Unless you've been living under a rock, you would know that a plant based diet with leafy green vegetables is the staple for a 'healthy diet'. If you have been then I'm sure there is also a plethora of nutrients under that rock too but if you want to know a little more about how the green stuff is the key to your happiness, read on.
Other than the vegetables we consume, the plants and tree's we surround ourselves with provide a lot more than the oxygen we breathe. Bringing Nature inside and having plants throughout your home is more than aesthetics.
It provides numerous health benefits such as:
- Absorbing the carbon dioxide (our waste product of exhalation)
- Releases oxygen, increasing the oxygen in our homes
- Filter toxic chemicals from the air, such as those found in cleaning products, fabrics, paints and cigarette/cooking smoke
- Increase humidity; protects us from respiratory problems
- Improve immunity and boosts mood
- Create feelings of calm and happiness from their aesthetic beauty
- Creates a sense of connection, to nature, the collective conscious
- Some plants deter insects, bugs and moths
- Studies globally have found that when surrounded by the colour green, we are happier, less tired, improve immunity
- Reduce blood pressure
- Lower stress and boost energy
"Green, which is Nature's colour, is restful, soothing, cheerful, and health-giving." - Paul Brunton
Intake of good quality air in our homes, particularly when we are asleep is essential to our health as it plays a role in every function of our body. You know that you feel better, sleep better and feel healthier when you have been walking in Nature.
It is the increased flow of oxygen to your organs, importantly, your brain, the inhalation of phytoncides (plants defense/ antioxidants) and calming surroundings that create this.
Did you know most plants will switch at night to absorb oxygen and release carbon dioxide, however not all plants do this. Plants such as succulents also release oxygen at night, making these ideal plants for the bedroom.
The top 10 plants to purify air as researched by NASA are:
1. Peace Lily
2. Golden Pothos
3. English Ivy
5. Gerbera Daisy
6. Mother In Law's Tongue
7. Bamboo Palm
9. Red-edge Dracaena
10. Spider Plant
The best ways to bring the outdoors in are as follows:
Plants- I think I add a new plant each week. Some are hardy than others as i have found out. Zanzibar gem is a great one for bathrooms and as the tag states, "thrives on neglect". If you're not such a green thumb but want to enjoy the benefits of plants, grab one of these babies. Another great one is the Aloe Vera plant. Kept in a pot by the window, water sporadically and come summer you will be able to utilize this to soothe skin, or eat the flesh. The Snakes tongue or Mother in Laws tongue is ideal and again, so easy to maintain. Its about reducing stress, not creating more work for yourself.
Essential oils- Invest in some good quality essential oils. These can be used in a reed diffuser or an electric water vapour diffuser. When used in a water vapour diffuser the oil particles stay in the air for a few hours. Smells initiate a mindful response in our bodies as we focus on the sense, creating a sense of presence. Essential oils are associated with evoking different responses so be mindful of your selection and the response you wish to evoke. Some great oils for relaxation and anxiety relief are, Lavender or Ylang Ylang, Frankincense.
Cedarwood Shavings- Smell earthy, grounding and divine but will also keep moths and insects away. Often found made into balls to hang in your wardrobe, cedarwood protects your clothes from being eaten by the pesky moths.
Grow your own Vegetables- start an inside vegetable garden in pots on the window sill. Not only will you reap the benefits of eating your own freshly grown herbs, and plants, it brings a little of that magic green inside.
With global research proving that spending time in and around nature having life-changing benefits, if you aren't already all over this, go out and buy some plants now, build essential oils into your life and recharge your soul.
One last tid bit of info to make you want to integrate greenery into your home; research in Japan (the epitome of shinrin-yoku aka forest bathing- google it) has shown that people live longer when their homes have plants within their homes (or nearby that they walk to daily) .
"The forest is like our mother, a sacred place, a gift to us humans from the devine. It is a paradise of healing. Mother Nature fills us with wonder and cursioty and invites us in. She works in harmony with us and with our innate capacity for healing." Shinrin-yoku- The art and science of forest bathing by Dr Qing LI
Reconnect with nature through our sense and Mother Nature will do the rest.
Tell me how you integrate greenery into your home? How do you find nature balances you? Are you happy when connected with nature?
If you want to experience the benefits yourself, book a group hike today. I run through mindfulness practices in these hikes which alleviates the stress of our fast paced lives.
They act like a sponge, filtering toxic chemicals found in