Our body creates most of our vitamin D from sunlight on our skin. We also get vitamin D from some foods – including eggs, meat, and oily fish including mackerel and sardines. Vitamin D is also added in all formula milk, as well as some cereals, soy products, dairy products, powdered milks and fat spreads.
How much time should we spend in the sun?
There isn’t one recommendation for everyone. This is because the amount of time you need to spend the sun your skin makes enough vitamin D depends on a number of factors. These include skin type (how dark your skin is or how easily you get sun burnt), the time of year and time of day it is.
Vitamin D and YOU!
The amount of time you need to spend in the sun for your skin to make enough vitamin D is different for every person. Short periods of daily sun exposure without sunscreen during the summer months (April to October) are enough for most people to make enough vitamin D. Evidence indicates that the most effective time of day for vitamin D production is between 11am and 3pm.
A short period of time in the sun means just a few minutes – suggests that about 10 to 15 minutes is enough for most lighter-skinned people – and less than the time it takes you to start going red or burn. The larger the area of skin that is exposed to sunlight, the more chance there is of making enough vitamin D before you start to burn. The longer you stay in the sun, especially for prolonged periods without sun protection, the greater your risk of skin cancer.
Remember to cover up or protect your skin before the time it takes you to burn. Stay covered up for most of the time you spend outside and use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 and drink LOTS of water throughout the day.
For more suggestions for summer, and overall well-being from our naturopathic practice in Everett, WA, contact McQuinn Naturopathic at (425) 905-2487.