Sunshine Caress for a Kiss of Good Health
Imagine a universe without the existence of the sun… it sure would be a world overwhelmed in total darkness, devoid of warmth, light, life sustenance, seasons and most important of all… Time.
Worship of Sun God
From an era of ancient civilizations, the fiery red-hot ball of fire, at the centre of the Solar System, has never ceased to fascinate humanity. An awe-inspiring wonder, hanging effortless on the sky, an embodiment of light and energy, the sun has played an outstanding role in the history of humanity. Today, many honour the sun as it continues to shine its fiery light and energy upon us. Due to the Sun’s huge and powerful influence on earth most of the ancient civilizations, regarded the sun as a deity and worshiped a sun god. The Ancient Egyptians honoured Ra-Atum-Khepri, while The Greeks worshiped Apollo. Sun worship was prevalent in Babylonian texts and in a number of Asian religious cults with a belief that the sun was a life-giving force.
Harmful Effects of the Sun
Nevertheless, the bright yellow sun spreading its golden beams of light has kept most people away because much has been discussed regarding the harmful effects of the sun’s rays. By donning hats, sunglasses and using sun blocks people keep away from the sun fearing the devastating effects of the harsh ultra violet rays, which is one of the major causes for the harbinger of melanoma, cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
Benefits of sunlight
Nevertheless, despite these preconceived notions little do people realise the importance of sun’s UVB rays. A rich source of Vitamin D, besides enhancing the quality of health, offers innumerable health and skin benefits, reducing risk of serious medical conditions. Basking in the warmth and light of the sun sure has its own advantages and benefits.
30 Healthy Reasons for Enjoying the Sun
Daily Dose of Sunshine Vitamin
The predominant benefit of sunlight is the fact that it provides the required dose of Vitamin D. This essential vitamin however is activated naturally due to adequate exposure to the UVB rays of the sun penetrating into the body. Vitamin D plays a very important role in effective functioning of the body preventing the hazards of various health complications.
Balance Body Temperature
Sunlight helps balance temperature and humidity levels in the body.
Reduces Risk of Cancers
Although too much exposure to sunlight may produce harmful effects such as skin cancer, the sunshine Vitamin D, may prevent the occurrence of certain types of cancer such as the breast, colon, ovaries, lung and prostate. A deficiency in vitamin D is one of the chief causes for the incidence of such cancers.
Improves Cardiac Health
According to a recent survey, getting adequate amounts of sunlight, a rich source of Vitamin D, proves to be the best exercise for cardiac health.
British Medical Journal indicated that in the United Kingdom, there were increased occurrences of mortality during winter due to lack of sunshine and inadequate amounts of Vitamin D.
Maintains Blood Pressure Levels
Hypertensive patients when exposed to UVB in a tanning salon showed tremendous improvement in their blood pressure levels as in the case of prescription drugs.
According to European medical literature, people with atherosclerosis, a condition with hardened arteries, with adequate exposure to sunlight found their condition improving. This is primarily because the sunlight penetrating deep into the skin manages to cleanse the blood and the blood vessels.
Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Ergo sterol, a cholesterol-like substance found beneath the skin surface helps lower cholesterol when converted to vitamin D by sunlight. High cholesterol levels in the blood due to the effect of sunlight balances the steroid and the sex hormones in the body. Lack of sunshine may create an imbalance with increase cholesterol levels.
Adequate quantities of Vitamin D in the body help prevent onset of Type 2 diabetes.
Support Immune System
Sunlight increases production of white blood cells known as lymphocytes and gamma globulin, which increases the body’s defense mechanism to fight against infections.
Augments Circulatory Health
Adequate exposure to sun increases the white and red blood cell count. This improves blood circulation besides increasing oxygen content in the blood, thus enhancing the body’s capacity to provide sufficient oxygen to the tissues.
Prevents Multiple Sclerosis
A disease of the central nervous system Multiple Sclerosis (MS) with symptoms such as tremor and paralyses may be averted with moderate exposure to sunlight during childhood days. Hence, occurrence of Multiple Sclerosis in warmer places is much lower when compared to colder regions.
Beat the Winter Blues
Sunlight deprivation may cause a kind of depression for people who work long hours in the office under artificial illumination and for some others during winter. This kind of depression occurring primarily due to lack of sunshine is termed Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). In several cases, as an effectual form of treatment, light boxes are used encouraging frequent exposure to natural sunlight and long walk during winter.
Sunshine enhances the “happy hormones,” increasing production of Serotonin in the brain thereby reducing stress levels in the body. Combined with outdoor exercises, sunshine increases production of endorphins that keeps a person fit, energetic keeping depression at bay.
Prevents Dementia/ Alzheimer’s disease
Vitamin D helps improve cognitive function, keeping the mental faculties alert, thereby preventing the risk of developing age related dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Lack of sufficient hours of sleep is one of the main causes for a host of health complications. Sunlight is extremely essential for resetting the biological clock and for regulating sleep patterns. Exposure to sunlight leads to increased production of melatonin that prevents insomnia.
Increased melatonin production resulting in a good night’s sleep provides the required energy, alleviating fatigue thereby boosting work productivity.
Effective Liver Function
Sunlight enables breaking down of disease-causing waste and toxins from the body, leading to effective liver function, thus preventing the onset of jaundice and cancer.
Improves Digestive Health
Daily dose of sunlight boosts appetite, increases metabolism and improves digestion.
Sunlight helps fight infections by improving resistance. There was a belief that during World War I the soldiers used sunlight to heal and disinfect wounds based on the theory of Niels Finsen, a Nobel Prize winner, who had made the discovery in the year 1903.
According to dental study sunlight, helps maintain the pearly whites in excellent condition preventing cavities. Children living in areas with less than average sunshine were more prone to cavities than those children living in comparatively warm climates.
Alleviates aches and pains
Sunlight helps loosen stiff muscles and joints, which is one of the major causes of inflammatory conditions such as Rheumatoid arthritis.
Relieves Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Lack of vitamin D is one of the main causes for irritable bowel disorders or Crohn’s disease. Hence, the natural way to obtain this important vitamin is through sunlight.
Beats Premenstrual Syndrome
Sunlight helps regulate the production of hormones. Therefore, adequate exposure to sunlight may relieve symptoms of Premenstrual syndrome or menopause.
Sunlight, besides encouraging fertility, also increases its duration. Research indicates that sunlight enhances testosterone levels in men.
Aids Skin Conditions
Herbal medicines prescribe sunlight for treatment and cure of certain skin conditions, such as psoriasis, eczema, athlete’s foot, boils and acne rashes. Moderate exposure to sun for up to 30 minutes is prescribed for such conditions. However, people who make use of sunlight for treating skin complications ought to exercise caution as too much exposure may prove harmful
Healthy Glowing Skin
Besides treating skin conditions, frequent moderate exposure to sunlight also helps clear the skin and impart a healthy glow. (Read Home remedies for glowing skin)
Promotes Bone Health
Being in the sun provides about 90 to 95 percentage of the required dose of Vitamin D. This promotes absorption of calcium, channelizing it to the cell membranes. This strengthens the bones preventing conditions such as osteoporosis.
According to some studies, the height and growth of a person is determined by the amount of sunlight the person is exposed to, during the initial stages of his life.
Helps Weight Loss
Sunlight boosts production of serotonin, which apart from imparting a “feel good” factor also arrests appetite, leading to less consumption of food under warm temperatures.
Reduce Symptoms of Tuberculosis
According to the findings of International Journal of Epidemiology in the year 2008, high levels of vitamin D reduce 32% risk of clinical symptoms of active Tuberculosis.
Sunshine to spread warmth and cheer at home
Sunlight is not just beneficial for health alone; it offers some major benefits within the confines of the home as well. An effective germ killer sunshine can kill bacteria and germs lying dormant in dust particles, carpets, quilts and bed sheets. A ray of sunshine besides spreading joy and cheer to the ambiance also keeps the place free of damp and mould.
One of the most wonderful creations the sun gloriously shining in all its grandeur, with its natural healing powers is the greatest gift conferred to humanity by Mother Nature. So…let us soak in the warmth of the sun… In moderation though… and enjoy the innumerable advantages and benefits sunlight has to offer!