Sunshine Benefits: Why Vitamin D is Essential

Sunshine Benefits: Why Vitamin D is Essential

Posted By cobbpainandrehab || 7-May-2014

You will probably have heard about the dangers of the sun in terms of skin cancer and premature skin aging, and rightly so – skin cancer is a killer. But did you also hear how the vitamin D you get from sunlight is essential for your overall health? Spending a short amount of time outdoors without sunscreen every day boosts your body’s production of this essential vitamin. Here’s why vitamin D from the sun helps your health.

Vitamin D Benefits

1. Vitamin D can help to reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes. Studies show that people with high levels of vitamin D are 40 percent less likely to develop this problematic disease.

2. Vitamin D helps build strong bones. Getting enough vitamin D from the sun helps your body absorb calcium, which is essential for strong bones. When you get enough calcium you are at a lower risk of developing osteoporosis or suffering from fractures.

3. Improve your eyes – vitamin D is linked to better eye health. For example, studies show good levels of vitamin D are linked to a lower risk of cataracts and macular degeneration as you get older.

4. Vitamin D is associated with a reduced risk of cancer – in particular, rates of breast, rectal and colon cancer are lower in places where there is higher exposure to UVB.

5. Studies show that vitamin D can be useful for helping to boost your immunity, meaning you are better able to fight off disease and live a healthy life.

More Sunlight Benefits

Sunshine is linked to an improved metabolism and lower levels of obesity – it is not clear how, but it makes sense that spending time outdoors probably means spending active time, and also that low levels of sunlight trick the body into thinking it is wintertime and needs to store up extra layers of fat. Sunlight also helps improve your mood, lowers levels of depression, lowers your risk of stroke, and helps you sleep better.

How to Get Your Vitamin D

You don’t need to spend long outside to get your vitamin D fix. Spending around 10 or 15 minutes in the sun with uncovered skin will allow your body to get enough vitamin D for health benefits. Be careful that you don’t start to burn or to go red. If you are staying out in the sun for longer, make sure you wear a good quality sunscreen and cover up. Take frequent breaks outside in the working day, spend time in the garden at the weekends, go for walks, and generally enjoy soaking up the sunshine.

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