Sunlight, Vitamin D + Gut Health

It may have been a while since the last time you sunbathed; how inviting does lounging on a beach right about now sound?

With good reason, many of us have gotten in the habit of slathering on the sunscreen in order to reduce the appearance of aging on our skin and also to decrease our chances of developing melanomas.

However, avoiding the sun completely is not necessarily the best path to take; in actuality, it is worthwhile to catch some rays each and every day.

When our skin is exposed to sunlight, it makes vitamin D from cholesterol. The sun’s ultraviolet B (UVB) rays hit cholesterol in the skin cells, providing the energy for vitamin D synthesis to occur  (1).

Vitamin D has recently has been recognized as an immunoregulator, with anti-inflammatory effects, including reducing gastrointestinal inflammation (2) and subsequently, systemic inflammation throughout our bodies.

This is relevant always, with an estimated 23.5 million Americans (and rising) suffer from an autoimmune disease and over 80%  with leaky gut (3); and now, more than ever during the COVID pandemic, bringing our collective awareness to the significance of what we eat and how it affects our immunity is crucial.

The best time to get sunlight is at noon when the sun is at its highest point, and its UVB rays are most intense. That means you need less time in the sun to make sufficient vitamin D (4).

What a perfect compliment to the bone broth you’ve been drinking to create a healthy gut and resilient mind and body!

Remember, when consumed regularly as part of a plant-based Paleo, nutrient dense method of eating (abundant in local, in season veggies, ample natural fat and small portions of properly sourced proteins, such as described in Paleoista) ,you’re setting yourself up with a solid foundation for creating optimal gut health.

Step outside, put your feet in the grass and get some grounding in while you’re at it.