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Memorial Day’s here, and that means it’s time to welcome summer.

I know, I know… “real” summer is still a month off. But when the weather’s warm, the grill is lit, and the sun is shining, why wait?

Let’s celebrate today, and the best way to welcome the “unofficial” start of the season is to let that sunlight hit your solar panels.

I’m not talking about the kind that might be on your house.

Your SKIN is the world’s greatest solar panel of all, and those rays can do more than give you a healthy glow.

They can help POWER your HEART!

I know the Chicken Littles will tell you to never, never, never, expose your skin to the sun. But I’m here to tell you the sky is NOT falling — because the sun isn’t dangerous.

In fact, it’s essential!

The moment the SAFE and HEALTHY ultraviolet rays of the sun hit the solar panels of your skin, about a million little reactions take place.

The most famous, of course, is the production of critical vitamin D — but the sun’s no one-trick pony.

That may not even be the BEST trick it has up its golden sleeves, because research also shows how exposure to UV light actually stimulates the creation of the nitric oxide needed to keep your arteries open and blood flowing.

There aren’t many functions in the body more important than that, folks.

In the study, volunteers were baked under tanning lamps in two 20-minute sessions. The sessions looked and felt identical, but with one difference: In one session, the light was filtered to “protect” the volunteers from UV rays. In the other, they got hit with everything.

The volunteers weren’t told which session was which, but their bodies sure figured it out fast — because blood pressure levels dropped for a full hour after the unfiltered, full-on UV sessions.

Now, you know me. I’m not one to get excited over a little dip in blood pressure levels, since BP is as overrated a marker of health as you’ll find this side of cholesterol.

But I AM excited over WHY those levels plunged: The researchers believe UV rays kick the body’s nitric oxide factory into full gear. And, along with lowering BP levels, that same nitric oxide could protect you from heart attack, stroke, and even death.

Heck, a little nitric oxide can even get things working “down there” for men, increasing function and giving you the power to “do it” on command.

Of course, it IS possible to get too much sun. You don’t want to be burned to a crisp — so be sure to seek shade or shelter or cover up just as your skin turns pink.

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