In the movie, Superman soars above the clouds and recovers his (super)powers while basking in sunlight. I often think of this movie clip when it’s sunny outside because I too feel energized by sunlight. Is that the effect of vitamin D? Or does sunlight activate another process?
Here’s an interesting study supporting our Superman-like ability to use sunlight to regenerate and heal:
A 2014 study found when animals ate chlorophyll-rich foods, they generated energy (ATP) directly from sunlight (1). There are two exciting points here: Like plants, our cells can use photonic energy from sunlight, and; with certain foods, we can increase this ability.
Our cells use sunlight to make usable energy
If you’re familiar with low level laser therapy (LLLT), this might sound familiar to you. In nature, plants and trees absorb sunlight to grow. Our cells have similar abilities. When these specialized lights are applied over tissues like arthritic joints, cells produce more energy (in the form of ATP). When tissues have this usable energy, chronic swelling goes down and tissues heal more efficiently. In this case, low level laser therapy functions like sunlight, powering our cellular energy production in a focused area of the body.
Eating chlorophyll-rich foods for increasing energy production
Chlorophyll is the green pigment in foods such as dark green leafy vegetables, sprouts and spirulina. These foods have many benefits because they tend to be loaded with vitamins and minerals. Read more on the benefits of spirulina. But here’s another benefit to add to the list: eating chlorophyll-rich foods is like adding extra solar panels to a battery. With more of these green foods, our tissues can harness more sunlight and produce extra energy for healing tissue.
Although overexposure to sunlight remains a concern for skin health, it appears that complete sun avoidance may mean missing out on some essential health benefits including improved blood pressure (2), higher “good” cholesterol levels (3), improved immune function (4) and improved mood (5).
The body has amazing mechanisms to take advantage of nature’s powerful resources. All we have to do is enjoy some sunshine (without overexposure) and enjoy some seasonal greens – our cells do the rest!
Wishing you a bright and enjoyable summer!