We don’t need to look far to hear the negative things that are associated with the sun. Most people tend to think of too much exposure causing sunburn and triggering the early signs of aging. With that said, the sun, the light, and the heat that it gives off are central to our existence and overall health.
The sun is a vital ingredient for our overall health as aids Vitamin D production, lowers high blood pressure, helps certain skin conditions and can improve sleep.
5 Healthy Benefits Of Sunlight
- Vitamin D Production. When the skin on our body is exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, a particular cholesterol compound in the skin is transformed into a precursor of vitamin D. This fat-soluble vitamin is necessary for the absorption of calcium by the body, protects against muscle weakness, and for growth. This is not to suggest spending all day every day in the sun. In fact, exposing your face and arms to the sun for about fifteen minutes, three days a week is all that is needed to ensure adequate amounts of vitamin D in the body.
- Improves Mood. It is not all in your imagination that you feel happier when the sun shines. The reason is that when light enters the eye, it sparks neurons in the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that happens to influences mood. The nerve impulses travel to the pineal gland, which regulates serotonin, Serotonin is the feel-good hormone that’s linked to mood. In opposition, when it’s dark and gloomy, the pineal gland secretes melatonin. This is the hormone that controls sleep patterns by causing drowsiness.
- Lowers Blood Pressure. Another amazing aspect of sunshine is that a compound called nitric oxide is released into the blood vessels when we sunlight touches our skin. This process brings blood pressure levels down and can lower the risks of heart attack and stroke.
- Aids Some Skin Conditions. Sunlight can promote the healing of certain skin disorders, such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, jaundice and other fungal skin infections. While sun exposure has a therapeutic effect on the skin, this alternative treatment method should be done under medical supervision and with caution in order to prevent negative side-effects of UV radiation and to be sure that the benefits outweigh the risks.
- Better sleep. As previously mentioned, when sunlight hits our eyes and the message is sent to the pineal gland in the brain, then the production of melatonin is closed down. Your body then gets a clear signal that it’s no longer night and this helps to maintain a normal circadian rhythm. When you wake and see sunlight then your body gets the clear message that it is day and triggers the pineal gland to stop releasing melatonin during waking hours.
Sunshine simply has its health benefits, and these are often overlooked because of the dangers of too much exposure. Experts have recommended no more than 15 to 20 minutes of direct sunlight daily for a healthy adult. After that exposure, it is important to apply sunscreen.
Always keep in mind that you need to protect your skin with a high-quality sunscreen when you go outdoors, but don’t forget the wonderful benefits of sunlight.