB rays are most intense. It also means that you will get more vitamin D in less time.
Sunbathing of minimum 10 minutes and maximum 30 minutes is ideal to absorb enough vitamin D for the day. Noon is also the safest time to get vitamin D, as exposing your skin to the sun post noon can lead to health issues like cancer.
Ideal clothes for sunbathing
In order to expose most of your skin to the sun, it is better to wear a short sleeved or sleeveless top along with shorts. Make sure you don’t sit for long time in harsh sun, as it can tan and sunburn your skin. You can wear a hat and sunglasses, in order to prevent the sun from directly hitting your face. You can sunbathe for 3-4 times a week, which will make up for the vitamin D requirement in your body.
Does sunscreen affect Vitamin D absorption?
Sunscreen contains certain chemicals which either reflect, absorb or scatter sunlight. Some studies have even found out that a sunscreen of SPF 30 or more reduces vitamin D production in the body by about 95–98%.
In order to protect your skin while sunbathing, it is better to wear a hat to protect your face. Make sure you don’t spend more than 30 minutes in light sunlight and more than 10 minutes in harsh sunlight. Spending more time in the sun can lead to problems like sunburn, eye damage and even heat stroke.