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Holistic healing: Safer sun strategies

Are there any natural strategies for safer sun exposure?

Elle Fox, Naturopath, CNM Graduate answers

What we eat and drink can influence how we deal with sun exposure. Some of the following may support a healthier relationship with sunlight, especially in the summer months.

Eat sunny - certain foods support resilience from within, helping our body deal with the sun (and benefit from healthy eating in the process). Foods rich in vitamin D (organic raw dairy, fish and plant oils and fats), leafy greens and colourful berries and fruit are just some ideas.

Raw juices - boosting, detoxifying and wonderfully refreshing, they support overall health resilience.

Vitamin D - a good quality supplement may help increase resistance to sunburn (it does not replace other sun protection measures, though).

Hydrate - we lose more water through sweating in hot weather, so regularly sipping filtered water is advisable.

Of course, just eating and drinking right won’t go the whole way to benefiting from safe sun exposure, so practice some:

Sunsense - be sensible; keep track of how long you have been in the sun; protect babies and small children from over-exposure; sip water, avoid alcohol, sugar and heavy food. Caution: you can still sunburn in the water or if it is cloudy.

Controlled exposure - take sun exposure in bite-size chunks and use a timer to slowly build up.

External support - research non-toxic alternative sun protection. Some plant oils have naturally high SPFs, whereas there is research pointing to commercial sunscreens contributing to skin cancer. Seek the advice of a naturopathic practitioner, especially if you exercise or have other health needs, before you expose yourself to sunlight.

CNM trains successful practitioners in a range of natural therapies. Voted Best College/University in the 2021 IHCAN Education Awards.
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