06 Oct Why We Need Sunlight
The average American spends 92% of their life indoors. This is so incredibly sad for many different reasons. Human beings need sunlight to thrive. It’s a scientific fact. Not only do we need the sun for energy, but our cells also need it to perform all the functions of our body’s many complicated systems.
On a recent episode of The Darin Olien Show, my friend Matt Maruca and I sat under a big oak tree and had quite the conversation. Matt is the founder and creator of Ra Optics. Named after the Sun God, Ra Optics makes fashionable glasses that block out blue light from phones, computers and TV screens. Studies have shown that blue light has a negative effect on our circadian rhythm, and can prevent us from getting a good night’s sleep.
Matt had what he calls “low-level health problems” most of his life. When he was in his teens, he got to the point that his gut issues, allergies, acne breakouts, and debilitating headaches were too much to put up with. He knew there had to be an answer as to why he was feeling this way. After experimenting with diet, he just felt like there were more questions. “I was still struggling a lot, I felt way better than I had before, but I was still super crazily craving carbohydrates.”
It’s More Than Diet
When Matt discovered Dr. Jack Kruse, that’s when things really began to change. The neurosurgeon had an approach to the science behind our choices that struck a chord with Matt. Dr. Kruse emphasizes that we are much more than just the food we eat. And that we are a complex series of chemical reactions, fueling everything about our well-being. “It’s a very natural, wholesome perspective when it’s put that way,” Matt explains. “When someone’s trying to solve a bunch of health issues that are not caused by diet, with diet, it’s not necessarily going to be able to solve those issues,” he says.
As Matt’s research progressed, he discovered the power of mitochondria. He describes mitochondria as “the little engines in our cells that keep us alive by burning our food with oxygen to make water and energy.” Everything we do affects our mitochondria, negatively or positively. I’ll spare you the science here, but be sure to check out our full conversation for all the gory details. As Matt puts it, “So 30% of my weight is mitochondria. These things are us, we are them. It isn’t like they are this other thing. They are us and the better they work, the better we work.”
Fueled By The Sun
The most important thing to note, is that a key fuel for the mitochondria in our bodies is sunlight. “We are, what I call beings of light,” Matt explains. “This isn’t my term, people have used it for many many millennia. But, we actually evolved under sunlight. Our evolution was driven by sunlight.”
When we actively work to block out the sun, by covering up with clothes, staying inside or lathering thick chemical-laced lotion on our skin, we’re doing our mitochondria a grave disservice. The more we deprive our cells of sunlight, the harder they have to work to provide our bodies with what we need. This causes all sorts of health issues.
The most significant issue is the disruption of our circadian rhythm. The internal clock every living organism has is reliant on the sun. When we don’t get enough light from the sun, our bodies literally don’t know how to function correctly. Blue light from the countless screens we rely on makes things even worse. “I don’t think someone can be robustly healthy if they live a totally indoor lifestyle,” Matt put simply. And I agree. It’s just not possible.
So, what do we do?
Matt has developed what he calls The Light Diet, which has simple steps you can take to get more sunlight into your life. You can learn more about it on his YouTube channel. But, I’ll break it down simply here. Wake with the sun and sleep with the sun. Sunbathe for at least 5-10 minutes a day, and gradually more and more. Take off your sunglasses and let your eyes naturally contract in the sun like they’re meant to. Drink pure, spring water. Eat a seasonal, clean diet and get plenty of Omega 3s. And cultivate your inner light with spirituality.
We ARE beings of light. And as Matt says,