Sunlight has an important role and benefit for the survival of humans and other living things on earth, but unfortunately there are many people who often avoid exposure to the morning sun for reasons of fear of black or skin cancer.
Avoiding sun exposure is not always good for health, in fact sunlight is a natural source of vitamin D, apart from food, which is useful for skin health, kills germs that stick to the body, dispels stress, improves sleep quality and several other benefits.
A number of studies have shown that sun exposure actually provides so many health benefits. So, what are the most important benefits of staying a few minutes in the sun for our health?
Here are some of them:
1. Source of Vitamin D
The body will produce vitamin D with the help of sunlight. Vitamin D from direct sunlight can increase the absorption of calcium in the intestines to strengthen bones.
The ideal length of time for sun exposure is 10-20 minutes to get adequate amounts of vitamin D, scientists recommend basking in the morning sun, 3-4 times per week.
2. Treating Cancer
Daily sun exposure can treat cancer, scientists claim. In addition, that consuming foods rich in vitamin D can also stop the growth of cancer cells, the scientists added.
The main function of vitamin D, which is to provide protection against types of cancer such as lung, prostate, and skin cancer, prevent osteoporosis, rickets and diabetes as well as lower blood cholesterol levels and fight heart disease.
3. Overcoming Depression
Being in a long time without exposure to sunlight can cause a person to experience depression, in this case referred to as seasonal affective disorder. Symptoms shown in addition to depression, they also develop other symptoms such as loss of energy or lack of energy and loss of interest in active activities.
People with symptoms of depression can reduce these symptoms by simply being exposed to sunlight. Exposure to sunlight can cause the release of endorphins in the body.
Endorphins are natural anti-depressant compounds that the body has and are very beneficial in dealing with cases of seasonal depression.
Seasonal affective disorder does stem from a lack of sunlight for a long period of time, but it can be treated specifically with “solar” lights that mimic actual sunlight.
4. Strengthen the immune system
Substance in the body called melanin, can convert sunlight into metabolic energy by simply being exposed to sunlight can strengthen a person’s immune system.
In addition, thanks to sunlight the body can produce more white blood cells and gamma globulins which help fight infections and various diseases caused by bacteria, fungi and viruses.
5. Better sleep quality
When sunlight hits the eye, a direct signal is sent to the brain via the optic nerve and further increases the production of a chemical called melatonin. This compound, with sufficient amounts in the body, can actually help improve the quality of a person’s sleep for the better at night.
Research shows that vitamin D derived from direct sunlight can improve the quality and quantity of sleep at night and vice versa vitamin D deficiency is also associated with sleep problems.
6. Sunlight has been shown to limit stress
Scientists found that patients with anxiety and a need for pain medication after surgery, they became much healthier faster without the use of drugs by just being exposed to the sun on a regular basis.
In addition, sunlight can also stimulate the production of the hormone serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain that regulates mood and stress. Traveling in the open on a sunny morning can make the mind calmer, so that we are free from stress problems.
Scientists believe that a sufficiently high level of serotonin in the body can result in a more positive mood and a calmer way of thinking.
7. Burn Fat
Data from a dermatological study conducted in 2011 showed that sun exposure helps to burn body fat. The study found that sunlight helps limit visceral fat and vitamin D deficiency.
Although sunlight has various health benefits, scientists recommend avoiding excessive sun exposure because it can cause eye damage and skin cancer, or at least cause sunburn.