When you think of the sun, we immediately begin thinking about the damage it can cause. And that too much sun can cause various health problems. That’s a misconception that needs to be eradicated off people’s minds. Yes, too much sun for a long period of time may harm you, especially if your diet already includes inflammatory foods like a lot of seed oils, etc. But what is not popularised is that lack of sunlight is more harmful than excess sunlight.
Sunlight is necessary for human well-being. Sunlight gives us a lot of health benefits, few include giving rise to the production of the vital vitamin D, supporting bone health, reducing blood pressure, preventing disease and maintaining good mental health.
We often hear about how a lot of sunlight can be harmful to your skin. But did you know that the right amount of sunlight can have a lot of mood-lifting benefits?
Here are some reasons why you should soak up some sunshine every day:
- It prevents vitamin D deficiency: weak bones, lack of calcium, skin and hair problems are aggravated by Vitamin D deficiency.
- It reduces cancer risk: research says that people who live in places with more sunlight are likely to have a reduced cancer rate. Cancers that have been reported to reduce with sun exposure are: colon cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer and pancreatic cancer.
- It lowers blood pressure: sunlight exposure lets out a chemical called Nitric Oxide that causes our blood vessels to expand as the oxide moves into the bloodstream hence diminishing blood pressure in the circulatory system.
- It improves bone health: Vitamin D, produced by the body due to exposure to sunlight, helps your body sustain calcium and prevents fragile, thin or deformed bones.
- It heals skin disorders: vitamin D existing in your skin is activated by the sun, so getting some morning sunlight would be a good idea.
- Improves sleep: sunlight improves your circulatory rhythm by sending your body signals of when you are rising and lowering your melatonin levels. Therefore, when you get more sunlight, your body will produce better melatonin when it is time to go to bed.
- It helps cure depression: the sun helps raise your body’s serotonin level, which is a chemical that enhances your mood and helps you stay calm, composed and focused.
- It promotes weight loss: research suggests that 20 to 30 minutes of sun exposure is enough for you to decrease your Body Mass Index (BMI).
In addition, a 2017 study published in the Journal of Human Resources found that students who get more sunlight every day perform better in tests.
Yet another research conducted at the Interdepartmental Neuroscience program at Northwestern University in Chicago noted that there is a strong link between workplace daylight exposure and the employees’ sleep, activity and quality of life.
To keep blood levels healthy, try and absorb at least 10–30 minutes of midday sunlight, multiple times in a week. Your exposure time wholly depends on your skin's sensitivity. Now the thought might cross your mind as to, Why midday sunlight? Well, midday is the most recommended time to get vitamin D, since the sun is at its highest peak and your body may produce vitamin D most efficiently at that time of day. This means that you may have to spend less time in broad daylight than at any other time. Not only is it effective but it is also safe to get vitamin D during the day.
Study shows that receiving sunlight from 11a.m. - 4p.m. is most effective
When we do not get enough sunlight, our bodies do not produce enough serotonin or vitamin D. Low serotonin levels can cause fatigue and frustration, and vitamin D deficiency is well-known and causes fatigue. This can make it difficult to concentrate or do much.
Do you think the color of your skin affects the amount of sunlight you need? YES!
The color of your skin is determined by a pigment called melanin. People with darker skin usually have more melanin than people with fair skin. In addition, their melanin pigs are also larger and darker. However, that creates a big problem because people with dark skin need to spend more time in the sun than people with fair skin to produce the same amount of vitamin D.
Studies show that exposure at a young age is very important.
Today, most of us have moved from sun worship to sun dread. Yes, being outdoors brings happiness to many. And playing tennis is better for your health than watching television. But you can still protect yourself from the harmful effects of the sun while enjoying the outdoors by wearing UV-light sunglasses, long sleeves and trousers, or a wide-brimmed hat, to help protect your body from the harmful effects of the sun while immersing yourself.
So when the sun’s out so should you!!