Sunday, March 1, 2009

Getting Your R"D"A of Sunshine

So it turns out the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of Vitamin D is woefully low. New research confirms that Vitamin D is effective in helping to prevent various forms of cancer, diabetes and a host of other dreaded conditions. Just 15 minutes of sunlight a day will juice you up with more than enough Vitamin D to reap the health rewards (exactly how much depends on the intensity of the UVB in the sun and many other factors).

However, we've all been warned many, many times about the effects of too much fun in the sun. The way I see it, it's easy to resolve: It takes about 30 minutes for sunscreen to be fully in effect. So instead of slathering up 30 minutes prior to sunning yourself (does anyone remember to do this anyway?), put it on right before you go out, and you will probably get just the right amount of exposure to replenish your body's Vitamin D stores. Another good approach is to take your 15 minutes early in the morning or later afternoon, when the sun's rays are less harmful.

Looking for a good sunscreen? I like to avoid nano-particles and unnecessary chemicals, while ensuring good UV protection. Here are some of the best:

For kids:
SOLEO ORGANICS SUNSCREEN Organic Chemical-Free Sunscreen, SPF 30+
KINESYS Kids Spray Sunscreen, Fragrance-free, SPF 30

For sporty types:

Best of the mainstream brands:
JASON NATURAL COSMETICS SUNBRELLAS: Mineral-based Physical Sunblock, SPF 30+
ALMAY Sun Protector for Body Spray, SPF 30
NEUTROGENA Fresh Cooling Sunblock Gel, SPF 30 or SPF 45
NEUTROGENA Sunblock, Body Gel, SPF 30 or SPF 45
BULLFROG Surfer Formula Gel, SPF 36

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