GROUNDED IN NATURE

Fall Is In The Air

I love fall! Well, if I’m completely honest, I love all of the seasons. I may wish Wisconsin winters were just a bit shorter, but I digress. Fall brings a crispness to the air, but still welcomes the warmth of the afternoon sunshine. It brings the desire for all things apple, pumpkin and cinnamon. Soon it will bring a chill that beckons a crackling fire in the fireplace and big comfy sweaters.

Summer is Coming to an End

As summer comes to an end, and the days of being barefoot, lounging in the sunshine and being outside until well after the 8 o’clock sunset,  give way to boots, shorter days and more time spent indoors; I embrace the beauty of fall with long walks through the forests of red, orange & yellow, more hot tea & soups and time spent curled up with a blanket and a book.

From The Vibrancy of Summer to The Melancholy of Fall

As the days become shorter, my mood seems to wane as the vibrancy of summer fades. Fall brings a melancholy to my soul. Over the years I have found ways to mitigate this melancholy. One of these ways is to make time for being outside with my feet in the grass, even when there is a chill in the air.

Grounding Is An Easy Way to Improve Your Mood

I find it amazing that this one simple act can improve my mood for an entire day! This is not just my quirky way to find more joy, there is an explanation as to why this helps. Grounding, also known as earthing, is the simple act of being barefoot outside. Research suggests that this can counteract stress and anxiety, boost your mood and even reduce inflammation.

The Science Behind Grounding

The theory behind grounding is that our modern lifestyle has disconnected us from the electrons naturally present in the earth. Without the electrons, free radicals in our bodies, that are missing these electrons, adversely affect many of the body’s processes. This free radical damage could be responsible for increased inflammation, increased stress and anxiety, poor sleep quality, and chronic pain. Several studies exist that support the theory of grounding, but these studies have been the subject of controversy and skepticism. However, I have experienced my own benefits through the simple act of putting my feet on the earth.

How To Get Grounded

There are many ways to become grounded and all of them focus on reconnecting with the earth.

  • Walking barefoot on the grass, sand or in the water
  • Lying on the ground and having the skin of your body in contact with the earth
  • Submerging in water: just wading in or completely submerging your body
  • Using grounding equipment, when going outside is not an option – you can find many options online

Grounding Is Becoming More Necessary

Grounding has been increasing in popularity around the world. Some grounding researchers suggest that changing environments are responsible for more people losing access to the benefits of grounding. One theory from a study is that grounding affects our living matrix, which is the central connector between living cells. Electrical conductivity exists within the matrix that functions as an immune system defense, similar to antioxidants. Through grounding, the natural defenses of the body can be restored. With less opportunities to get outside and more health issues arising, maybe our bodies are naturally drawn to getting back our connection to the earth.

More Studies May Be Needed, In The Meantime, Try It Out For Yourself

Most of the studies on grounding are small and rely somewhat on subjective measures, such as self-reported feelings, stress, pain or mood. However, some studies also rely on blood markers, such as those that detect inflammation. More research is needed but you can see for yourself if you experience any benefits just by taking the time to put your feet on the ground.

Slow Down & Breathe, Feel the Earth Under Your Feet & Enjoy Fall

With the crispness of fall in the air, in addition to enjoying all things apples, pumpkin and cinnamon, take the opportunity to slow down, breathe deeply, and appreciate the beauty of nature around you with your feet on the earth.


WHY QUERCETIN?

WHAT IS IT?

Quercetin is the most abundant flavonoid in the human diet, providing you eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables. A flavonoid is a plant pigment with antioxidant properties. Quercetin is found in many fruits, vegetables and herbs and is safe to consume.

WHERE CAN IT BE FOUND?

Quercetin is found naturally in many plant foods, particularly in the outer layer or peel. Onions are the food found to have the highest amount of quercetin.

  • Food Sources:
  • Red Apples
  • Red Grapes
  • Cherries
  • Berries
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Honey
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Leafy Greens: Red Leaf Lettuce, Kale, etc.
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Onions
  • Shallots
  • Capers
  • Tea: Green, Black & Buckwheat

The amount of quercetin in foods may depend on the conditions in which the food was grown. Organic sources have been shown to have higher concentrations than their conventionally grown counterparts.

It’s estimated that the average person consumes 10–100 mg of quercetin daily from fruits, vegetables, and herbal sources.

WHAT ARE ITS HEALTH BENEFITS?

The health benefits of flavonoids, like quercetin, come from their antioxidant functions inside the body. Antioxidants bind and neutralize free radicals, preventing them from causing cellular damage. This damage leads to inflammation. Normally, the inflammation goes away after the immune system eliminates the offender or repairs the damaged tissue. When the body is unable to do this, the inflammation becomes chronic and may lead to numerous chronic conditions, including:

  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Autoimmune conditions
    • In an 8-week study of 50 women with rheumatoid arthritis, it was observed that the women who took 500 mg of quercetin daily experienced significantly reduced early morning stiffness, morning pain, and after-activity pain. They also had reduced markers of inflammation, such as TNFα, compared to those who received a placebo. (Pub Med)
    • This research is promising but more research in humans is needed.

ARE THERE BENEFITS OR DANGERS TO TAKING IT AS A SUPPLEMENT?

When consumed in food, quercetin is generally safe for everyone, including pregnant and breastfeeding women. Because studies on safety of quercetin supplements are lacking, supplements should be avoided if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Quercetin may interact with various medications, including blood thinners, blood pressure medications, and antibiotics. Speak with your health care provider before taking any supplement, including quercetin.

As a supplement, quercetin appears to be generally safe with little to no side effects and many potential benefits.

Typical dosages range from 500–1,000 mg per day

Taking more than 1,000 mg of quercetin per day may cause mild symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Stomachaches
  • Tingling sensations in the arms and legs

Very high doses of quercetin may damage the kidneys.

  • People with kidney disease should avoid quercetin

Quercetin has been safely used in amounts up to 500 mg twice daily for 12 weeks.

  • It is unknown if long-term use or higher doses are safe
  • Taking periodic breaks from taking quercetin may be a good idea

On its own, as a supplement, quercetin has a low bioavailability, which means your body absorbs it poorly.

Taking quercetin supplements with other compounds, such as Zinc, Vitamin C, or Digestive Enzymes like Bromelain, may increase effectiveness.

Quercetin is available as a dietary supplement in powder and capsule form.

SUMMARY

People take this supplement for several reasons, including to:

  • Boost immunity
  • Fight inflammation
  • Combat allergies
  • Increase exercise performance
  • Maintain general health

The benefits of Quercetin are promising but more human research is needed.