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Lifestyle Choices for Wellness

Timely discussion on topics of health and wellness to encourage action and improvement in personal wellness.

6/26/2013-Soak up the Sun for Good Health!

If you are anything like me, you welcome the blazing sunny days of summer. Every chance I get, I am poolside soaking up the sun. What's better than a summer's tan? I know, the fact that a summer's tan has health benefits! UC Irvine and Mayo Clinic researchers have found that vitamin D levels in the U.S. population peak in August and bottom out in February. The culprit of this? That big hot star they call the sun. That's right, sunshine is good for us in more ways than just improving out mood-it helps our teeth and bones as well!

The essential vitamin – necessary for healthy bones – is produced in the skin upon exposure to ultraviolet B rays from the sun. Vitamin D helps bones absorb calcium and can protect against osteoporosis. It's also thought to play a role in seasonal illnesses, such as the flu. Low levels of vitamin D are believed to impair "innate immunity" i.e., the body's first line of defense against pathogens.

Sun exposure – a timely topic since June 21 marked the first day of summer – is the most important way people acquire vitamin D. But certain foods, including egg yolks and oil-rich fishlike mackerel, salmon, sardines and herring contain the nutrient. In addition, milk and cereal are often enriched with vitamin D. Even with food fortification, vitamin D levels in the population show a high level of seasonality due to the influence of sunlight.

That being said, don't welcome the sun too open armed-be sure to wear your sunscreen! So, put on the SPF and fire up the grill, sit out on the deck and make this summery, vitamin D rich recipe! All your bases are covered for this nutrient!

Gingery Salmon with Peaches


1tablespoon rice vinegar

1tablespoon grated ginger

1teaspoon fresh thyme

4tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

kosher salt and pepper

2 medium red oinion, cut in wedges

3 peaches, cut in wedges

4 6 oz salmon steaks


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