Spring has well and truely sprung in the southern hemisphere and just as nature begins warming up and blooming around us, it is the perfect time for us to prepare to warm up and bloom into happy and healthy spring/summer seasons internally too.
Life on earth would be inhabitable without the 4.6 billion year old star that is at the centre of our solar system, the sun. The human body is specially designed to receive the suns golden rays as we have thousands of vitamin D receptors throughout our body. The life-giving sun plays an incredible role in regulating our immune, respiratory, digestive and endocrine systems as it activates very important body electrons and secretions.
‘Our skin is innately designed to to generate vitamin D in response to sunlight, not solely through digestive intake.’— Nadine Artemis
In our modern day, we have been taught to fear the sun and as a result a lot the population in western countries are experiencing very high rates of vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D specifically absorbed from the sun relaxes nerves, increases oxygen to the blood and tissues, boosts immunity, repairs DNA, benefits thyroid function, regulates hormones and increases melatonin, the essential hormone released by the pineal gland of our brain which regulates our circadian rhythm. Depression, fatigue, sleep disorders and bone and muscle pain can all be indications of vitamin D deficiency.
If you missed the sun immensely in winter and failed to get adequate amounts of healthy light, it is great time to begin to build up gentle sun exposure in spring as soon as it starts to peep back through the winter clouds and give new life to everything. Start with 5 minutes a day at sunrise or before 8am and at sunset or after 5pm and then slowly begin to build up to 30 mins to an hour depending on your heritage and geographical location.
This is a gentle invitation to explore sun-love intuitively and within the knowledge of our own genetic and geographical make up. Obviously, those with lighter more sun sensitive skin will need much less daily exposure than those with olive to darker coloured skin in order to absorb vitamin D and to avoid becoming burned or inflamed. Those of us who live in parts of the world, like Australia, where the UV levels can be are higher need to be mindful of that too.
If you are finding that you need assistance staying on top of your vitamin D levels, especially in the winter months, as well as seeking professional medical advise, there is an incredible app we discovered a couple years ago called Dminder. Dminder helps you to track the levels of vitamin D you are getting from the sun based on your location, body type, and the time of day, whilst making sure you stay safe by warning you of any risk to your skin getting burned.
As we all know, we never ever want to become sunburned and over exposure is very harmful to the body and can cause irreversible damage to the skin. It is essential to educate ourselves on how to have a healthy relationship with the sun and always, if you are in the harsh mid-day sun, be sure to cover the skin, head and ears to avoid burning, overheating or even sun-stroke.
Too Much Sun Skin Soother for minor burns
If you do unfortunately happen to get too much of those harsh sun rays, to soothe the skin you can crush some cucumber & mix it with aloe vera juice and lightly rub it into troubled areas. The cool astringency of cucumber and the sweet cooling effects of the aloe will soothe all but severe burns.
Another soothing remedy for minor sunburn is to mix 1/4 cup of honey with 1/2 a cup of milk and apply to the affected area. Severe sunburn can manifest as nausea, fever, chills, blisters and swelling. Seek professional medical attention if these symptoms arise.
Eat the sun
Plants are the only organisms capable of absorbing sunlight and transforming it into their own food through the process of photosynthesis. There are a few nutrient rich plants that help to boost our internal SPF and promote healthy skin when we spend a safe amount of time in the sun and at the right times of morning & evening. They are, cue natures brilliant intelligence, generally foods grown in your geographical location in the warmer months so this will support you to eat seasonally too. Put simply, eating the sun means eating more fresh, wild, and ecological fruits and vegetables.
This does not mean you can spend hours in the harsh midday sun and expect not to get burned. Continue to practice sun safety and get healthy exposure at the right times of day. Before 8am & After 5pm.
When we ‘Eat The Sun’ i.e. foods that have grown in the elements rather than processed in labs, we are eating this natural occurring sun energy & radiance that has been absorbed by plants through the process of photosynthesis. Some foods in moderation can support us in the warmer months, some examples of these foods are (organic where possible): blueberries (berries in general), leafy greens, watermelon, cacao & high quality dark chocolate in moderation, beta-carotene rich foods like carrots and red capsicum (starting eating these in winter/spring to build reserves, green tea, liquid chlorophyll, avocado and other healthy fats and most importantly, stay Hydrated! Opt for filtered water where possible or even natural spring water if you are lucky enough to live near a place you can collect it.
‘early wrinkles are dehydration asking for more water. Water is beauty fluid.’ — Nadine Artemis
There are also many things that we expose ourselves to daily that may increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun. Be mindful as some foods, diuretics, medications, cosmetic ingredients, essential oils and some studies suggest that the chemicals found in tap water like chlorine and fluoride have been found to increase the skins sensitivity too.
And Thus, we hope you enjoy warming up, blooming and practicing a little safe and golden sun-lovin’ this spring! We wish you nothing but light, warmth, energy and good health :)
The PK team
Written by Denise Battany