The Forge

Although you might not always feel like it, getting outside at this time of year is good for your heart, body, mind and soul...

1. It’s good for your taste buds (and your wallet!): around this time of year we can start to forage wild food for free. The three-cornered leek is now making an appearance on our farm; it’s crunchy green leaves taste like spring onions and are great for making pesto and adding to stews and soups. It also has many of the same health properties as other members of the garlic family being anti-fungal, ant-viral and antiseptic. You can find out more information about this lesser known cousin of wild garlic here.

2. It’s good for your bones: from mid-March onwards, the sun is high enough in the sky for us to absorb vitamin D which is essential for healthy bones as it helps us to absorb calcium and phosphate from our diet. And when the clouds do eventually clear there is nothing quite like the feeling of warm rays on your face after all the snow and ice…

3. It's good for your immune system: It may still be very wet and muddy here at The Forge but that's no excuse to stay inside. In fact, research by microbiologist Marie-Claire Arrieta, co-author of a new book called Let Them Eat Dirt: Saving Our Children from an Oversanitized World, suggests that exposure to microbes found in mud and dirt actually helps strengthen our immune systems.  Her evidence shows that kids who are growing up in a farm environment have less chance of developing asthma. So, what are you waiting for? Don those wellies and get mucked up!

4. It’s good for your brain: it's not just your body that can benefit from getting outside in early Spring. There is evidence to suggest that getting outside can actually make you more productive. In a recent study spending time walking through trees and nature rather than an urban environment was shown to increase memory by 20% as well as improving your concentration and making you more creative. No brainer then really…

5. It's good for your mind:  And if that wasn't enough to convince you, a new paper published this week in Clinical Psychological Science claims that getting outside and interacting with your friends in person can reduce feelings of social isolation and depression associated with spending hour and hours staring at smartphones. Challenge yourself to leave your phone at home while you go for a walk or spend the afternoon with your loved ones outside. You might be surprised at how liberating it feels!

Posted: 18.03.18 | Activities| Wild Food| Health and wellbeing
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