5 benefits that the sun has to offer to our health
One of the top tips to keep your skin healthy is to avoid sun exposure, right? Really, solar radiation is one of the main factors responsible for the aging and development of skin cancer.
When we sunbathe at times of increased incidence of light without using the sunscreen, our skin is more subject to the damages caused by radiation. This speeds up the appearance of blemishes, lines of expression and even melanomas (a type of cancer).
This is all true, but the sun should not be regarded as an unrecoverable villain. Despite the harmful effects of overexposure, sunlight in moderate doses can bring some benefits to our health.
Of course we do not want you to play in the sun without without protecting yourself as that can cause some terrible burns! Our goal with this list is to show that taking a walk in the park in the morning or late afternoon can be very good for the body and the mind.
Warning: If you have any skin lesions or had a recent surgery, always consult your doctor before exposing yourself to the sun. Sunlight can cause irreversible spots in these cases.
1. Improve mood and relief from depression
Sunlight increases our brain levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood. In this way, sunbathing helps people feel happier, calmer and focused.
In periods with prolonged lack of sunshine, as in some regions in the cold months, people may suffer from disorders such as seasonal depression, a variation of depression that happens with the change of season.
2. Strengthening the health of bones
Vitamin D is essential for the health of our bones. Since it is difficult to obtain the ideal amount of this micronutrient only by feeding, it is necessary to take sun so that the skin can produce it.
The good news is that you do not need to expose yourself to the sun for long periods, which would make you risk getting burned. To produce vitamin D, just take sun for half the time it takes for your skin to start to turn red for those who are fair.
It is difficult to pinpoint the ideal time, as it varies depending on the skin color, age, location of person and time of day. On average, it is necessary to catch the sun for about 15 minutes a day to ensure vitamin D production.
3. Reduction of blood pressure
This is a very interesting benefit for hypertension sufferers. According to a study in England, exposure to the sun promotes vasodilation that contributes to the reduction of blood pressure and the risk of cardiovascular disease.
This is because by focusing on our skin, UVA radiation increases the activity of nitric acid molecules that are stored in our epithelial tissue. This substance then passes into the bloodstream, promoting the dilation of the vessels.
The consequence of this is a lower pressure exerted by the blood in the vessels and also a reduction in the formation of clots that could cause a heart attack or a stroke.
4. Relief of skin problems
Sunlight is an important ally in the treatment of skin conditions such as psoriasis and other problems such as acne, eczema, fungal infections and jaundice (including newborns, according to this study).
Of course, depending on the skin problem and the presence of lesions, exposure to the sun may not be indicated as it may result in permanent spots. So always ask the doctor what the best procedure is.
5. Prevention of some types of cancer
The sun is known to be a risk factor for the onset of skin cancer, so we should avoid unprotected exposure using sunscreen. However, when exposure time is kept within a healthy range, sunlight is able to prevent some types of cancer.
In some regions of the planet where sunlight is greatly reduced at certain times of the year, there is an increased risk of death from diseases such as Hodgkin’s lymphoma and cancer of the breast, ovary, colon, pancreas, and prostate. Some studies indicate that somehow these diseases may be related to vitamin D deficiency.
This, however, obviously does not mean that we should abandon sunscreen and sun indiscriminately.
Like almost everything related to health, the secret is in balance: exposing yourself to the unprotected noon sun can lead to a burn, but taking a sunbath in the morning or late afternoon for a few minutes will probably do a lot good.