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The health benefits of sunlight

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Nelly Favis-Villafuerte

Nelly Favis-Villafuerte

Many of us are not aware of the awesome health benefits of sunlight. Sunlight is available for free to everybody, the rich and the poor and the young and the old alike. Unfortunately, many of us avoid sunlight for vanity reasons. We do not want to have dark skin. Not a few of us have the psychological misconception that the costly artificial drugs and other processed health remedies are far more effective to cure our illnesses. But do you know that statistics show that over a million people die every year from lack of sun exposure.

  • One may ask: What are the health benefits of sunlight? Sunlight plays a crucial role in nourishing and energizing the human body. I am not referring though to excess exposure to sunlight which may result in skin cancer. To cite some of the human ailments that sunshine/sunlight heals: Chronic skin conditions including psoriasis, acne, eczema; prevents heart disease by strengthening of cardiovascular system; prevents various kinds of cancers like prostate and breast cancer; multiple scherosis, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroiditis, Crohn’s disease; tuberculosis; normalizing blood pressure in hypertension and normalizing blood sugar in type 2 diabetes; prevents anxiety and depression; improves digestion; aids in weight loss; enhances liver function; ensures proper functioning of kidneys by eliminating waste. In short, adequate sunlight enhances our immunity system by increasing the count of our white blood cells and gamma globulin which wards off viruses and germs and reinforces the capacity of red blood cells to carry oxygen; and prevents the infections resulting from bacteria, molds and viruses.
  • One amazing research says that sunshine has the magical power to alter our moods and cheer us up, thereby preventing anxiety and depression. No wonder sunlight is referred to as the perfect medicinal pill in promoting a healthy lifestyle.
  • Not many know that as early as a century before the discovery of antibiotics as an effective tuberculosis cure, sunlight was already the natural cure. As we know tuberculosis is widespread in our country. It is a deadly disease that is spread by airborne bacteria which settles in the lungs and result in long-term infection.
  • Pregnant women should also get enough sun exposure so that their vitamin D levels are within the healthy range. Why? To protect them from the deadly condition known as preeclampsia. This is a serious condition of pregnancy characterized by soaring blood pressure and swelling of the hands and feet. Preeclampsia causes premature delivery, maternal and fetal illness and thousands of deaths yearly here in our country and abroad. One medical report says that it was only in 2007 that medical science found out that vitamin D deficiency is one of the common causes of preeclampsia.
  • The sunlight needs and tolerances of people vary from one to another. Everyone responds differently to sunlight depending on our antioxidant levels, age, skin color, the amount of melanin in our skin, our tan level, pollution, season, time of day and many other factors. Definitely, an African may need as much as ten times more sun exposure to produce the same amount of vitamin D as a fair-skinned American.
  • The more areas of our skin exposed to the sun from 15 minutes to 2 hours at a time – meaning having more sun exposure on as much uncovered skin as possible is more healthful that wearing long sleeves, closed-neck attire with pants covering our legs. Before I started my research on sunlight, I thought that we should cover as much of our body when we expose ourselves to the sun. I was wrong.
  • Many of us are familiar with the so-called vitamin D otherwise known as the sunshine vitamin. However, not many know that vitamin D is not really a vitamin but a prohormone that our bodies actually produce from cholesterol. Being a prohormone, vitamin D affects our entire bodies, from our brain to our bones. Low levels of vitamin D may cause many kinds of diseases like cancer. The cancers that are commonly linked to low levels of vitamin D are breast, colon, lung and prostate cancer. In short, vitamin D is a cancer-prevention therapy.
  • People living in countries with winter, where sun exposure is at its lowest, are expected to have their vitamin D levels drop by up to 50 percent in the winter. We are blessed in this country that we do not have winter.

The health benefits of sunlight cannot compare with all the costly drugs being marketed today. Sunlight is a great blessing from our Lord God. The healing power of sunlight can never be duplicated by any man-made drug. It is like comparing a God-given natural drug and a man-made artificial drug.

Have a joyful day!

(For comments/reactions please send to Ms. Villafuerte’s email: villafuerte_nelly@yahoo.com)

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