Whether playing 18 holes of golf, vacationing at the beach or walking the dog, you’ll want to know how you can soak up enough sun to get a healthy dose of vitamin D, without burning or damaging your skin. The good new is, there’s no need to shun the sun or cover yourself with sunblock from head to toe every time you hit the course. In fact, it’s better that you don’t. About one-fourth of Americans have borderline low levels of vitamin D. By learning these 4 sun smart tips, you can benefit your body every time you play.
- Get a Healthy Dose of “D”
Sunshine is the best source of natural vitamin D, which supports mental health, strengthens bones, boosts immunity, fights cancer, reduces inflammation, improves mood and enhances overall wellbeing. Depending on your skin tone, age, diet, susceptibility to sunburn and the intensity of sunlight, a healthy dose of “D” is 15 to 60 minutes daily. Once you start turning pink, consider the reinforcements below.
- Avoid Overexposure
Although it’s good to be pro-sunlight, you want to avoid overexposure, a.k.a. sunburn. First, seek sunshine in the morning or late afternoon and avoid midday, peak UV radiation. Second, find shade under trees. Third, wear protective clothing such as hats, long sleeve shirts, pants, and sunglasses. Lastly, apply a safe, mineral-based sunscreen. When golfing, it’s best to apply a safe sunscreen before and during your round. It’s a long day out there and being a little overprotective is better than forgetting altogether.
- Select Healthier Sunscreens
Did you know that many sunscreens contain harmful chemicals and hormone disruptors that release free radicals in sunlight, are absorbed through the skin, create hormonal imbalances, and can cause skin irritations/allergies? Always read the ingredients label and avoid: oxybenzone, methoxycinnamate, PABA, and vitamin A (retinol or retinal palmitate). A healthier alternative is to choose mineral-based sunscreens with the following active ingredients: zinc, titanium, avobenzone or Mexoryl SX.
- Eat Protective Foods
Nutrient-dense foods high in antioxidants protect your skin from the inside out. Enjoy foods rich in beta-carotene (carrots, sweet potatoes, red peppers), lycopene (tomatoes, pink grapefruit, watermelon) vitamin E (almonds, asparagus, pumpkin seeds), catechins and polyphenols (blueberries, green/white tea), omega-3s and astaxathin (salmon, fish oil), resveratrol (blueberries, red grapes), natural saturated fats (coconut/palm oil, pastured butter) and proanthocyanidins (grape seeds, blueberries, hazelnuts, pistachios).
Sun Smart Menu
- Pre-Round Breakfast: eggs cooked in coconut oil with kale and a side of blueberries
- Beverage: organic green/white tea
- At the Turn Snack: almond butter on celery sticks
- Post-Round Lunch: wild salmon salad with avocado, tomatoes and balsamic vinaigrette
- Victory Dinner: meatballs with asparagus, red peppers, raw milk cheese and a glass of red wine
- Champion’s Dessert: dark chocolate covered strawberries
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