For quite some time now people have been encouraged not to be out in the sun without sunscreen because of the negative impacts the sun can have on skin. Sunshine is the most powerful source of natural vitamin D known however, so basking in the sun can provide many health benefits. Here are a few that could prove useful to one and all.
- Mood Elevator- Sunlight is a mood enhancer that facilitates the release of endorphins that raise the body’s serotonin (Happy Hormone) levels.
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)- is a form of depression that develops during the colder months, commonly known as the ‘winter blues’, SAD impacts people whose genetics are so sensitive to the lack of sunshine, that they develop severe sadness and become debilitatingly withdrawn. The warmth one feels while enjoying a day in the winter sun can help combat this disorder in some cases as effectively as medication does. (note- Always follow your doctor’s guidelines if taking medication for any type of mood disorder)
- Vitamin D- The sun is your best natural way to provide your body with the Vitamin D it needs. Spending 15 minutes out in the sunlight during the middle of the day while UVB rays are at their peak without sunscreen can deliver 10,000 – 20,000 IU (international units) of Vitamin D and as discussed previously in my post regarding Colorectal Cancer and Higher Vitamin D intake, more is better here.
- Heart Health- In 2013 a Danish scientist conducted a study that encompassed analysis of four million people, which hypothesised that sunlight can protect and boost the heart’s health. The scientist found that people in the study who unfortunately suffered from skin cancer ironically had decreased their risk of heart attack. Although this analysis included a large swath of people, further research is needed to confirm the hypothesis.
- Acne Remedy- Controlled sun exposure and protection of your skin with sunscreen and aloe vera may be good for treating acne. Sunshine works by suppressing the bacteria that can cause acne development and redness.
In conclusion I want to encourage each of us to be diligent in our sun exposure to be sure, yet we can not avoid the sun all together either, as this is known to be a detriment to each of us as well. We must each learn what works best for us as individuals, as well as learn to balance the way we go about gaining all of the health benefits of the sun while mitigating the known risks, the risks can be managed, and if done properly the benefits can be astronomical. So how do you use the sun to benefit your health? Tell me in the comments, I look forwarding to hearing from each of you.
In the meantime I am hoping that each of you have had the best day possible and that your tomorrow is even better.