Maybe you think sunlight on your skin can cause cancer? Yeah, that’s one of the downsides. We’re overloaded with messages about sunscreens everywhere and anytime, even in winter. Now there’s even sunscreen with vitamins. However, there are countless advantages to spending time in the sun, just don’t do it too much!
1. Sunlight helps to prevent cancer and other health problems
Dr. Frank and Cedric Garland discovered that a lack of exposure to sunlight could be one of the reasons for the high numbers of cancer patients in New York, compared to New Mexico. Sunlight helps our bodies produce vitamin D, which in turn helps prevent certain forms of cancer.
Vitamin D deficiency can result in dementia, tooth decay, a compromised immune system, and osteoporosis. The best way to get more vitamin D is to get it from certain foods, such as fish and fresh milk, and to enjoy half an hour of direct sunlight every week.
2. Sunlight helps against depression
Serotonin is produced in the brain when sunlight hits the retina. This chemical gives you a wonderful positive feeling. It is well known that most antidepressants work by artificially stimulating serotonin production, thus preventing depression.
3. Sunshine has a bactericidal effect
To understand this, we go back to the work with which Niels Finsen won a Nobel Prize in 1903. He discovered that the treatment of certain diseases can be perfectly treated with light therapy. He showed that rays of sunlight, and not necessarily the heat, have a powerful bactericidal effect.
4. Sunlight makes you live longer
The University of Graz in Austria followed a thousand heart patients over a period of several years. They discovered that there was a connection between earlier death and the vitamin D content in the body. The best and cheapest way to maintain these vitamins is to get a little more sunlight.
5. Sunshine regulates your appetite
Another effect of vitamin D is that it keeps the appetite under control. This was the result of a study by the University of Aberdeen after they had followed 3,000 women for two years. It turned out that those who had lower levels of vitamin D in their bodies had more problems with obesity.
6. Sunlight improves your sleep
A good night’s sleep seems a bit far-fetched because of sunlight, but nothing could be further from the truth. Receptors in the eyes regulate the day-night rhythm precisely by catching sunlight. Researchers have established that an essential part of this is the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone, that is produced at night. This hormone is better produced if your body experiences more sunlight during the day.
7. Sunlight also improves your blood pressure
In Scandinavia there is less sun in the winter, because the days are so much shorter. Research among Danes shows that 80% have too little vitamin D. Other studies show that women who suffer from a vitamin D deficiency, up to fifteen years later high blood pressure can remain. This is one of the most important findings from a recent conference organized by European Society of Hypertension.
In short, go out at lunchtime, and especially during the winter months, so that your skin can absorb some extra sunlight!