Just 10 to 15 minutes sitting in the sun without protection is enough to greatly boost vitamin D levels. Vitamin D deficiency is on the increase in the UK so boosting levels in the sunshine supports bone health, teeth and immunity.

The sun offers so many benefits apart from boosting vitamin D levels, it helps us to relax, lifts our mood and makes us feel good.

We know there are dangers to overexposure, so here are some ways you can enjoy the benefits while reducing the risks.

      • Aim to spend 15 to 20 minutes in the sun after 10am and before 3pm for some unprotected exposure to boost Vitamin D. This is when the sun is high enough in the sky to convert Vitamin D in your skin.
      • Vitamin D helps you protect your skin from sun damage so boost levels further with a natural food-based supplement if you have not built up a good supply over the last few months. See Hifas da Terra Bio-Ganoderma, Terranova Vitamin D3 2000iu Complex
      • Start protecting your skin from photo-aging from the inside by eating lots of antioxidant rich fruit and vegetables like apricots, peaches, strawberries, raspberries, pomegranate, blueberries, blackberries, grapes, squash, peppers, sweet potato, carrots.
      • Vitamin C is a major component of collagen formation and Vitamin E protects collagen from breaking down. Both Vitamin C and E work brilliantly together to protect your skin from UV damage. Eat blueberries, olive oil, pine nuts and vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables. You can also try including a powdered fruit high in Vitamin C like KIKI Health Acerola, Boabab or Camu Camu in yoghurt or a smoothie.

      • Carotenoids including beta–carotene (the precursor to Vitamin A) are noted for antioxidant properties. The most amazing is Astaxanthin. Studies have shown it to hydrate, smooth and reduce wrinkles and help skin regeneration. It's a potent UVB absorber and reduces DNA damage. See Rejuvented H30 Night Repair and Terranova Bilberry, Lutein and Astaxanthin Complex.Resveratrol is another antioxidant found to help protect skin from UV damage. Try eating red grapes, blueberries and dark chocolate.
      • Omega 3 fatty acids will also offer anti-inflammatory benefits and help hydrate skin from the inside so include Oily Fish, Walnuts, flaxseeds, Chia seeds. After some unprotected exposure, implement sun protection measures such as sunglasses, a hat, seek shade and wear a good sunscreen offering both UVB and UVA protection.

UVA rays are more abundant and are present even when it is cloudy and these can damage skin over time, accelerate ageing, including wrinkles and age spots, as well as suppress immunity. UVB can cause sunburn and is much stronger in the summer months.

Sensible precautions and a little unprotected sun exposure will ensure you reap the benefits and feel great.