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Sunshine, Aruba, Palm Trees
The Benefits of Vitamin D

Go On Vacation and Get Healthy

Who knew that vacationing in Aruba and sipping a cocktail while basking in the warm sunlight could be good for one’s health?  Well, it couldn't be truer.  Exposing your skin to the sunlight is closely tied to the production of vitamin D – a crucial vitamin that is used throughout the body.  Unfortunately, many people are vitamin D deficient.  Unlike vitamins B, C, and E, natural foods do not contain high levels of vitamin D.  Sunlight is the primary source of vitamin D for many people.  As obesity rates rise, many people are becoming less active and are staying inside for most of the day, therefore missing out on another option for getting vitamin D.  Time spent outside while one’s skin is exposed needs to be more of a focus for many individuals.

Dangers of Vitamin D Deficiencies

Insufficient levels of vitamin D can lead to serious health problems.  Vitamin D allows calcium in the body to be absorbed into the bones.  Therefore, a lack of vitamin D can cause many bone-related problems such as osteoporosis, bone fractures, and bone deformities.  Vitamin D deficiencies can also lead to depression, chronic fatigue, and a weakened immune system.  Luckily for islanders, vitamin D (also known as the sunshine vitamin) is not too hard to come by – they step outside and the body starts to do its work. 

Sunlight and Vitamin D

To understand why the sun is good for one’s health, it is important to understand how sunlight affects vitamin D.  The warmth one feels while standing is the sun is nothing more than light waves hitting the skin.  The light waves themselves do not carry or provide vitamin D.  The body already has all of the needed components to create vitamin D.  The sun emits different types of light waves, and the ones that are needed are the ultraviolet B rays.  For these rays to reach the earth the sun needs to be high in the sky so that the rays can pierce the earth’s atmosphere.  When the ultraviolet B rays come into contact with exposed skin, this causes the body to start producing vitamin D.

Sunscreen and Skin Cancer

But what about skin cancer?  For the past several years, all of the available health information out there has been warning people to cover up in the sun and never leave the house without a thick layer of sunscreen on.  This is part of the reason that so many people are vitamin D deficient – sunscreen blocks almost all ultraviolet rays.  New research studies are now saying that some sun is needed and that the dangers of no sun are worse than the dangers of a lot of sun.  Scientists are now suggesting that fair skinned people stand in the sun with no sunscreen and their arm and legs exposed for approximately ten minutes a day, and that darker skinned people spend about twice that time in the sun.  Take your sunscreen to the beach with you and only put it on once you have everything set up.  These 10 -15 minutes of unblocked sun time will do your whole body good!

My Personal Favorite: Aruba Aloe Sunscreen

As the island that has the most sunshine throughout the year, one would think that we would have our own sunscreen lotion.  Well guess what, we do! The Aruba Aloe company has an excellent sunscreen which is very popular amongst tourists and locals and made with the world’s finest aloe! And it's also very sustainable; there is no testing on animals and the product contains plant-based, responsibly sourced ingredients. Pick yourself up a bottle, or two or three, of Aruba Aloe sunscreen at one of their many stores around the island. Or better yet, pay a visit to the Aruba Aloe Balm Plantation, Factory,Museum and Shop; it’s certainly an authentic Aruban and fun daytime outing as it’s Aruba’s oldest remaining factory (dating back to 1890) and family-owned company.

Aruba AloeAruba Aloe

Sources: 

http://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/benefits-vitamin-d#Overview1

http://www.medicaldaily.com/sun-exposure-vitamin-d-and-other-health-bene...

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About the blogger: Jane Vermaas
Born and raised on the One happy island Aruba, her passions include everything Aruba has to offer. From the best snorkel spots to authentic cultural experiences, she will give you the inside scoop on where to beach bum and where to get the best local dish, where to go salsa dancing and the island’s best practices to happiness!