Top 3 Health Benefits of Sunlight
We've been talking a lot about some of the harms that sunlight can have on health. However, sunlight isn't entirely bad for you. In fact, it can have significant health benefits. Sunlight can help your body produce Vitamin D, increase your happiness hormones, and provide some key benefits to your immune system. How can it do all of this?
Increases Vitamin D Production
You may be familiar with other sources of Vitamin D, like milk and related dairy products. However, sunlight is as much a key player in Vitamin D production as food. When your skin receives UV light, it hits the cholesterol cells in your skin and triggers those cells to begin synthesizing Vitamin D.
How can this help maintain your health? Vitamin D is actually a hormone that your body uses to regulate multiple functions. It helps support your immune system and prevents your body from succumbing to illnesses. It helps your bones absorb calcium that's needed to strengthen bones and build bone density. An increase of Vitamin D can also help you sleep better, as the Vitamin D receptors in the brain play some part in regulating sleep.
They say that you should go outside and get some sun on your skin if you're feeling down. While this may sound like an old wives' tale for medical treatment, there is a scientific explanation behind it. Sunlight increases serotonin production in your brain. When UV light passes through your eye, it hits specific areas within your retina that triggers the release of serotonin. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter responsible for balancing mood, among other things, and can help you feel calmer. If you've ever suffered from seasonal depression in the Winter, then you've experienced sunlight withdrawal that helped stabilize your mood.
Lower Risk of Bone Loss
Women in menopause have an increased risk of developing bone conditions like osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoporosis is a condition that causes bones to become more porous and increases the chances of bone fractures. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that inflames the membranes surrounding the joints. When these membranes are inflamed, they release enzymes into the cartilage and bones that causes them to deteriorate. Both of these conditions are caused by a drop in the body's ability to absorb calcium directly into the bones. This can occur due to a variety of factors, from the drop in estrogen to an inherent vitamin D deficiency.
Women in menopause can lower the risk of developing these conditions by getting 10-15 minutes of sunlight every day. As we know, sunlight helps the body increase vitamin D production. Vitamin D is then used to help deposit calcium into the bones and strengthen bone density. So, by spending a moderate amount of time outside, you can lower the risk of developing bone-loss conditions in the future.
Sunlight is as Healthy as it is Harmful
Sunlight may seem scary when it comes to your health and your skin. However, it does have some incredible health benefits. It can help support your immune system, keep your bones strong, and help improve your mental health. Before you swear off going outside for the foreseeable future, remember to slather on the sunscreen and soak up a few minutes of sun.