Bring me sunshine - how the yellow ball in the sky impacts your health

We all enjoy it when we wake up, peek through the curtains and discover that the sun is shining. Just what is it that makes catching a few rays so good for us? Here are seven great reasons:

1)   Sunlight boosts your stores of vitamin D, which works with calcium to give you healthy teeth and bones. What you may not know is that it also plays a role in keeping your eyes healthy and may help protect against heart disease, cancers, diabetes, arthritis and MS.

2)   Exposure to sun and heat improves your body’s ability to sweat efficiently, enabling you to stay cooler better. Effectively it helps you develop a better air conditioning system.

3)   Sunlight has also been shown to boost testosterone levels in men, which may help to improve muscle growth and increase your sex drive.

4)   It boosts your body’s natural defence mechanism; your immune system by improving the function of special cells whose job it is to protect your from illness.

5)   Sunshine increases levels of a substance known as Nitric Oxide within your body. This causes your blood vessels to widen and can lower blood pressure as a result.

6)   Ever wondered why you feel so happy and relaxed on sunny days? Well, one reason may be that it boosts levels of serotonin, a chemical in your brain known to elevate your mood and regulate your appetite. This may also be why we find it easier to eat lighter meals in the summer.

7)   It’ll help you remember everything you’ve just read! Exposure to sunlight has been shown to improve memory and help you get better sleep. Getting more of the latter also improves memory.


The clear message – be sure to get some sunshine as often as you can. Be sensible though; too much in one go on very hot days can lead to sunburn and may increase skin cancer risk in the long-term; as with all things it always comes back to balance.