Why do we feel happier, healthier and more energetic in the summer? Summer just feels perfect with its days long and sunny. What is it that makes it a special time?
- Sun eases mild depression. Between 6-20% of people suffer seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or mild depression during winter's cold and grey days. SAD is easier alleviated in the longer and sunnier days and the mechanism for that is that the brain has an ability to produce more of our feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin with sunlight.
- We eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. There is something special about eating fresh produce during the summer months, such as seasonal fruits and vegetables from a local market. Who doesn't love it? Rich in vitamins and phytonutrients, not only they boost our mood, but also brain and immune system.
- The sun is a real boost for our brain. Vitamin D, often referred to as sunshine vitamin, is super important. Every single cell of our body needs Vitamin D to function optimally, and summer is the ideal time for that. Vitamin D influences our mood, immune system and brain. Make sure you don't miss it!
- You spend more time outdoors and in the nature. Time spent in nature is healing to our mind, body and soul. It makes us happy, positive, healthy and helps alleviate bad mood.
- Your genes change with seasons. 25% of our DNA actually changes with the seasons, as some studies reveal. During the winter time, DNA changes occur to prepare for the increase of viruses that spread more. In the summer, genes are expressed differently, especially those that govern blood sugar balance, which calms cravings and helps burn winter fat.
- Your immune system is on fire. Sun exposure can help suppress an overactive immune system. Our white blood cells, which play an important role in fighting diseases and defending body against infection, increase with sun exposure, boosting our health.
- All this is true but doesn't mean that people living in colder places are less happy. After all, it all depends on many factors such as your outlook on life, your family, activity, nutrition, etc. But the weather does change a lot in some people's lives so when you are wondering why you may feel worse during colder and darker days, perhaps you are missing a little bit of sunshine!