We have been told for years to use sun protection to lower our chance of developing skin cancer. However, there is also the major importance of sunlight to humans.
According to studies, getting a reasonable quantity of sun exposure lowers your risk of developing several cancers and other dangerous illnesses.
And it’s all because of vitamin D, which our bodies produce as a result of exposure to UVB rays from the sun on our skin.
We obtain roughly 90 to 95 percent of our vitamin D from the sun, according to Professor Michael Holick of the Boston University School of Medicine and author of The UV Advantage (I-Books, $6.99).
It is necessary for the absorption of calcium, maintaining the health of our bones, and warding off significant chronic illnesses later in life like osteoporosis, Type II diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and many types of cancer.
To increase our vitamin D levels, he suggests that we spend five to fifteen minutes each day—at least three times a week—outside in the sun without using sunscreen.
Oily fish, such as salmon and tuna, as well as margarine, milk, eggs, and fortified morning cereals, are good sources of vitamin D. However, the majority of us don’t eat healthily enough to acquire enough, thus the sun serves as the main supply of this vital vitamin.
Make sure to shield your skin from the sun, which is good for your health because it helps your body create vitamin D.
Since it’s summer, many individuals choose to spend their free time outside. Your body and mind may benefit from daily exposure to sunlight on your face and arms. Of course, skin cancer is a serious issue that requires serious consideration.
While it’s necessary to protect your skin from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation, getting a little sun each day can be beneficial to your health as long as you take measures.
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What is Sunlight?
Solar radiation, another name for the incoming light from the Sun to the Earth, is referred to as Sunlight. The electromagnetic spectrum, which also includes infrared, visible light, and ultraviolet light, is represented by this light.
The visible region of the solar spectrum contains around half of the light, while the near-infrared region contains the majority of the remaining radiation, and the ultraviolet region only contains a relatively minor proportion.
The UV energy of sunlight that strikes the surface of the Earth has been partially absorbed by the atmosphere. A suntan or sunburn can be caused by the radiation that the atmosphere doesn’t absorb.
The Sahara, which receives more than 4,000 hours of sunlight annually (more than 90% of the maximum amount), is one of the sunniest areas on Earth; Scotland, which experiences regular storms, receives less than 2,000 hours.
Due to more cloud cover in the early morning and late afternoon, the amount of sunshine fluctuates periodically throughout much of the middle latitude region of the planet.
Typically, there are three main components to sunlight:
- Light having wavelengths of 0.4 to 0.8 micrometers are considered visible light.
- Light with wavelengths less than 0.4 micrometers in the ultraviolet range
- Light with wavelengths longer than 0.8 micrometers in the infrared range.
Nearly half of the total radiation that the Earth’s surface is exposed to is visible radiation. Despite making up a very small part of the total radiation, ultraviolet light is incredibly significant. Ergosterol is activated, which results in the production of vitamin D.
21 Importance of Sunlight to Humans
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There are several ways that sunlight can boost your health and well-being. Supporting vitamin D levels, which are crucial for bone health and immune system performance, is one of the key advantages.
Some folks might reap the health benefits of sunlight after just 10 minutes. Given that darker skin absorbs sunlight differently, those with darker skin may need to spend longer in the sun to achieve the same benefit.
There are several easy methods to include additional sunlight into your daily schedule if you need to. For instance, you can have your coffee breaks outside.
You have surely heard about the possible risks associated with spending too much time in the sun. However, did you know that obtaining enough sunlight might be beneficial for your health and well-being?
The ways the sun can enhance your health are stated below.
1. It makes you happier
The body’s pleasant hormone, serotonin, is increased by SUNSHINE. We typically experience happier and more vigor when the sun is shining because of this. Gaining exposure to natural sunlight can boost your body’s production of vitamin D, which can reduce the symptoms of depression and enhance your general mental health and well-being.
Regular sun exposure can combat mild sadness, especially when accompanied by physical activity like a walk in the park. Additionally, studies have shown that exercising outside releases more endorphins into the body than exercising inside.
2. Reduces heart disease
According to a study published in the British Medical Journal, persons in the UK are more likely to die of heart disease in the winter than in the summer, which is thought to be related to low vitamin D levels. It also depends on where you live in the UK.
Blackpool has 9% fewer deaths from coronary heart disease and 27% more sunshine hours per year than Burnley. According to articles in the medical journal The Lancet, our decreased levels of vitamin D throughout the winter contribute to an increase in cholesterol levels.
And according to Dr. Holick, tanning salon UVB exposure lowers blood pressure in those with high blood pressure in a manner that is comparable to those of prescription medications.
3. Helps ward against diabetes
Diabetes may be averted with the aid of vitamin D. According to a Finnish study, children who received vitamin D supplements for several years had an 80% lower risk of acquiring Type I diabetes as young adults.
According to a new study by Dr. Barbara Boucher at St. Bartholomew’s and the Royal London Hospitals, a lack of vitamin D may also lead to Type II diabetes.
4. Beats SAD
SAD, sometimes known as the winter blues, is a type of depression that is primarily brought on by a lack of sunlight. Although it can be treated with lightboxes, getting more natural sunlight is preferable. In the fall and winter, go for an hour-long morning stroll; in the summer, spend 15 minutes each day sitting outside.
5. Reduces risk of MS
MS is a condition that affects the central nervous system and can cause tremors and even paralysis. Scientists have discovered that early exposure to sunshine appears to significantly lower the likelihood of acquiring this disease in adulthood, even though the cause is unknown. Scientists have also discovered that countries with more sunshine had lower MS incidence rates.
6. Eliminates cavities
Even your teeth could benefit from exposure to the sun. According to dental research, youngsters from Scotland, the North-West, Wales, and Merseyside—regions with less sunshine than the average—had a higher prevalence of cavities.
In Scotland compared to the South West Thames region, the percentage of 12-year-olds having untreated cavities was three times higher.
7. Relieves pain and aches
Low vitamin D levels have been associated with several malignancies. Dr. Goldstein cautions that although there is a relationship, it does not always mean that taking more vitamin D will lower your risk. Nonetheless, healthcare professionals are closely monitoring this association.
The discomfort brought on by inflammatory illnesses like arthritis is lessened by spending time outside in the sun, which also helps to warm the body’s muscles and reduce stiffness.
8. Lowers the risk of cancer
The vitamin D that sunlight provides can really assist in greatly lower your risk of other types of cancer, even though excessive sun exposure raises your chance of skin cancer.
According to a US National Cancer Institute study, those who were exposed to a lot of sunlight had a much lower risk of developing breast and colon cancer. Similar results were observed in cases of stomach, esophagus, bladder, and womb cancer.
9. Increases fertility
It is more likely that you will become pregnant in the summer because THE SUN lowers levels of the hormone melatonin, which inhibits fertility.
Additionally, exposure to sunlight lengthens your period of fertility in addition to making you more fertile. Women who receive less than an hour of sunlight each week experience menopause seven to nine years early, according to a Turkish study.
Men’s testosterone levels are increased by sunlight, making summer the ideal season for getting pregnant.
10. Increases your energy
The dermatologist at Central Dermatology Center and co-founder of Get Mr. Sunshine, Beth Goldstein, MD, claims that sunlight sends signals to the brain telling it to be awake and attentive.
“We have greater energy during the sunny seasons of the year because our brains are working harder.” In other words, being outside can make you feel more alive and energized.
MELATONIN regulates sleep as well, so having less of it in your body makes you feel more energized. This explains why you feel more energetic and need less sleep in the summer. Additionally, waking up to natural light as opposed to an alarm clock makes you feel happier.
11. Eases IBD
According to multiple studies, individuals with Crohn’s disease or other inflammatory bowel illnesses (IBD) typically have low levels of vitamin D in their bodies. The greatest technique to increase vitamin D in these circumstances is sunlight.
The levels of vitamin D are low and poor fat absorption, a typical symptom of inflammatory bowel disease may make it difficult for sufferers to absorb vitamin D from their diet, despite the fact that it is present in several foods (including meat, eggs, oily fish, and some morning cereals).
12. Beats period problems
Infertility, irregular periods, and unsightly body hair are all symptoms of polycystic ovary disease, which affects around one in five women of reproductive age.
At St Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, Columbia University in New York, Dr. Susan Thys-Jacobs gave vitamin D and calcium to 14 women, and half of them restored their regular periods and two of them got pregnant. Additionally, Dr. Thys-Jacobs discovered that premenstrual syndrome sufferers are probably vitamin D deficient.
13. Aids with skin issues
Psoriasis, acne, and eczema are a few of the skin disorders that exposure to the sun can aid in curing. For those who suffer, regular, controlled sun exposure is frequently advised. For serious circumstances, speak with your doctor.
For minor cases, consider leaving the sun on the affected skin for up to 30 minutes before covering up or applying sunscreen, but be careful not to burn. Spending a lot of time in the sun’s UV rays is not advised, but it can assist with inflammatory skin problems including psoriasis, eczema, and acne.
14. Strengthens the immune system
White blood cell formation is aided by SUNLIGHT and helps to strengthen your immune system and fend off infection.
15. Aids in weight loss
In addition to making you feel happier, serotonin has an appetite-suppressing effect that makes you eat less when the temperature is warmer. To increase vitamin D levels, spend time outside in the sun at least three times per week.
16. Encourage improved sleep
By controlling the levels of serotonin and melatonin, sunlight promotes sounder sleep and establishes people’s circadian cycles, according to board-certified plastic surgeon Alexis Parcells, MD, owner of Parcells Plastic Surgery and creator of SUNNIE Wrinkle Reducing Studio.
When it’s time to get ready for bed in the evening, your body produces the hormone melatonin. Your body stops producing melatonin when you wake up in strong light, preparing it for the day. The National Institutes of Health claim that getting an hour of light in the morning can improve your quality of sleep at night.
17. Ameliorate mental health problems’ symptoms
According to studies, bright light treatment from the sun and lightboxes may help with the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and bipolar depression (ADHD). People with eating disorders may benefit from light treatment as well.
Additionally, some studies suggest that individuals with acute schizophrenia symptoms may have lower vitamin D levels than those without such symptoms.
18. Blood pressure reduction
According to Dr. Parcells, exposure to sunshine causes the skin to generate nitrogen oxides that widen blood vessels and reduce blood pressure. Rather than actual visible light, UV rays are to blame for this exposure. Your cardiovascular health is improved when your blood pressure is lower.
19. Lessening the metabolic syndrome risk
The sun’s light may help reduce the risk of developing metabolic syndrome, which includes high blood pressure, excess body fat, and excessive blood sugar, according to a 2020 study in mice. This may be due to the fact that a particular wavelength of sunlight is able to penetrate your body sufficiently deep to affect specific kinds of adipose (fat) tissue that may guard against metabolic syndrome.
20. Stronger bones
Dr. Parcells says that vitamin D aids in the body’s absorption of calcium and phosphate from food. These minerals are essential for strong muscles, bones, and teeth. Bone health may suffer if vitamin D intake is insufficient. Without this crucial nutrient, your bones may become brittle or mushy. Deficit over time may even cause osteoporosis.
21. Increase lifespan
Some people believe that obtaining enough sunlight can help you produce an adequate amount of vitamin D, which will help you live longer. According to a study done on 30,000 women in Sweden over a 20-year period, individuals who got more sun could live up to two years longer than those who got less.
The sun contains an infinite amount of energy of which some have been harnessed to produce environmentally friendly energy sources. This tells us that the sun is of benefit to us but there is a limit to this. The saying goes “Too much of everything is not good” so, too much sunlight will lead to skin cancer, sunburns, and other related effects.
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A passion-driven environmentalist by heart. Lead content writer at EnvironmentGo.
I strive to educate the public about the environment and its problems.
It has always been about nature, we ought to protect not destroy.