Sun Safety

By Suzanne McMurry, ND

Yes, the sun really does shine in Seattle! Does this mean you have to use sunscreen and avoid the sun’s harmful rays? You bet, but sunscreen should never be the first line of defense from the sun, especially as we roll into the summer months. Instead:

1. Avoid the peak! Go outdoors in early morning and late afternoon when the sun is lower.
2. Cover up! Wear wide brimmed hats, loose fitting shirts, shorts and pants that block harmful UV rays.
3. Keep those shades on! Shield your eyes from UV radiation that has been linked to cataracts.
4. Stay in the shade! If your child is under six months, keep her or him out of the direct sun.

When you are out in the sun during peak times, it’s essential to use sunscreen. But with all the sunscreen on the market, how do you decide which is actually the best for you? Most over-the-counter sunscreens contain toxic ingredients that can actually promote nasty free radical growth within your body that can lead to inflammation and chronic disease.

To find the best, natural sunscreens check out the Environmental Working Group website (www.EWG.org) and follow its rating guide.

Even with all the sun, there’s the question, “Aren’t most people in the Pacific Northwest Vitamin D deficient?” The answer to this is “yes;” in fact, 98% of the patients I see and test for Vitamin D status are in fact deficient. Vitamin D is a miraculous nutrient that functions in your body like a hormone rather than a vitamin, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, inflammation, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and many forms of cancer. If you haven’t had your Vitamin D checked in the last year, schedule an appointment with me soon. Just call (206) 535-6687 for a same-day appointment.