All living things need sunlight to survive yet we rarely acknowledge the importance of the sun.
Apart from being a source of energy, the sun plays a vital role in every organism’s life in numerous ways. Like in plants sunlight is essential for photosynthesis, a process in which green plants transform carbon dioxide and water into glucose, lipids, proteins, vitamins, nucleic acids, and release back oxygen into the atmosphere. As photosynthetic organisms form the basis of food chains in ecosystems in general, the benefits of photosynthesis are enjoyed by other living beings that feed on them.
For humans, the sunlight is very important. We need vitamin D to keep our bones, teeth, and muscles healthy. This vitamin is received naturally only if we have sunlight.
Let’s discuss why sun is important for us in greater detail.
Benefits and Importance of Sun
We all already know that the Sun brings many benefits to the human being, contributing to physical health and psychological well-being. In the right measure, the sun is important for the synthesis of vitamins and guarantees a healthy appearance.
Furthermore, daily exposure to sunlight favors well-being, decreases depression risk, and other mental health problems, especially in elderly people.
Here are the Top 6 six benefits of the sun to humans.
1) UVA and UVB –Two essential rays by the sun
The sun provides us with two main types of radiations: ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB). You cannot see these rays with the naked eye. The skin absorbs different types of solar radiation differently.
UVA rays reach the deepest layers of the skin. While the UVB radiation affects only the most superficial layers. UVB radiation also has the peculiarity of passing through clouds, and it can be absorbed by the organisms even if it has indirect sun exposure. It is the main source of energy on cloudy days. About 95% of the ultraviolet rays that reach the Earth are UVA and only 5% are UVB.
The most important difference between the two is that a measure of physics, called wavelength, is greater in UVA radiation than in UVB.
2) Vitamin D
The sun is essential for the production and absorption of vitamin D by the body. Vitamin D aids in the production of calcium present in the bones. Therefore, sunbathing frequently and in the right measure is very important.
When there is little sun exposure (as in countries with a very cold climate) the skin produces insufficient vitamin D, and it may be necessary to supply it artificially to the body, through food supplementation. This is because few foods contain adequate amounts of vitamin D; among them, we can highlight fatty fish, beef liver, and fish oils.
3) Healthy Mind
Studies show that there is a lower chance of getting depression among people who get an adequate amount of sunlight. Moreover, research suggests that people undergo depression when the season changes. Especially, in the winter season when Earth lunges away from the sun most people feel depressed. This could be traced back to the lack of sunlight. This could also be explained as the sunlight stimulates the fundamental pineal gland that is present deep in your brain. This imperative gland aids in our peaceful sleep. More importantly, it regulates our sleeping/waking up cycles.
4) Balances Temperature
Despite having 5778 K temperature and being 151.87 million km far away from the Earth, the sun keeps its temperature moderate. If we look at our neighboring planets like Mercury or Venus where the temperature is extreme which causes no life on these planets. Even if water existed on these hot planets, it will eventually dry off.
If you ever wondered apart from being a natural powerhouse, what else is the importance of the sun to the planet earth, you should know rain and snow are also regulated by the sun due to evaporation. Evaporation is the process in which water turns into vapors. The heat from the sun turns the water from water bodies into moisture. The air absorbs this moisture and when they condense on each other, they turn back to the tiny water droplets. Thus, creating clouds. We can say that without the sun there would be droughts and barren lands on the Earth.
Do you know that it takes 8 minutes for sunlight to touch the Earth’s atmosphere? This powerhouse of energy is used to grow crops. In the past, our ancestors have used it to hide from dangerous predators. It keeps us warm and also has many psychological effects on us. Like blood circulation across the body together with vital organs as many enzymes stimulate with sunlight. Once the sun is down our body knows it is time to sleep and get relaxed.
6) Nature Experience Rebirth
You will see the importance of the sun in summer and spring. In spring, we get to see nature more closely. For instance, trees grow, flowers bloom and many species like cricket produce offspring. Moreover, summer brings many activities with it. When you go to the beach and look around, you will see how much people are happy, how energetic they are, and how fresh they look.
Depending on the time of year, the intensity of the sunlight can vary. In autumn and winter, we have sunlight for less time because the days are shorter. In spring and summer, we have sunlight for longer because the days are longer.
Summer season is the time of year in which the amount and intensity of sunlight are much higher, resulting in the increased temperature. This temperature makes several species of plants bloom. Moreover, they release seeds and fruits. Other living things eat those fruits and cultivate them because there will be food for everyone. The spring-summer season is considered the time of new life or rebirth.
In the end, I will say without sun and its heat our Earth would be a mare ice-cold lifeless ball. It is not only a source of energy but it also shapes our atmosphere and regulates all the major climate patterns. Furthermore, for our mental health, we cannot neglect the importance of the sun as sunlight gives major nutrients like vitamin D.