Want to Improve Gut Health? Take a nature walk

According to a recent article published in The Conversation, taking a walk in the woods or being around the sea is not only about taking your mind off work or a way to destress. Japanese scientists have been researching this and actually have a name for it: shinrin-yoku or “forest bathing.”
The researchers believe that we are actually breathing in healthy substances when people breathe forest air. Research has indicated that even green spaces in urban areas are very good for physical and mental well-being. Studying are showing that creating a diverse gut microbiota is very beneficial to one’s health. According to this article living around a diverse ecosystem can also help our gut health as well. The question becomes why is it good for gut microbiota?

In the article Japanese researchers suggested that we are taking beneficial substances when we breathe forest air. There were 3 factors found that were making us feel healthier around nature:
1. Beneficial bacteria
2. Plant-derived essential oils
3. Negatively-charged ions.

There is a lot more study that needs to be done on all of this, but it’s safe to say that we are very complex organisms. Keeping one’s gut microbiota healthy has much to do with living a full and healthy lifestyle than we previously thought. Eating right isn’t enough, living an active life with positive relationships and activities are also key.

Dr. Shah, MD

Original Article Written by: Jeffrey Craig, Principal Research Fellow, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute and Susan L. Prescott, Professor of Pediatrics, University of Western Australia.
This article was originally published by The Conversation.