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August 6, 2019 • Healthy Living

Reduce Your Cravings by Getting in Nature

Angel Oak tree near Charleston
Nature as the best kept secret to better health scores again! This time as a simple way to reduce cravings. Past studies have shown that exercising in Nature quiets cravings, so scientists were curious if the same would occur if the exercise component was removed.
To investigate, scientists had study subjects fill out detailed surveys exploring their exposure to nature and how it impacted their cravings and mood. Elements of the survey quantified neighborhood greenspace, green views from the home, access to a garden, and how often public greenspaces were frequented, among others. It also included questions related to physical activity.
The results? Having access to a garden was tied to less intense and less frequent cravings, irrespective of physical activity. What’s more, simply having a view from the home that included at least 25 percent natural space provided similar effects!
Given that cravings for unhealthy foods, tobacco, alcohol and illicit substances underlie some of the gravest public health issues we face, these findings are highly promising. Meanwhile, we have hundreds of published studies supporting Mother Nature as an all-round miracle pill for better health and mental wellbeing, so get out in her! Health & Place, 2019; 58: 102160 DOI: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2019.102160
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