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The Glorious Benefits of Sunshine

Updated on May 3, 2015
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Scientists in the UK at the University of Edinburgh suggests that the heart-health benefits of sun exposure may outweigh the risks of developing skin cancer. In a landmark study, a group of researchers at the university found that a compound called nitric oxide that helps lower blood pressure is released into the blood vessels as soon as sunlight touches the skin. Therefore by lowering the blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes occurrences are greatly reduced.

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I'm a Florida girl and have many memories of sun filled days full of laughter and fun. My mom has dozens of pictures of me with sun kissed cheeks. After all, Florida is the sunshine state! The sunlight did make me feel great. It has been a long winter since I'm currently living in the north. The sun has just recently been spreading its rays of warmth, happiness and plenty of benefits. The animals have been very active as this spring finally arrived, basking in the sun, soaking up as much light as they can get.

Sun exposure has been proven to provide many benefits such as lowering blood pressure, lowering breast cancer risks, improving sleep patterns, enhancing your mood, boosting the immune system, promoting production of vitamin D and also has healing properties for specific skin conditions.

Don't you love the way your body feels after being at the beach? You sleep better, feel more relaxed and eat better.

Sunlight exposure helps regulates your body's circadian rhythm, or body's internal clock, especially if you are exposed at just the right time. Are you traveling to a different time zone? If you were to expose yourself to natural sunlight first thing in the morning, your brain is signaled to stop producing melatonin, the hormone that regulates your circadian rhythm. That cue sets your clock for the remainder of the day and even sets your brain to start producing melatonin again at bedtime. According to the National Institute of Health, you'll sleep better if you get an hour of natural light in the morning.

Also sunlight gives you a natural way to fight stress and enhance your mood. Exposure to moderate sunlight increases the production of serotonin in the body. Serotonin is essential in regulating a healthy mood. It makes you feel energetic, happy and more alert. I can definitely relate to this. As an artist, I rely on sunny days to paint new masterpieces! I insisted to have a house with multiple windows. Luckily even our vaulted ceiling in our family room has some amazing elevated windows that let the natural light inside. My creative mind and eyes work well on sunny days.

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Overall the sun has some outstanding benefits. From lowering blood pressure to making you feel happy. It even has some healing properties for skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. It boosts your immune system mainly due to the positive effects of UVB.

Sunlight helps boost up the immune system which inhibits the production of auto immune antibodies. It increases the body's production of vitamin D. Vitamin D is responsible for the absorption of calcium and phosphorous in the bones, increasing intestinal absorption of nutrients, regulating bone metabolism and even maintaining the central nervous system by enhancing the activity of neurons.

It's quite eye opening that our bodies need more exposure. Are we indoor too much? Too much artificial light and not enough natural sunlight? Is a vitamin D deficiency a cause of many autoimmune diseases? Be moderate in your sunlight exposure. Be smart and be safe. Avoid the harsh times of the day and grab the sunscreen if out longer than 15 minutes. Listen to your doctors and enjoy the glorious light!

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