When we think of holiday time one word comes to mind: BEACH! Who doesn’t love spending their days wearing cozzies and flip flops, catching waves and rays? And now for the news you have been waiting to hear…spending time in the sun is still your best source of Vitamin D.

Did you know?

The ‘sunshine vitamin’ was discovered in 1920, along with 13 others, during studies on nutritional deficiency diseases. What makes vitamin D special is that, with the help of Ultraviolet B energy, the body is able to produce it from the cholesterol in your body. When you decide to take a stroll along the seaside, UVB rays from the sun turn a chemical in your skin into vitamin D3 which gets carried to your liver and kidneys and becomes active Vitamin D.

Interestingly but not surprising, is that due to our modern lifestyles keeping us indoors in offices for longer periods at a time, vitamin D deficiency is becoming more prevalent. Plus, it is only found naturally occurring in fish and egg yolk so most foods have to be artificially fortified with the vitamin and even then, our body still needs to transform it before it becomes functional.

Some perspective: the recommended daily value for Vitamin D is approximately 800UIs but if you stand in a midday (when UVB rays are at their strongest) summer sun for 30 minutes, it is equivalent to consuming 10 000-20 000IU! Just one of many rewards for choosing to go on that beach holiday.

But wait, we aren’t done boasting about the sunshine vitamin just yet.

Having a healthy supply of vitamin D may protect against diseases like heart disease, cancers of the breast, colon and prostate and osteoporosis. Have you started planning your trip to our lovely beach holiday home yet?

As much as we love sun, sea and sand, we still encourage safe sun exposure as too much of a good thing is, well, not a good thing. Here are some tips for ensuring you leave your beach holiday charged with vitamin D and not burnt skin:

  • Always wear a hat and sunblock on your face, neck and ears as these areas are most exposed to the sun.
  • Between 10am and 3pm is the window for significant sun exposure so choose the right time of the day to catch your UVB rays. A rule of thumb suggests that if your shadow is longer than your body height, you can’t make any vitamin D.
  • Be mindful of your skin colour and location. Light skin does not need a lot of sun exposure to make vitamin D. Likewise, if you are living closer to the equator, where there are higher levels of UVB and UVA all year round, then don’t spend too much unprotected time in the sun.
  • 10 to 15 minutes of unprotected sun exposure to arms, legs, abdomen and back before applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen is a general guideline.

Spending your holiday unwinding at our warm and welcoming holiday house, the sand at your toes, the salty breeze tousling your hair and sunshine kissing your skin makes getting your daily dose of vitamin D luxuriously simple and healthy. It’s literally good for your bones.

Contact us to plan your next beach getaway.