Here at I Love Nature, we believe that connecting with the natural world around us is healthy and can help ease a lot of the illnesses afflicting the modern world. Well, a new article in the Washington Post discusses how walking through a grassy field in your bare feet can actually reconnect you to the natural electrical rhythms of the earth. It's called "grounding" and it's some fascinating stuff.
Carrie Dennett, the nutritionist who wrote the article, goes into the science behind the theory.
There are many reasons connecting with nature is good for mind and body, but electricity probably is not one you have considered. If you think back to the last time you took a science class, you may remember that everything, including humans, is made up of atoms. These microscopic particles contain equal numbers of negatively charged electrons, which come in pairs, and positively charged protons, so an atom is neutral — unless it loses an electron. When an atom has an unpaired electron, it becomes a “free radical” with a positive charge, capable of damaging our cells and contributing to chronic inflammation, cancer and other diseases. In this case, “positive” is not a good thing.
One reason direct physical contact with the ground might have beneficial physiological effects is the earth’s surface has a negative charge and is constantly generating electrons that could neutralize free radicals, acting as antioxidants. You may think of antioxidants as coming from food, and indeed a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and other foods that provide beta-carotene, selenium, lutein, lycopene and vitamins A, C and E helps prevent cellular damage from free radicals. Still, it is interesting that we may be able to get them directly from the earth, too.
Well, I don't know about you, but I'm going to find a hopefully pesticide free meadow to stretch my toes in!