Issue 4 Stories
Improve Health Everyday

Health Benefits of Sunlight

“Everything in moderation”—and that includes sunlight.

Although too much exposure to the sun’s rays damages the skin and may lead to skin cancer, getting a moderate amount of sunlight has health benefits.

• According to researchers, getting 30 minutes of sun while wearing a bathing suit causes our skin to produce significant amounts of vitamin D, which is important for healthy bones and a healthy immune system. Even as little as 15 minutes of sun on the hands, arms and face two or three days per week provides some vitamin D benefits.

• Sunlight boosts our levels of serotonin, a mood- and energy-enhancing hormone produced in the brain.

• British researchers have found that sun exposure supports the body’s production of nitric oxide, a substance that helps lower blood pressure as well as chronic inflammation, which may have a role in the development of heart disease and certain forms of cancer.

• Even with these health benefits, doctors warn against getting too much sun, particularly during the hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., when the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays are at their peak. When you are out in the sun for 15 minutes or longer, always wear sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15.

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