When was the last time you got your Tan Stewie on?

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ud1VWYIlvfQ]

Well this clip from Family Guy is hilarious, and by far my most favorite episode, it kind of has a point.  Sure Stewie goes completely overboard with his tanning, which I have seen many of my friends do, but did you know vitamin D has all sorts of health benefits?  Like regulation of bone mineral density, cancer protection, and immune system activation.    

It is no surprise that most of us are not getting enough vitamin D.  Think about it. Where do most of us spend our days…my answer is in a cubical.  I often will be caught saying “we just weren’t designed to sit at a computer all day” unfortunately this is the norm for most of us suburbanites living in the city. 

ape to computer man

I also bet that you didn’t know that our bodies require vitamin D to produce steroid hormones, including the testosterone that’s so vital to physical performance, recovery, and muscular hypertrophy.

So what are we to do?  The easiest answer is to get real actual sunlight.  I am not talking about looking out the window.  I mean real sunlight on your skin.  For light-skinned people, ten to 30 minutes around noon is plenty. For dark-skinned people, closer to an hour may be necessary. If no sun is available, vitamin D3 supplements definitely work, but the advantage of sunlight is that the dosage is auto regulated. You can’t overdose on vitamin D from sun. You’ll just get burned and then remove yourself from the situation before that could ever happen.

What about skin cancer?

1. Don’t get a sunburn. Shoot for a healthy glow. Put some clothes on or find shade when you need to get out of the sun (sun block will also block vitamin D production).

2. Avoid processed seed oils high in omega-6 fats. Keep overall polyunsaturated fat intake on the low side while favoring saturated fat from foods like butter and coconut oil.

3. Eat tomatoes, shrimp, and drink green tea. Compounds in all three foods have been shown to increase the skin’s resistance to UV rays.

Now that I have you on board with this whole Real Sunlight thing, you might be asking yourself how to make time to get your “tan Stewie” walk on.  I have a couple suggestions.

1. Eat lunch outside.

2. Get interested in something that will get you outside.  This could be gardening, running, reading a good book or magazine outside, having a glass of wine outside on the weekend, camping, hiking, the list can go on and on…just get outside. 

Being outside will not only improve you vitamin D, it will improve your stress, which we will talk more about in later post. Now go get your “Tan Stewie” on.

 

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