Life on this earth is based on the sun. The sun gives energy, light and heat. It is this energy from sunlight that the plants convert into food for humans and animals. All life in nature is dependent on the sun.
Some fear that since sunlight causes skin cancer, it is not quite essential for human health. But the fact is that it is not the sunlight that causes skin cancer, but being burnt by the sun leads to this disaster.
Why do people get skin cancer by the sunlight?
Most people in colder countries get no exposure to the sun for nearly 4 to 6 months. In summer they spend many hours in the open and get burnt by the very hot rays of the sun. This burning only, and not the exposure to the sun, that leads to skin cancer. The myth that sunlight causes skin cancer has benefitted only the sunscreen industry. As a result, more and more people are slathering on high-SPF creams and wearing UV-blocking sunglasses. Most of the people avoid the sunlight completely, forgetting the essential benefits for health.
Why sunlight is essential for health?
1) Source of all energy
The sun is the source of energy which is promoting life from the beginning. The sun gives off unthinkable amount of energy for the survival of every living being through its light and heat. Without that energy there can be no breathing, blood circulation or any other activity of life.
2) The two essential byproducts of sunlight
The two byproducts of sunlight, melatonin and Vitamin D, are intrinsic to the defense system of the body. These two components serve very vital roles, and cannot be easily reproduced by non-sun-related artificial means. These two are very essential for the very existence of life.
3) The vital role of melatonin
Studies reveal that if the body receives at least 15 minutes of direct sunlight per day, the pineal gland, which is responsible for many activities of the body, remains fully shut down during daylight hours. It revives when darkness falls and produces melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally produced in the body and serves in various ways such as regulating sleep, providing powerful antioxidant activity, maintain skin health, enhancing the immune system, etc. Artificial light lowers the production of melatonin and causes cancer growth. That is the reason that late night work is said to promote cancer growth.
4) Role of Vitamin D
Direct sun exposure increases the production of Vitamin D. Vitamin D plays an important role in maintaining the organs. It regulates the calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood through their absorption from food in the intestines. Vitamin D is essential for bone strength and thyroid health. It affects the immune system by promoting phagocytosis, anti-tumor activity, and immune-modulatory functions. Its deficiency causes bone softness, osteoporosis, colon cancer and breast cancer. Low lever of Vitamin D also is associated with higher risk of heart attack.
5) Sunlight for depression relief
Exposure to bright sunlight increases serotonin levels increase. This helps to maintain elevated moods. This serves as an antidepressant, keeping your mood and energy levels higher.
Sunlight provided by nature is the easiest way of getting melatonin and vitamin D. Hence cautious use of sunlight in summer will help health in so many ways, including protection from skin cancer.