The sun blesses our planet with life. In addition to washing the world with light, power, and warmth, its effect is felt right down to the molecules within our body chemistry which effort is to enhance the health of body, mind, and spirit.
The sun provides 98% of all the energy on earth. The other two percent is geothermal, originating in the earth’s hot liquid core. Light is in fact a relatively small portion of the massive energy the sun produces. There list is extracted from work done by Doctors Agatha and Calvin Thrash at their Uchee Pines Health Institute in Alabama.
- Vitamin D is often referred to as the sunshine vitamin because it results from a sun-induced chemical reaction which converts cholesterol and ergosterol in the skin to vitamin D. Since this reaction uses cholesterol it reduces the stores of cholesterol in our body. Vitamin D plays a vital role in the absorption of calcium and utilization of phosphorus which are essential for strong bones and teeth. It is also essential in the thinking process.
- Sunlight works to increase circulation, the number and efficiency of blood vessels in the skin, and cardiac output. It also increases the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood and enables oxygen to reach tissues and joints by direct action and reflex action of the blood vessels. Thus it works in several ways to improve the circulatory system.
- Sunlight contributes to a number of ways in which body functions are regulated. It has been found to decrease blood pressure, although other factors contribute to blood pressure levels as well. It also plays a role in regulating blood sugar levels, and by means of its action on the eye, it affects the pituitary gland which controls hormone production of the other endocrine glands in a beneficial way.
- Sunlight increases the number of white blood cells and their capacity for fighting infection, and increases gamma globulin, which is part of the immune mechanism of the body. It promotes the healing of wounds and kills streptococci and other germs on exposure. Hanging your laundry outdoors in the sun to dry not only leaves clothes smelling fresh, but sanitizes them at the same time.
- Sunlight increases liver function and stimulates the liver to produce a drug metabolizing enzyme which increases our ability to withstand pollutants in our environment.
- Sunlight increases muscle tone and endurance. It has been found that people who exercise in sunlight build muscle faster than those who exercise indoors.
We are all familiar with the positive effect of sunlight on our mental outlook and sense of well-being. It fights depression, and lessens stress by working both through sensory receptors in the skin and well as by means of its psychological influence. As is the case with all good things, sunlight can become harmful by means of excessive exposure. One does not need to lie in the sun for hours to obtain its benefits. Outdoor exercise, gardening, or other activities will provide the necessary sun exposure to reap these benefits.