There's finally good news about sunshine! It is healthy for you! As little as 15 to 20 minutes of sun twice a week can make a positive difference in your health.
Sunshine stimulates the production of serotonin which promotes a good mental outlook and fights Seasonal Affective Disorder. It also stimulates the pineal gland which produces melatonin. Melatonin is one of the chemicals that operates our bodies clocks and helps with sleep function. Ninety percent of our vitamen D comes from exposure to the sun.
The key issue that is being discussed in recent studies is the production of vitamen D from the sun. We can get this crucial nutrient from food, but 90% of what we need is absorbed from the sun.
Vitamen D helps to lower blood cholesteral levels thus helping to fight heart disease. It is also necessary for strong bones and teeth since it aides in the absorption of calcium. The presence of this vitamen helps prevent certain cancersincluding some skin cancers. Sufficient vitamen D also regulates the immune system and could help keep the common cold at bay. A study showed a 70% reduction in colds over a 3 year period in participants who took vitamen D supplements. There is even the suggestion that vitamen D can help slow down the aging process. A separate study showed that biological markers, called telomeres, were longer (a sign of being biologically younger and healthier) in participants with higher levels of vitamen D.
Sunshine is not a miracle cure by any means and must be taken in moderation. It is absorbed through the skin without sunscreen. The body can only store vitamen D for 60 days so a regular "fill up" is required to obtain maximum health benefits.
After years of being told to hide from the sun, it is exceptionally good news that we can once again enjoy the sun and all the benefits it has to offer.