Benefits of Barefoot
Updated: Mar 20
Kids often love to go barefoot. And there's good reason for it. It's actually great for their health!
Also referred to in Functional Nutrition as 'grounding' or 'earthing', there's a lot of solid science suggesting we should all incorporate this into our healthy habits.
I'm going to nerd out a bit here (I love chemistry). Everything - you and me, plants, animals - are made of atoms that have a net charge (positive, negative or neutral). We are living in an electrical world - and you and I are electrical beings!
Chemical reactions are happening all around us (and in our body) all of the time - molecules are rearranging, with the energetic attraction and repulsion of atoms ensuring you and I don't dissipate into a trillion particles. When our charge is off, chemical reactions happen in the body that shouldn't.
If you're heard me speak before you'll know I talk a lot about "biochemistry" and "bio-individuality" (I love this stuff!!).
So what happens is, as we go through our day, we build up a positive charge in our body. When we are wearing shoes and spending lots of time indoors, we don't discharge this back into the ground.
What does the science say about the benefits of taking our shoes off and connecting with the earth? Lots! [2-8]
Helps us to better regulate our stress hormone (cortisol)
Supports our body to shift to restorative rest and digest mode
Reduces inflammation and pain
Improves our sleep quality
So what are you waiting for? Get your shoes off and go for a walk outside in the grass, dirt, sand - just beware of prickles and glass of course!
Vanessa Vanderhoek is a functional medicine nutritionist specializing in the gut microbiome, biochemistry and nutrigenomics. She helps people to regain their health by taking a “food as medicine” approach that's unique to their body.
Whilst based in Canberra (Australia), Vanessa sees clients around the world in her virtual clinic. To get started book an initial consultation by clicking here.