Catching some rays is one of the best ways to strengthen bones and teeth, release serotonin, and even lose weight! In their book Hungry for Change, James Colquhoun and Laurentine Ten Bosch explain how the Vitamin D we get from sunshine turns off the body’s fat programs and why sunshine in the winter months is important.
The Sunshine Vitamin
When we expose our skin to sunlight, our bodies respond in kind. The sun’s UVB rays produce within us vitamin D, a natural vitamin and hormone. As a natural product of sunlight, vitamin D supercharges the cells in our bodies.
The major biological function of vitamin D, according to Mike Adams, is to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. “Vitamin D helps us absorb calcium, and thus helps to form and maintain strong bones and teeth,” he says. “Without vitamin D, bones start to become thin, brittle, soft, or misshapen.”
By limiting our time in the sun, due to its perceived danger, we deprive our bodies of many essential vitamins and nutrients required for optimal health.
“Vitamin D is also essential for losing weight,” says Jon Gabriel, author of The Gabriel Method. “Vitamin D turns off our bodies’ fat programs, and a lack of vitamin D turns on the fat programs. In winter, when there’s not enough sun, the body thinks there isn’t enough food, so it turns on its fat programs.
“The sun is our life force. It is our connection to life itself.”
There are numerous studies that have demonstrated the connection between full-spectrum light and serotonin, a neurotransmitter widely believed to be a major contributor to happiness, energy, and general well-being.
“Interestingly, a drop in melatonin enhances feel-good hormones, including endorphins and serotonin, which help you feel both alert and calm,” says Dr. Christiane Northrup. “This transformation occurs in the brain as a result of being in more light. That’s why getting outside at noon for a half-hour walk on a sunny day during the winter months will lift your mood greatly.
“So let the sun in whenever you can, especially during the winter. Safe exposure to the sun, coupled with a regular dose of vitamin D (2,000 to 5,000 IU per day) will do wonders for your health all year long.”
James Colquhoun and Laurentine Ten Bosch’s book Hungry for Change is now available from HarperOne.