As we age immunity wanes. Everything begins to slow down and processes once normally handled with ease now require supplementation and targeted dietary measures to keep them functioning optimally.
The immune system is crucial for anti-aging. In order to function well in old age, we need to make sure our immune system is operational and at full power. Numerous supplements are touted to improve immune function and each has their place but there is a much more effective source of immune boosting power and that particular source is… THE SUN!
Too easy you say? Let me share an anecdotal story. My daughters are rarely sick due to our lifestyle and I attribute part of that to the fact that they spend most weekends and a considerable amount of time during the summer in direct sunlight. Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center have found that sunlight, through a mechanism separate than vitamin D production, energizes T cells that play a central role in human immunity.
It appears that small amounts of blue light in the suns rays actually causes an increase in T cell activity. “T cells, whether they are helper or killer, need to move to do their work, which is to get to the site of infection and orchestrate a response. This study shows that sunlight directly activates key immune cells by increasing their movement.”
So what is the healthy habit I encourage? Regular sunlight exposure. BUT, without sunscreen. This runs counter to most recommendations from health professionals however, sunscreen, is not only full of carcinogenic compounds but additionally blocks UV rays necessary for the production of vitamin D in the body! That’s right, sunscreen gives you all the tan, with none of the immune-boosting vitamin D. This is why you can spend a lot of time in the sun and have blood work showing low D levels. You will not hear this from your dermatologist.
Get out in the sun. The only sunscreen you require is something containing zinc oxide. A great one that my daughters have used since the time they were babies with great results is Badgers. Works perfectly, keeps D production in full swing, and allows for all the immune boosting benefits of the sun.