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10 Health Benefits of Nature

Happy Wednesday Friends!  

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful city where the birds would chirp exquisite melodies beginning an hour before dawn, bunnies would hop along the grass and hide in the bushes, squirrels would scurry playfully along fences, and trees would be covered in bright purple flowers in the springtime.  Sound like a magical fairyland?  This week I discovered that this fairyland is none other than my home town of Fullerton, California!  

Here I am standing next to a magnificent Jacaranda tree, which is covered in purple blossoms !  Photo credit goes to my son, Arjun.  This one happens to be across the street from my office, but they are everywhere in the city!  

Nature is healing to the mind, body and spirit in so many ways!  It engages all five senses.  I often enjoy a brisk early morning walk, and am greeted by so many different species of birds singing, each in their unique tune and rhythm!  I love breathing in and smelling the freshness of the trees, grasses, and flowers. There’s nothing like the fresh breeze that brushes past my face and hair.  We taste the Earth when we enjoy fresh produce, and it awakens our palate with bright and clean flavors! The sight of the sun peaking through the clouds and streaking its magnificent pink-orange rays at sunrise is nature’s breathtaking gift that awakens me to my core.

Here are 10 Benefits of Spending Time in Nature:

1) It has a powerful impact on our mood!  It can alleviate anxiety and depression, and improve our focus and concentration. 

2) It lowers the bad stress hormone, known as cortisol.  This helps to calm our heart rate and blood pressure.

3) Sunlight boosts our body’s production of vitamin D! 

4) It helps to lower inflammation!  Research shows that people have less pain and require less pain medication when they spend time in nature!

5) It improves the health of our gut microbiome!  Touching plants, petting animals, and gardening all expose you to microbes that influence the types of bacteria that grow on your skin, in your nose, lungs, and GI tract!  

6) Improves your metabolism!  Getting out and walking, running, swimming, and hiking are all great forms of exercise! 

7) It’s the best way to get Vitamin G (Grounding).  When you put your bare feet on the Earth, whether it’s grass, soil, or sand, it connects you to the Earth and allows electrons to move between the Earth and the grounded human body.  This has a calming and healing effect on our health.

8) It strengthens the immune system.  Did you know that negative air ions from fresh air helps to increase natural killer cell activity and has anti-tumor effects?

9) Helps you detox from blue light.  Adults and children these days are getting more blue light than ever before.  It’s important to reset your senses with time in nature.

10) Improves the quality of your sleep! 

To learn more, check out this review article:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28763021/

Hope you get a chance to enjoy the magic that is happening outdoors. 

Happy Spring!

Warm regards,  

Rajsree Nambudripad, MD

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