Craving that Vitamin D? Go to the Beach!
Updated: Sep 27, 2018
By: Rebecca Ramdeholl, C.H.N.C.
We’re deep in the winter season right now, and while I will admit that the sun has been kind enough to peek through the clouds a little more often than nought, I’m still feeling cabin fever, depression brought on by long, dark, cold days and I just can’t seem to get the chill out of my bones! And it’s usually this time of year, that mind starts to wander and remember, and imagine, those warmer days when there was so much color, soothing breezes, lots and lots of sunshine, and just easier mobility because there’s no more damned snow banks! I start to plan my garden, renovations in the house, and happy family jaunts in the great outdoors! And that’s what gets me through the dreariness of the late winter.
But I’m going to throw it out there. There’s also one very awesome, pretty much guaranteed, cure for the winter blahs. And yes, more expensive than a cup of tea and a good book. I don’t know about you, but at this point in the season, I’m constantly searching up beach getaways! Now that’s one way to beat the winter blues.
A day at the beach is always followed by glowing health infused with smiles, and the two main players responsible for this feel good consequence of the beach are – Vitamin D and Iodine. The beach setting contains two of these essential vitamins and minerals needed for good, thriving health.
It’s pretty common knowledge that you need to expose yourself to sunlight to get good doses of Vitamin D, especially after a long winter where the sun just refused to shine! Some people may also know, that Vitamin D is known for its ability to stimulate the absorption of calcium[i]. But did you know it’s also a powerful player against breast and colon cancer due to its anticancer properties?[ii][iii][iv][v]
So, what does a day at the beach do for you? Just by breathing in the ocean air will give you a good dose of iodine, which helps with thyroids and metabolism, as well as brain development in children.[vi] Next time you see a beach littered with sea-weed, don't run away in disgust (I've seen this) - but run to it and inhale the fumes!
Back in the day, going to the seaside was a treatment that doctors prescribed for those suffering from nervous disorders and for convalescence. A view of the ocean or sea has been shown to decrease levels of mental stress.[vii] The combination of the sun and sea air can contribute to reduction in inflammation, weight regulation, protection against infections, reduced risk of heart disease, support of muscle strength, and prevention of breast and stomach cancers.
So enjoy your day at the beach! Realize that the sun is not a demon, despite hyped-up media reports. But common sense comes into play, also. Stay in the shade at high noon – usually between 12:00 to 3:00 in the afternoon. If you’re super hot, seek shade. Aside from that, enjoy your romp in the sun, get a good whiff of the salty, sea air, and enjoy the wealth of health benefits that Nature has to offer us. But if you’re like the rest of us, stuck in the winter and can’t escape to a plane fast enough, just hang tight. Spring will come….eventually. In the meantime, you can always take vitamin D drops to help you keep good health until you see the sun again.
[i] Murray, Michael T. Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements: The Essential Guide for Improving your Health Naturally. Three Rivers Press: New York, 1996.
[iii] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/096007609090435N - Accessed February 6, 2018
[iv] http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJM198904133201506 - Accessed February 6, 2018
[v] https://academic.oup.com/ije/article/9/3/227/723830 - Accessed February 6, 2018