Copy of Blog Feature April 2022 - 2

Holistic Ways to Stay Safe in the Summer Sun

Hi, I’m Dr. Marie Starling

At The Healing Center, we help people like you reach their full potential. I specialize in adjunctive care for internal disorders, autoimmune conditions, IBSthyroid symptoms, diabetes,  adrenal fatigue and other complex health issues

During the hot summer months, it’s important to stay hydrated and mindful of exposure to the sun. We will discuss staying hydrated, getting sun exposure for Vitamin D synthesis, and healthy sunscreen options.

Summer Hydration

Staying hydrated in the hot and humid or hot and dry summer months is important for electrolyte balance and proper function of the body. As a general rule, 8 to 10 eight ounce glasses of water per day are optimal, adding more if physically active or outside for long periods of time. The color of your urine can help you gauge hydration; urine should be pale yellow to clear, not dark yellow.

Avoid or limit caffeine from coffee and tea and also avoid or limit alcoholic and sugary drinks. Instead, opt for these hydrating beverages: Bone broth, kombucha, coconut kefir, herbal teas, fruit smoothies, vegetable juices, and hot water with lemon. The top 10 hydrating food include:

  1. Coconut water and kefir
  2. Celery
  3. Watermelon and melons
  4. Cucumber
  5. Kiwi
  6. Bell peppers
  7. Oranges and grapefruit
  8. Pineapple
  9. Carrots
  10. Grapes

Other hydrating foods include bananas, tomatoes, zucchini, radishes, lettuce, mangoes, and berries.

What is Vitamin D and Why is It Important?

  • Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that is not actually a vitamin, but a hormone that every cell in the body relies on for peak function.
  • Vitamin D plays an integral role in the care of autoimmune diseases such as adrenal fatigue, chronic fatigue, and hypothyroidism.
  • A deficiency of this essential nutrient not only impairs the immune and cardiovascular systems, but also mood, asthma, neurological imbalances, blood pressure, and other issues.
  • At The Healing Center Denver, we can test your Vitamin D levels to get a baseline of your levels and see how much to supplement. Your body can produce its own Vitamin D via UVB rays from the sun – just 15 to 20 minutes with skin exposure between 10am and 2pm is sufficient.
  • Pink skin means that you have produced 10,000 IU’s of Vitamin D in the skin.
  • It also means time to cover up; overexposure to the sun leads to skin cancer, so make sure to cover up after 20 minutes or if the skin is pink.

Sunscreens and Natural Sun Protection

Today, so many options for sunscreen are available on the market, but unfortunately most sunscreens are full of toxic chemicals and fail to fully block both UVA and UVB rays. Most sunscreens require you to re-apply multiple times, increasing exposure and absorption of highly toxic chemicals that are endocrine disruptors, such as oxybenzone, one of the most dangerous ingredients in sunscreen.

Instead, cover up with hats, long and light flowy clothing, wear sunglasses, and stay indoors or seek shade if possible to avoid sun exposure during the heat of the day. You can check out the Environmental Working Group’s website to get a full list of the least toxic sunscreens.

Making homemade sunscreen is also a possibility:

Homemade Sunscreen


  • 10 drops lavender
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate oil
  • 3/4 C coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp Zinc Oxide
  • 2 tbsp shea butter
  • Glass Jar


  1. Combine all ingredients except zinc oxide in a jar.
  2. Place a saucepan with 2 inches of water on stove over medium/low heat.
  3. Place jar in saucepan and stir contents until ingredients start to melt.
  4. Once all ingredients are combined, add in zinc oxide and stir well. Store in a cool place.

If your mood is feeling off or you are experiencing stubborn health issues like chronic pain and autoimmune conditions, then contact us, your Denver Functional Medicine specialist by calling (303) 721-8900 to schedule a 15-minute consultation. Or request a consultation below. I’ll help you release any energetic imbalances that are sabotaging your health and wellbeing!

By Jessica Yoches, MNT