GoSun believes in the power of the Sun to power cutting-edge appliances with clean, limitless energy. But once in a while we like to step back and consider how much the Sun really affects things. After all, it powers more than our devices. It also powers us.
With each passing day, the Earth is shined down upon by the life-giving resource of the Sun's rays. It's easy to forget that this same sunshine provides our human bodies with one of the most important vitamins: Vitamin D. Just 10 minutes a day of sun exposure can provide you with the necessary daily values.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that affects as many as 2,000 genes in the body. The "sunshine vitamin" is most important in regulating absorption rates for calcium and phosphorous. As you have probably heard, "milk does a body good"; which is the truth because milk's high Vitamin D content provides our bodies with healthy bones and teeth. Vitamin D acts as an aid to the functionality of our immune system, protecting us from certain disease. A deficiency in Vitamin D can lead to osteoporosis, heart disease, or more likely contracting the flu.
Another essential role for vitamin D in our bodies is in the regulation of blood pressure, reduction of tension, and in fighting depression. Many people fight disorders known as "seasonal depression", which arises from long-term withdraw of sunshine exposure during harsh winter months. They may be spending too many hours indoors, under florescent lights from work environments. Vitamin D makes your skin smooth and soft, and also aids in insulin secretion which can help to prevent diabetes. Thousands of cells within our bodies respond to UV rays from the sun, producing vitamin D, in turn attributing the sunshine to a healthy, happier lifestyle.
Research within the last five years suggests that Vitamin D deficiencies are on the rise, affecting over two-thirds of U.S. teens and adults. Many believe that sunscreen, long sleeves, and increased skin cancer awareness campaigns have caused the decrease in production of Vitamin D through lessened sun exposure. Scientific American states that "using a sunscreen with as little as a 15-factor protection cuts the skin's vitamin D production by 99 percent" and our diets have less foods that boast rich values of the vitamin for alternative sources.
Of course, the effects of long-term sun exposure can be incredibly dangerous for our skin health and therefore precautions should be taken when out in the sunshine. Consider finding healthy ways to enjoy the sun's energy, while reaping the benefits of vitamin D.
Photo credit: Eduardo Merille / CC BY-SA 2.0