for you? Even in small doses, are there any redeeming qualities to catching some rays?
Why the sun can be bad for you
There are valid reasons why the sun can be bad for you. It's not really the sun that's the problem; the bad guys here are the UV rays emitted from the sun. UV or ultra-violet rays are basically a dangerous form of solar radiation.
There are different types of UV rays, based on their wavelength, which include UVA, UVB and UVC rays.
UVA rays are those with the longest wavelength and cause the most damage to the skin because they are strong and present year round. They are strong enough to hit the earth's surface and linger for the daylight hours and are even present in winter months. They are powerful rays
that can penetrate glass and the clouds on a less-than-sunny day. These rays can penetrate deeply into the skin layers, which is why it can cause so much damage from wrinkling and aging of the skin, to skin cancers.
Your DNA is damaged from exposure to UV rays, which directly affects how cells divide and grow. If unhealthy or damaged cells reproduce, it can result in some form of skin cancer.
UVB rays are not as powerful as UVA rays, but are also present all year long. UVB rays are responsible for damaging surface layers of skin and can result in such things as tanning (which is skin damage), burning, skin aging and skin cancers. UVB rays are more damaging based on the season and time of day, with the strongest effects from late morning until late afternoon each day.
UVC rays are the least dangerous because they are blocked by the ozone and do not reach the earth's surface. UVC rays do not cause skin cancer.
So we know that UVA and UVB rays are responsible for causing damage to the skin and the radiation from these rays are believed to cause various types of skin cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, UV radiation is thought to be a
serious risk factor for most skin cancers. Out of all the many types of cancer, skin cancer is the most common.
The American Cancer Society also reports that there is no "safe" tanning, which means that tanning beds and sun lamps are also a big no-no.
If you've been following the news lately, you may have heard the story about the "tanning mom," who was accused of taking her young daughter into a tanning bed. Thankfully, the story was not true, but look at the skin of the tanning mom.
If this doesn't prove to you that excessive exposure to the sun ages you, then I don't know what will. If you look at pictures from tanning mom's younger days, she looks attractive. Compare the old pictures to how she looks today and how it has aged her in many unattractive ways.
Why is the sun good for you?
On the other hand, if you have ever read through Joanna Budwig's anti-cancer diet and protocol, part of her treatment plan includes at least 15 minutes of exposure to sunlight every day. In fact, sunbathing in the nude is even recommended!
Why would an anti-cancer treatment include purposely exposing yourself to the sun? It is because the sun can be good for you, too.
With the Budwig protocol, one of the keys to the treatment is a daily dose of organic cottage cheese and flax seed oil. Her research indicates that because this mixture allows healthy cells to grow and dominate, it offers natural protection from the harmful effects of UV rays. Keep in mind that the protocol does not recommend staying out in the sun for hours on end, but rather about 15 minutes per day. In other words, getting some sunshine into your bones and cells.
The sun is good for you because it provides a natural source of vitamin D, which is important for strong, healthy bones and teeth. Vitamin D is also essential for the development of healthy cells and tissue, and helps to keep the immune system strong.
A lack of vitamin D can lead to osteoporosis because of the loss of calcium from the bones as we age.
You may have heard that a "lack of sunshine" in those regions of the world that have shorter days, especially in winter, can cause depression.
Lower levels of vitamin D can also decrease the power of your immune system, making you more susceptible to illnesses, infections and even some forms of cancer.
Ironic, isn't it, that while the UV rays from the sun are believed to cause some cancers, the vitamin D received naturally from the sun can decrease your risk of getting other types of cancer.
The sun can be considered a double-edged sword. On one hand, your body needs the vitamin D, but the radiation received from those UV rays is something to be avoided at all costs.
We all know that anything done in excess is usually not good. If you can protect yourself from the sun's powerful UVA/UVB rays by wearing a sunscreen at all times with a high SPF (sun protection factor) rating, you can avoid the damaging effects of the sun on both the surface and deeper layers of your skin.
You can get that vitamin D from the sun, although not a bad idea to take a vitamin D3 supplement or eat foods rich in vitamin D such as salmon, tuna or Omega-3 fatty fish. You can also look for vitamin D to be included in other foods like yogurt, cereal and milk.
Wear sunglasses and a cool, floppy hat. Slather on the sunscreen frequently throughout the day, even if in the car on a road trip or on a cloudy day. Stay out of direct sunlight for extended periods of time if possible by grabbing a seat under a nice, shady tree. Keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots of water. Avoid excessive tanning outdoors, in a booth/bed or under a lamp.
Is the sun good for you?
Yes, with the proper sunscreen worn every day no matter what the weather is like, and not overdosing on exposure to the sun, especially in these upcoming hot summer months.
Be smart this summer to avoid the aging effects – and all the other negatives - it can have on your skin.