Warm summer weather is only a few short months away and we all know what that means: endless warnings on the dangers of the sun and advice on how to protect yourself. While there are substantial dangers for too much sun exposure, there are also many amazing health benefits as well. Many cultures have utilized sunlight to heal a variety of illnesses and promote good health.
- Helps Prevent Cancer
Like plants, humans also metabolize sunlight into vitamin D, which plays an important role in reducing the risk of many types of cancer. Several studies that indicate vitamin D deficiencies drastically increase the risk for various types of cancer, especially colon and breast cancers; in some terminal cases, it has even reversed metastasized cancers.
- Lowers Blood Pressure
Even a single exposure has proven to significantly lower an individual’s blood pressure without any of the harmful side effects associated with pharmaceutical drugs. Sunlight also can penetrate deep within skin tissue and cleanse both blood and blood vessels improving a condition known as atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.
- Strengthens Immune System
Sun exposure has been proven to increase your white blood cell count. Lymphocytes play an important role in your body’s defense against infection.
- Improve Skin Conditions
Sunlight has been used for generations to kill harmful bacteria and heal wounds. Regular exposure to natural sunlight has extremely positive benefits for those who suffer from skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, acne, and fungal infections. Sunbathing is a proven form of treatment that alleviates the symptoms of these conditions.
- Cure Depression
The relationship between mood and sunlight has been intensely studied for many years. Sunlight deprivation can actually cause a form of depression known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). There is a distinct correlation between exposure to sunlight and the production of serotonin, which is a natural antidepressant produced in your brain.
Sunlight can be extremely beneficial, but exposure should be limited in order to build up a tolerance. Avoid long exposures to prevent sunburn since your skin will be more sensitive at first. Some sunblock contains harmful carcinogens, so invest in a quality cream, and use protective clothing when necessary.
The key is to use sunlight wisely to get the benefits and not the harmful effects.