(UR) Recent research from Stanford made it clear that women with breast cancer had low levels of Vitamin D, and now a study has come out to make worshiping the sun an even more appealing daily ritual — no matter your gender.

Though dated research has linked sunbathing with an increased risk of skin cancer, a new study of 29,518 Swedish women found that those with a habit of spending time in the sun lived years longer compared to those who did not. The Swedish women were followed for 20 years to find that active sun exposure decreased their rates of heart disease, and even cancer.

The study suggests that vitamin D could be the mechanism for prolonging life and minimizing disease, relative to the undesired effects of being over-exposed to harmful UV radiation; however, the process by which the sun made the women healthier was not determined.

The researchers even found that avoiding the sun could be as detrimental as smoking for your health.

Dr. Pelle Lindqvist, lead author of the Journal of Internal Medicine study said:

“Guidelines being too restrictive regarding sun exposure may do more harm than good for health.”

There are multiple reasons spending time in nature is good for you, not the least of which is physically being under the sun’s rays.According to SunshineVitamin.org:

“Humans make 90 percent of our vitamin D naturally from sunlight exposure to our skin — specifically, from ultraviolet B exposure to the skin, which naturally initiates the conversion of cholesterol in the skin to vitamin D3.”

Fatty fish and mushrooms are some of the few foods that allow our bodies to get enough Vitamin D — aside from being in the sun. A host of health issues from depression to cancer, and even type II diabetes, can be positively affected by getting enough sun.

Furthermore, it has been shown that people who don’t get enough sunlight have altered cellular defence mechanisms that predispose them to excessive inflammation, sometimes resulting in autoimmune diseases.

Moreover, the sun combined with trees, flowers, the wind, sky, and birds boost your health and well being. In the book “Your Brain On Nature: The Science of Nature’s Influence on Your Health, Happiness and Vitality”, Eva M. Selhub, M.D. and Alan C. Logan, N.D. explain that natural environments can have remarkable benefits for human health.

Walking outside will make you much less likely to become depressed, boost your happiness, inspire creativity, and as it turns out, lower your chances of dying a premature death.

Lower that sunbrella and bring your pasty skin into the sun.  Staying covered up is so 2010.

This article (Stanford Study: Not Getting Enough Sunshine Could be as Bad as Smoking Cigarettes) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Christina Sarich andUndergroundReporter.org. If you spot a typo, please email the error and the name of the article toundergroundreporter2016@gmail.com. Image: PEXELS