Benefits of Sunlight for Optimal Health!
ALL the Amazing Benefits of Sunlight Including Anti-Aging!
From promoting the growth of plants, to keeping you warm and lifting your spirit, to boosting your immune system, Sunlight is Essential for ALL Life.
by Leslie Blackwell
While spending time outdoors in the sunlight is the Best Source for Natural Vitamin D, supplementation is the next best source, especially if you have concerns over possible damage from overexposure to sunlight (skin cancer, etc.).
Interestingly, it’s usually the amount of sunlight exposure and your preparation for exposure that can reduce the risk of developing multiple sclerosis or other autoimmune diseases…
In fact, those are typically higher in those who live in northern climates with limited sunshine.
So, let’s explore the Top Benefits of Sunlight. Also, why it’s important for you and your family to get frequent exposures, preferably daily.
Top 8 Benefits of Sunlight!
1 – Boosts Vitamin D Levels
The sun’s UV rays help your body make vitamin D, essential for your blood cells, bones, and immune system. Vitamin D also helps you absorb and use minerals like phosphorus and calcium.
At the same time, most people get sufficient levels of vitamin D from food. Children who don’t could get rickets, a condition that softens and weakens bones.
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2 – Improves Sleep
Sunlight and darkness induce the release of hormones in the brain. Exposure to sunlight is believed to increase the serotonin hormone release in the brain. Serotonin has been associated with improving moods and helping us feel calm and focused.
During the night, the darkness triggers the brain to release another hormone known as melatonin which is responsible for regulating sleep.
The main function of the pineal gland, located in the center of the brain, is to receive information about the state of the light-dark cycle from the environment and convey this information to produce and secrete the hormone melatonin. Unfortunately as we age the pineal gland becomes sluggish and no longer produces optimal levels of melatonin. This is why many choose to supplement with this age-defying hormone.
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3 – Weight Loss
Studies have shown that 20-30 minutes of morning sunlight, between 8 am and noon, may help keep the fat off. You need 20 to 30 minutes between 8 am and noon. The earlier you get out in the sunlight, the better the chances of it shrinking fat cells below the skin’s surface.
The simple act of getting outdoors can also encourage more exercise and help you shed more pounds.
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4 – Improves Your Emotional Well-Being
The serotonin that sunlight generates can increase energy levels and, at the same time, create a sense of calm and leave you feeling focused and positive.
Physicians often treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and other forms of depression associated with low serotonin levels with artificial or natural light.
5 – Raises Cognitive Function
Research has also shown that serotonin and melatonin regulation is involved in cognitive function and may be influenced by sunlight. Bright sunlight exposure activates areas of the brain that enhance alertness and improves cognitive performance.
6 – Supports Vision Health
Moderate amounts of sunlight over a lifetime, especially during the teen and young adult years, will make it less likely that people have problems with nearsightedness (seeing things at a distance). However, too much direct sunlight can harm the eyes, potentially leading to blurred vision and raising the chances of cataracts.
7 – Treats Several Skin Conditions
According to the World Health Organization, exposure to sunlight (even filtered sunlight) can also help treat several skin conditions, including psoriasis, eczema, acne, and jaundice in babies.
Exposing a baby to filtered sunlight (near a window to filter out harmful UV rays) can help treat jaundice. Never place a newborn outdoors in direct sunlight.
8 – May Help Fight Cancer
Low levels of Vitamin D can increase the risk of different types of cancer, including prostate, and ovarian cancers, as well as Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and type 1 diabetes.
How Much is Too Much Sunlight?
Too much exposure without protection can not only increase the chances of getting skin cancer, but it can also make you age faster too. This can cause a leathery texture, dark spots, and wrinkles.
In addition, sunburned skin uses white blood cells from the immune system to heal, affecting the body’s ability to fight off the germs that cause illnesses. However, regular, small amounts of sunlight can help ease the symptoms of health and skin conditions.
How Much Sunlight Do You Need?
How much do you need depends on your health history, skin tone, diet, age, where you live, and time of day. The answer to this question is different for everyone. Overall, health professionals have suggested 15-20 minutes (up to 30 if you’re dark-skinned), several times a week, to get the most sunlight benefits without causing health problems.
During the summer, the sun is at its highest point, which also means you’ll need less time in the sun to get a sufficient amount of Vitamin D.
Now, once you’ve gotten your recommended dosage of sunlight, and you’re remaining outdoors and exposed to sunlight for other activities, here are some sunlight best practices for staying in the sunshine longer:
- Wear protective clothing.
- Always wear a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
- Wear UV light-filtered sunglasses.
- Hydrate with water or coconut water before, during and after sun exposure.
- Consider using an “Internal” sunscreen like astaxanthin daily…
Scientists have discovered that astaxanthin, found in high amounts in wild salmon can help protect against cumulative sun damage to the skin and eyes.
Astaxanthin may also help reduce the risk of eye disease such as macular degeneration. Also can help protect against cataracts and vision loss from glaucoma.
While regular doses of sunlight are essential for optimal health and wellness, follow the safe practices mentioned above for longer periods of sunshine. Regular skin cancer checks are also important to ensure your skin remains healthy.
Remember How Plants Regenerate Daily…
Imagine being a plant (outdoors or indoors), depending on nature for nourishment…
You’d look at daily sunshine as well as rainfall to help. Without sunshine, or special high intensity full spectrum lighting, a plant will die.
The same applies to people with sunshine and all the BENEFITS from daily exposures…
So think like a plant, and schedule in your daily dosage, 15-20 minutes, of Natural Sunlight!