Chalk another one up for Mother Nature’s infinite wisdom.
While unprotected sun exposure is still actively discouraged by many health care professionals, scientific researchers continue to document—in rapidly increasing numbers—its many health-enhancing benefits (discussed in a previous post). Lower blood pressure, a decreased risk of both heart attack and stroke, a heightened sense of well-being, and improved athletic performance, are just a few.
Many active, health-minded people now understand that getting the appropriate dose of sunlight is critical for optimal health and performance because it fuels the skin’s ability to produce an adequate supply of vitamin D3. But the positive consequences don’t stop there. It turns out that the skin acts as a storage depot for nitric oxide (NO). And that sunlight plays a critical role in activating the physiological processes that convert stored forms of NO (from dietary nitrates found in green vegetables and red beets) into the bio-available form of NO that can actually be used by the body.
What’s so special about nitric oxide? It’s one of the most important health and performance factors in the human body. This short-lived, gaseous molecule plays a powerful role in promoting cellular communication and blood circulation. High nitric oxide levels have been consistently linked to:
Improved athletic performance
Quicker, more complete recovery
Deeper, more restful sleep
More efficient digestion
Reduced blood pressure
A more positive outlook on life
Greater energy and motivation
Faster wound healing
Reduced levels of internal inflammation (the cause of most chronic disease)
A stronger, more resilient immune system
Improved cardiovascular function and arterial health
Enhanced sexual function
How’s that for a list of reasons why you should be scheduling some time outdoors—without sunscreen—to your list of daily activities?
Based on this insight, it’s becomes easier to understand why cardiovascular disease rates are linked to geographic latitudes, especially during winter. And why athletes typically perform better during the summer months, when they naturally receive more sunlight. While taking a vitamin D supplement can help, it can’t compensate for a lack of sunlight.
Interested in finding out what your NO status is? A simple, at-home saliva assessment will reveal your level of this critical health and performance factor. This assessment is simple and inexpensive enough to be repeated over time, which makes it possible to measure and monitor improvements resulting from dietary changes, targeted nutrient support, and/or increased exposure to sunlight.
Just $15.00 will get you 5 NO assessment strips and a 35-page Restorative Guide, filled with all the practical information you’ll need to optimize your NO level using foods and food-based supplements. To place an order or learn more click here.
Want to dig a little deeper? Find out why optimizing your NO level should be occupying the top position on your health and performance priority list by budgeting some time to listen to this 30-minute lecture by Dr. Nathan Byran—one of the world’s leading NO researchers—available here.