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Health Benefits

The Importance of Vitamin D

Mental Health

Social Benefits

Financial & Time Benefits

Believe it or not, there's actually a number of health benefits to being a nudist.  We'll take a look at several of them here.

First and foremost is the HUGE benefit of getting enough sun on our entire naked body to make Vitamin D. 

The Importance of Vitamin D

 
The information below is part of the important information about Vitamin D, and comes from the website "Talk about Nudism" at http://www.nudist-resorts.org/talk/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6347.  Click this link to read the entire article.

Tanning Can Cause Cancer, but Not Tanning Could Cause a Lot Worse

Bob Berman — Vitamin D, produced when skin is exposed to light, is essential for our bodies. Unfortunately, modern lifestyles have minimized our time we spend under the sun. The Sun's Heartbeat explains why a tan isn't as bad as previously thought.

The first scenes in one Sun-tragedy unfolded long before there were written records of any kind. Spurred by events we can only guess at, a human exodus began 50,000 to 70,000 years ago, when our ancestors migrated away from the tropics and the equatorial region's strong sunlight. Immediately, people developed vitamin D deficiencies.

Our bodies make vitamin D when our skin is struck by the Sun's ultraviolet rays. Because UV intensity declines dramatically with lower Sun angles, people in temperate regions, and especially those in even higher latitudes, receive as little as 10 percent of the UV experienced by those near the equator. As our ancestors migrating north developed vitamin D deficiencies, the results were swift and brutal. They were removed from the breeding pool by a cruel Darwinian process: the fetus inside a woman with rickets (a disease resulting from low vitamin D) is unable to emerge from her body, and both die in childbirth.

Within just a few thousand years, natural selection had turned some people's skin white, and they were now able to manufacture ample vitamin D even from the reduced Sun intensity of the higher latitudes. (Dark skin color, called melanin, is a sunblock, needed because naked bodies near the equator can suffer from too much ultraviolet exposure.) In North America and northern Europe, the climate is sufficiently warm that their skin was almost fully exposed for more than half the year, and their bodies stored vitamin D in the muscle and fat. A new balance had been restored.

But starting a century ago, everything changed. First, the United States and Europe went from a mostly outdoors agrarian society to a mostly indoors manufacturing one. Then people started driving around in vehicles surrounded by windows. Glass prevents any vitamin D production because it blocks the Sun's UV. When air-conditioning became widely available starting in the late 1950s and then got cheaper in the 1970s, people stopped keeping their windows open. Fixed- pane units became increasingly popular. The only sunlight that reached us in our homes and workplaces came through UV-stopping glass.

The last straw was sunblock. It did not even exist until thirty years ago. The initial UV- reducing creams, which cut exposure only in half, were marketed in the 1950s to promote tanning, not totally screen out ultraviolet rays. Then, in the 1980s, a new product came on the market: sunblock. With SPF (sun protection factor) numbers such as 30 and 45, sunblock essentially stops the body's vitamin D production cold. At the same time, people were advised to cover themselves with these lotions throughout the summer months. Even the medical establishment urged hiding from the Sun as a way to counter skin cancer.

The metamorphosis was complete: we had become like the Morlocks in H. G. Wells's book The Time Machine, shielded almost totally from sunlight's UV.

Enter modern vitamin D researchers such as John Cannell, MD, executive director of the Vitamin D Council, a nonprofit educational corporation that believes that "many humans are needlessly suffering and dying from Vitamin D Deficiency." Cannell is no ordinary medical doctor. He's no ordinary researcher either. He is a proselytizer, the first in the theater to shout "Fire!" when the smoke appears, while there's still time to get out. And these days, he's very, very passionate. He believes that human beings have unwittingly transformed themselves into something uniquely and self- destructively unnatural.

"We are the first society of cave people," he lamented to me in 2010. "In the development process of creating the skin, nature never dreamed that we'd deliberately avoid the Sun so thoroughly."

What Cannell and a growing legion of researchers are decrying are the past three decades of newspaper and TV scare stories that have made the public afraid of the Sun. The consequence, they believe, is that our blood's natural vitamin D levels are just a tiny fraction of what nature intended. And this is producing an avalanche of horrible consequences that include vastly increased rates of cancer.

That vitamin D is super-important is no longer in doubt. It has become the new needed supplement, recommended increasingly by family doctors and the popular media alike. The March 2010 Reader's Digest calls vitamins in general "a scam" and urges people to take no daily supplements whatsoever - with the single exception of 1,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D3, the form most recommended as a supplement.

This sudden interest has been sparked by a spate of studies strongly indicating that vitamin D is the most powerful anticancer agent ever known. Robert Heaney, MD, of Creighton University, a vitamin D researcher, points to thirty- two randomized trials, the majority of which were strongly positive. For example, in a big study of women whose average age was sixty-two, subjects who were given a large daily vitamin D supplement enjoyed a whopping 60 percent reduction in all kinds of cancers after just four years of treatment compared to a control group.

The skeptical might well wonder how, when cancer typically takes decades to develop, such a huge drop can be detected after just a few years. Heaney believes it's because vitamin D prevents tiny predetectable tumors from growing or spreading. "That's the kind of cancer I'd want to have - one that never grows," he told me in June 2010.

The Canadian Cancer Society raised its vitamin D intake recommendations to 1,000 IU daily in 2009. But Cannell, Heaney, and others think that even this is still way too low.

"I went to a conference and asked all the researchers what they themselves take daily and give to their families," Heaney said. "The average was 5,500 IU daily. There is certainly no danger in doing this, since toxicity cannot arise in under 30,000 IU a day."


Spending just ten minutes in strong sunlight - the kind you get from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM between April and August - will allow your body to make as much vitamin D as you would get from drinking two hundred glasses of milk. This is astonishing. Asks John Cannell rhetorically, "Why does nature do this so quickly? Nature normally doesn't do this kind of thing."

The implied answer, of course, is that we were designed to have a high and steady level of this vitamin in our bodies. Yet as more and more people are tested, researchers are finding serious vitamin D deficiencies in virtually all of the population of the United States, Canada, and northern Europe. The reason? According to Cannell and the other doctors on the Vitamin D Council, we have been hiding from the Sun for decades.

The results may be even worse than we realize. Many researchers now fear that the explosive increase in autism is a result of pregnant mothers having close to no vitamin D in their bodies and then young babies and infants being similarly shielded from the Sun. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that virtually no infants are getting enough vitamin D. The inadequacy figures, even using the CDC's pre-2011 lower recommendations of what they thought the body should have, was that 90 percent of infants are deficient.

According to Cannell, the highest autism rates occur in areas that have the most clouds and rain, and hence the lowest blood levels of vitamin D. A Swedish study has strongly linked sunlight deprivation with autism. Moreover, blacks, whose vitamin D levels are half those found in whites living at the same latitudes, have twice the autism rates. Conversely, autism is virtually unknown in places such as sunny Somalia, where most people still spend most of their time outdoors. Yet another piece of anecdotal evidence is that autism is one of the very few afflictions that occur at higher rates among the wealthier and more educated - exactly the people most likely to be diligent about sunscreen and more inclined to keep their children indoors.

Since this is not a medical book, I can only pass on the recommendations of those in the forefront of vitamin D research. Their best advice is to go in the Sun regularly without burning. Wear as little clothing as you can. You know how much Sun you can handle without turning red. Unless you have a very light complexion and blond or red hair, you should be able to expose yourself safely to ten to twenty minutes of strong sunlight at a time. Lie out in the Sun in shorts for five to ten minutes on each side. The key to UV intensity is Sun height. If your shadow is shorter than you are, your body will produce a good amount of vitamin D.

After experiencing twenty minutes of unprotected midday Sun from May to July, or a full hour or more during March, early April, and late August through October, you can certainly use sunblock. The experts say to buy the kind whose active ingredient is either zinc or titanium oxide. Most other kinds will be absorbed by the skin, then enter the bloodstream and circulate. "You might as well drink the stuff," Cannell says disdainfully.

During the low-Sun winter months, you need to spend much more time sunbathing and probably take a vitamin D supplement. The experts are currently urging 2,000 to 3,000 IU daily.

 

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Mental Health Benefits

There are numerous Mental Health Benefits to experiencing the clothes free lifestyle, even if part time.

Body Acceptance

People in the US in particular have a very negative body image which is mostly due to the media.  Those depicted as beautiful, models, celebrities, etc, are often show in photos after being fully photo shopped and air brushed.  They often don't look at all the same in person as they do in photos which creates an unrealistic idea of what is beautiful and what is not.  Then to top it off, most models are forced to starve themselves to remain unrealistically thin, and unhealthy.  And the companies selling weight loss products, skin and hair care, exercise equipment, etc, all prey on this by again sending the message that if you don't have perfect skin, a perfectly thin body, etc, that you are ugly and should be ashamed of your body.

Research at the University of Northern Iowa discovered that nudists have significantly higher body self-acceptance. Another study concluded that teens at a New York nudist camp were “extraordinarily well-adjusted, happy, and thoughtful.” It’s also excellent for children to grow up free of shame about the human body.

Kids Grow up Healthier

It helps children grow up with less body shame, and to grow up better adjusted.  Researchers studying the effect of children who grow up in a nudist household hypothesized that early exposure to parental nudity would improve the body self-concept of preschool children. She examined 264 children and their parents or guardians, noting that some families were nudists while others were not. She found that the children from nudist households had a more positive body self-concept than the non-nudist children. She determined from her findings that coming from a nudist family played a more significant role in the children's positive self body-image than their race, gender, or area of the country in which they lived. Moreover, she found that those children whose families practiced social nudity at home and at naturist camps scored higher in terms of self body-image than those who practiced social nudity only at home.

Reduced Stress

When you remove you clothes you almost instantly reduce your stress levels.  You no longer have to worry about what people think of your clothing choices, shoe choice, hair style, etc, because everyone around you has bared themselves in the same way.  Everyone has flaws, and nudists understand that it is not what is on our bodies that defines who we are, it's what's inside that matters.  Therefore people try to get to know you without passing judgment on you first.  Many find this incredibly liberating and refreshing, which is one reason most people fall in love with the lifestyle.

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Social Benefits

When everyone around you is clothes free, you discover that many social barriers are removed.  There's no longer any indication of who is rich, poor, etc.  It puts everyone on the same ground and conversations are started much easier.  Also, partly because nudists subscribe to a very non judgmental lifestyle choice, they are some of the friendliest people around and some of the easiest to talk too.  Everyone has some common ground of enjoying life without clothing when possible.

 

Financial & Time Benefits

Clothes costs us a fortune with shopping, laundry, closets, dressers, and gazillions of hours wasted wondering what so-and-so looks like with their garments removed. Even going without clothes part time will save you on laundry, wear and tear, laundry soaps, energy to wash them, etc.  And it saves a lot of time that you would normally spend washing and folding those clothes.

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