The current situation of confinement in our homes, due to the quarantine caused by the coronavirus, makes us wonder if we are taking the necessary measures to keep our bodies healthy. One of the issues that most concerns us is the absence of sun exposure. How important is sunlight to our body?
The sun is the main source that nourishes us of vitamin D, a nutrient that helps to absorb calcium and, therefore, necessary to maintain healthy bones. In addition to this vital function, it is important for the nervous and muscular systems. Vitamin D is also completely essential for the functioning of the immune system and has a very powerful anti-inflammatory character. All this without talking about how the sun influences beyond the physical part greatly affecting our mood.
It is the best time of year to experience confinement
The sun is the great emitter of vitamin D, but its effectiveness depends on many factors. According to María Achón y Tuñón, director of the Degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics at CEU San Pablo University, “The factors that affect include the amount of sunlight available, the angle of exposure, the time spent outdoors, covering the skin and the use of sunscreen”. Therefore, we are in difficult times as the exposure of the skin is limited due to the few moments we spend outdoors.
However, you have to see the positive side, it is the best time of year to experience confinement. Professor Achón points out the importance of solar elevation in the availability of light. This elevation depends on the time of year and the time of day. "Sunlight is most effective for vitamin D synthesis when the sun is high in the sky." Along these lines, the doctor points out that we are in the months when the sun is most effective: "Between the months of April and September, the synthesis of the skin is the main source of vitamin D for most people”.
Most people cover 90% of vitamin D from sun exposure
The sun is the main source of vitamin D, but not the only one. Most people can meet their needs up to 90% from sun exposure. Where do we get the remaining 10% from? From Vozpópuli we are going to teach tricks to be able to make the most of the sun's rays that we can catch from our terraces, balconies or windows, as well as alternative ways to get the necessary supply of vitamins.
Tricks to take advantage of the sunlight
The pharmacist Rocío Escalante, expert in dermocosmetics and owner of Arbosana Farmacia, gives us a series of recommendations to be able to maximize the effects of the sun that we can receive in our homes.
• If you have a garden or terrace, take the opportunity to be in the sun around 10-11 in the morning.
• Being around 10 minutes would be enough.
• If you have a sunny window, you can also look out, in short sleeves so that the sun hits your arms.
• My advice is to always protect your facial skin, even those 10 minutes, especially if you use depigmenting treatments or have sensitive skin.
• As it is not easy for our body to synthesize all the vitamin D it needs, this capacity decreases with age, for example, it may be advisable to take a probiotic.
There is no use sunbathing if we have the windows closed
One of the most common mistakes that we are falling this quarantine is sunbathing from our homes without opening the window. The good weather has not yet arrived and the temperatures are not good so we keep the windows closed. You have to know that sunlight loses its effectiveness if it has to pass through the windows, so these exposures to the sun are not valid, there is no use in sunbathing if we have the windows closed.
A diet rich in vitamin D
The lack of light means that we have to resort to other sources of vitamin D such as food. The richest products in this nutrient are blue fish, such as salmon, sardines, mackerel or herring. We can buy fresh fish or use canned fish of this type, such as anchovies or tuna, as an alternative for our menus. Cod liver oil is a concentrated source, with taking one tablespoon a day you will have the necessary daily dose.
Dairy cannot be skimmed
Eggs and dairy are another rich source, yes, milk and the rest of its derivatives such as yogurts or cheeses, cannot be skimmed. Vitamin D is fat-soluble, that is, it dissolves in fat, so if you eliminate that fat from food, you are also eliminating its vitamins.
There are other foods that help boost vitamin D levels such as avocado or some mushrooms such as mushrooms, as well as lean meats and fruits or vegetables.
As a summary, Dr. Achón gives us some recommendations of the portions that we should consume on a daily and weekly basis:
• Fish, 3-4 servings a week, alternating white and blue.
• Eggs, 3 servings per week.
• Dairy, 2-3 servings daily.
Vitamin D supplements
The first thing we have to warn about with vitamin D supplements is that many of them can only be taken under a medical prescription, after an analysis. That said, in the market we can find a wide range of products to choose from.
Nutrilite Vitamin D contributes to the proper functioning of the immune system and the maintenance of bones, muscles and teeth. Its vitamin D comes from natural sources, and is made with cultivated yeast, a highly concentrated source of this vitamin. It also does not contain artificial flavors, colorants or added preservatives.
Nordic Naturals proposes Arctic D Cod Liver Oil, made 100% with wild arctic cod without using other fish oils or synthetic additives. It is fortified with vitamin D3 to strengthen bones and improve mood and immune system. Besides being good, it is good, since it has a pleasant orange flavor that makes you forget that it comes from fish.
We also have to think about the smallest of the house. Normally it is difficult for them to like oily fish since its flavor is quite strong, so we can find supplements that are especially suitable for them. A good proposal is Omegor Kids, chewable capsules with a tutti-frutti flavor that will help the growth and development of children's bones. It is suggested to take two capsules a day, as they are similar to candies it will be very easy to give the little ones an extra vitamin D.
Self-tanners, in addition to being healthy to look good
Lack of exposure to sunlight does not have to be an impediment to show off a tanned, luminous and cared skin. Self-tanners are a perfect ally to be able to supply those rays that we had planned for the Easter holidays. Being an alternative to the sun, they also prevent us from its harmful effects such as the appearance of spots or aging of the skin.
The Oenobiol brand offers us a 2-in-1 pack, mixing cream and capsules, which provides a beautiful and long-lasting tan thanks to its natural components. Its new formula is enriched with plant extracts and contains copper that contributes to skin pigmentation. Plus, being beta-carotene-free, it avoids that orange tint that we hate in other self-tanners.
This fluid works for both the face and the body. It should be applied to clean and dry skin and in a month you can have an enviable tone. In addition, its nourishing ingredients make the skin softer and more hydrated.
Lancaster offers us its Sun 365 self-tanning serum. It is enriched with reflective gold pigments that are immediately absorbed by the skin. Progressively, the tan appears with a natural appearance.
The latest proposal is brought to us by Bioderma with Photoderm Autobronzant , a self-tanning mist that can be used on the body and face and does not need to be extended . It does not leave any type of stains on clothing and provides a natural appearance, preventing the skin from turning yellow or orange.
Although we continue to miss the sun and spend time outdoors, at least these tricks and proposals will ensure that our body is not affected by the lack of sun exposure.
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