Springtime brings with it longer days and more sunshine. But when you turn on the news all you hear are warnings about how the sun damages your health. Sunlight can cause cancer as well as give you lines and wrinkles. Sure, spending too much time in the sun, getting sunburn or not using sun protection can all harm your health. But did you know there are health benefits associated with sun exposure? Don’t avoid the sun – enjoy some safe sun exposure. Here are seven of the surprising benefits of the sun that will help improve your life.
Sunlight Helps Prevent Disease
- The Vitamin D supply you get from being outside in the sun can help to protect against some forms of cancer, such as colon cancer, rectal cancer, and breast cancer. In order to get the direct benefits of vitamin D, exposure your skin without sunscreen to a small amount of sunlight – experts suggest up to 10 minutes a day, without burning the skin.
- Exposure to sunshine as a child, and also higher maternal levels of vitamin D through sun exposure, are linked to lower risk of developing multiple sclerosis as an adult.
- One of the main benefits of vitamin D is how it assists the body with using calcium for making healthy bones. Vitamin D from the sun therefore helps prevent bone disease, osteoporosis, and fractures.
Sunlight Helps Minimize Disease Symptoms
- Sun exposure has been linked to a lessening of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. The results of one study show that exposure to bright light in the daytime helps relieve depression, improve cognitive function, and improve sleep in Alzheimer’s patients.
- Sunlight may also help relieve the symptoms of autoimmune diseases like psoriasis and lupus.
Sunlight Brings Mind-Body Benefits
- Getting out in the sun can help you sleep better, which in turn promotes better health. When your body is exposed to sunlight it triggers the brain to put a halt to the production of melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that helps you sleep. Cutting down production of melatonin in the day means there is more at night when you need it.
- Sunshine is a powerful mood-booster and makes you feel better – this free mood enhancer is available whenever the clouds roll away, so make the most of it to help lower levels of depression and feel more positive.