Health Benefits of Sunlight
The sun makes everyone happy.
Finishing work and it still being light outside, being able to have dinner in your garden or go on evening walks in just a t-shirt; that is what summer is all about.
So many people demonise sunlight as being a threat to your health, however just like everything, too much of something can be bad. Sunlight can be beneficial in many ways especially for our health, both physically and mentally.
We all wish we could spend more time in the sun, there are so many things that get in the way of what we want to do in life. We can’t help the hours we work, but we can control the hours we don’t. Don’t waste the only precious time you have stuck in a kitchen prepping for the week, go outside and get your intake of vitamin D and leave that for the us to do.
At Macro Meals we understand the importance of time, now it’s time for you to value it too!
Here are a few health benefits that you need to know about sunlight.
Sunlight Enhances Your Mood
As mentioned above the sun makes everyone happy, one of the benefits it has is a free mood enhancer. Being out in the sun can not only make people feel better but also have more energy. As the sunlight improves moods due to the increase of serotonin in the brain, everyones moods improve.
Vitamin D is well known for the involvement in maintaining healthy bone strength. A way of getting this vitamin is exposure to UV light from the sun. It is said that you actually don’t need a lot of time in the sun to reap the benefits, 15 minutes of sun exposure is recommended.
15 minutes is only a short amount of time, this can be consumed at any time in the day. Maybe your walk to work, on your lunch break, or an evening stroll with the dog. All these little things won’t just allow you to get your Vitamin D it will also encourage you to get active.
Sunlight Relieves Stress
Stress can be experienced in a variety of ways, such as family, work and health issues. Everyone has had that moment perhaps at work were you need to hit a certain number of sales or hit targets set and is so easy to get caught up in it all.
Having that time to exercise, participate in your hobbies, walk the dog or just getting out for fresh air and a small amount of sun is so underrated yet so important for health.
Sunlight Lowers Blood Pressure
All you really hear about is how bad sun exposure can be for you or how it is only good to absorb Vitamin D but really that isn’t the case at all. Studies have shown that a compound called nitric oxide that helps lower blood pressure is released into the blood vessels as soon as sunlight touches the skin. Lowering blood pressure reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes, ultimately prolong life as well as improving health.
Sunlight Helps with Seasonal Depression
In the darker months, sunlight deprivation can trigger a condition called seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This is a form of depression that occurs during the colder months, and is more common in those who get limited fresh air and sun exposure; often people who work long hours in an office environment. Symptoms can include; bad moods, difficulty making and keeping friends, over-eating, tiredness and sleeping too much.
However, having more exposure to sunlight can increase levels of natural anti-depressants in the brain, which helps relieve this and other forms of mild depression. This is because, on sunny days the brain produces more levels of serotonin which is a mood lifting chemical.
Sunlight Improves Sleep
Everyone knows when they haven’t had enough sleep, you are more grouchy, you just want to eat bad food, you can’t concentrate properly at work, and there is nothing worse.
Sunlight exposure affects how much melatonin our brain produces, melatonin is a hormone that makes us drowsy and helps us sleep. The production of melatonin starts when the sunlight hits our eyes, your body gets a clear signal that it is no longer night time, this process is similar when it gets dark, as the body receives a signal enabling it to feel tired and drowsy when it comes to bedtime.
Low levels of melatonin production at night due to overproduction during the day has been linked to poor sleep quality, especially in older adults. Ditch those sunglasses in the mornings when you wake up, allow your body to get the message that it is day time and triggers the pineal gland to stop releasing melatonin.
These are just a few health benefits that sunlight can provide, having said that, sunlight is still the number one cause of skin cancer. Experts recommend no more than 15 to 20 minutes of direct sunlight daily for a healthy adult. After that, apply suncream when necessary to protect your skin.