We have all had instances where we have wanted to just leave all our personal and professional commitments behind and leave for woods. Turns out that sitting in the lap of nature can have various health benefits too, if the findings of a latest study are to be believed. Living near the nature or getting regular exposure to greenery may reduce the risk of a host of illnesses including Type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, preterm birth and stress -- and boost overall health suggested a new study published in the journal Environmental Research.
"We often reach for medication when we're unwell but exposure to health-promoting environments is increasingly recognized as both preventing and helping treat disease. Our study shows that the size of these benefits can be enough to have a meaningful clinical impact," said Andy Jones from Britain's University of East Anglia (UEA).
Living in close vicinity of trees is said to increase one's exposure to Phytoncides, which are organic compounds with antibacterial properties, released by trees. These compounds are said to have health boosting properties.
"People living near greenery likely have more opportunities for physical activity and socializing. Meanwhile, exposure to a diverse variety of bacteria present in natural areas may also have benefits for the immune system and reduce inflammation," said lead author, Caoimhe Twohig-Bennett from UEA's Norwich Medical School.
For the study, the team studied data from over 140 studies involving more than 290 million people from 20 countries including the UK, the US, Spain, France, Germany, Australia and Japan.
It was also revealed through the study that spending more time with nature also increased sleep duration and significantly reduced the levels of salivary cortisol -- a physiological marker of stress.
The researchers believe that the findings may prove to be an important intervention in healthcare catering to diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. It may prompt doctors and other healthcare professionals to recommend patients to spend more time in greenery and natural areas.
"We hope that this research will inspire people to get outside more and feel the health benefits for themselves. Hopefully our results will encourage policymakers to invest in the creation, regeneration, and maintenance of parks and greenery, particularly in urban residential areas," Twohig-Bennett noted.
Diabetes mellitus (DM) commonly referred to as Diabetes, is a chronic disorder. It occurs when the pancreas does not secrete enough insulin or when the cells of the body become resistant to insulin. Your diet plays a key role in managing diabetes, which is why experts suggest including great number of healthy and seasonal fruits and veggies in one's diabetes diet.
Here are some fruits that would ensure your blood sugar levels are in check.
1. Pomegranates: Pomegranates contain the richest combinations of antioxidants of all fruits and can protect you from free-radicals and chronic diseases. So feel free to enjoy these red pearls with such powerful phytochemical compounds.
2. Grapes: Resveratrol, a phytochemical found in grapes, modulates the blood glucoseresponse by effecting how the body secretes and uses insulin. Hence grapes are a good choice keeping its nutritional profile in mind.
3. Apples: Full of healthy fibres, apples should be part of every diabetes diet. In fact, apples are beneficial for reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes according to the American journal of clinical nutrition.
4. Strawberries: Strawberries have low- glycemic index hence it's slowly released in the blood stream as glucose. It can also improve immunity, has cancer fighting ability and increases metabolism, which in turn helps you lose weight.
5. Guava: It's a great snack for diabetics with a low glycemic index. Guava is very rich in dietary fiber that helps in ensuring slow release of sugar, in the blood.