Vitamin D: Are you getting enough sunshine?

Posted on July 30th, 2016

We love the benefits of sunshine, especially Vitamin D! When we enjoy sunshine without overexposure, we naturally feel happier, relaxed and in love with our improved appearance (thanks to that glow)! We promised the lowdown on sunshine, and here it is. Enjoy!

What is vitamin D?

First thing is first, what is Vitamin D? According to Kaiser Permanente San Diego, although it’s called a vitamin, Vitamin D is actually a class in itself most similar to a hormone. Sunshine can produce Vitamin D in your skin that is then distributed in your bloodstream to serve your kidneys and liver and finally activate itself as a hormone. Vitamin D hooks itself to our cells and sends messages to our genes, which is why it influences important body functions such as inflammation reduction, mood and immune system boosting, bone building and more.

How much do we really need?

So how much sunlight do you need to produce Vitamin D? During 2016 National Sunshine Month, Grassroots Health, an organization focused on moving medical research into practice, shared sunshine’s importance to your health. Most importantly, they highlighted that the amount of sunlight necessary for Vitamin D production is dependent on your skin type (determines your reaction to sun) and your UV index (how strong the sunlight is), both of which help determine your duration of exposure.

In addition to Vitamin D benefits, a study from the Journal of the American College of Nutrition noted that sunshine benefits go beyond Vitamin D production. When the skin is exposed to UVB, it produces a beta endorphin or opioid peptides which result in increased feelings of well-being, boosting the immune system, relieving pain, promoting healing and more.

Want to understand how to enjoy the benefits of sunshine and not be overexposed? Convenient mobile applications like Dminder help track Vitamin D from the sun.

If you plan on getting more Vitamin D like us, post a pic during your next sunshine session and use #iTANfan!