There has been mounting evidence on the importance of vitamin D but have you heard of the research behind Vitamin G? Vitamin G, or green space, (aka Mother Nature) has been shown in scientific studies to improve human health and well being. Vitamin G was coined by Dr. Peter Groenewegen, a Dutch health scientist.
Dr. Selhub and Dr. Logan has co-authored a book called “Your Brain on Nature. Green space has been shown to have several benefits:
-exercising in nature outdoors vs indoors was shown to improve mental well-being with increased energy and revitalization and decreased tension, anger and depression
-a small study showed that a day spend in a forested area vs a day spent in an urban area showed 50% lower levels of salivary cortisol (the stress hormone)
-exposure to green spaces within urban neighborhoods showed healthier cortisol responses
-people living with more green in their neighborhoods had better mental health outcomes
-green space significantly reduced ADHD symptoms compared to non-green setting
-evergreen trees secrete chemicals known as phytoncide which has been shown to increase immune cell activity, primarily the natural killer cells (NK cell)
In fact, even having a plant within view of an office workstation significantly reduces risk of sick leave!
Being in nature reduces stress, cortisol, and tension and improves mental health, energy and your immune system. It’s no wonder that early pioneers of naturopathic doctors suggested we walk in the grass in bare feet. Or at least have a plant.
E. Stavros, J Yukht. The Health Benefits of Nature. Integrated Health Practitioners October 2014: 55-58
Logan A, Selhub E. Your Brain On Nature: The Science of Nature’s Influence on your Health, Happiness, and Vitality. Mississagua, ON: John Wiley & Sons Canada Publisher 2012