Green recipes: a world to understand

Green recipes: A world to understand. Photo La Hora: Courtesy.

Forget! We’re not talking about food. It’s what medical professionals have called their patients, whether they’re regularly jogging outdoors, taking walks in the countryside, doing community gardening or food-growing sessions, or doing any other nature-based activity. . . Recipes that are given in other latitudes with conventional therapies.

El principio de esta terapia se remota a la antigüedad y ahora algunos gobiernos as el británico, lo ha tomado esto en serio e incluso ha invertido fondos nacionales en ello, como parte de su post recovery plan al COVID-19, con planes de amplification in the future.

But it seems to be more than a fad. Those in the know, like the WHO, advocate for this routine which has growing scientific evidence of the benefits of being in touch with nature, and has identified ten ways nature has a positive impact on our physical health. and our spirit. It turns out that these outings outside the house in natural spaces can promote physical activity, psychological relaxation and social cohesion. Others even go a step further and say that there is evidence to suggest that contact with microbes in the environment can “train” our immune systems and strengthen microbial communities on our skin, in our respiratory tracts and in our eyes. intestines. These “microbiomes” may play a role in how our bodies respond to infectious diseases like COVID-19 and other infections. Microbes in the environment could also supplement our bodies with fatty acids like butyrate, which are linked to reducing inflammation and may support mental health.

Therefore, green recipes offer beyond entertainment. To work, they must be seen as the start of a much more holistic way of delivering health and social care – part of a post-COVID “new normal” for many. But, it must go beyond simply substituting green for conventional recipes, it is living among the green which means more social care, education, transportation and active travel, etc. For example, experts say that greening a schoolyard not only creates a barrier against air pollution from vehicle emissions, but also provides many other benefits to the school community and education. respect for nature, by producing gardens and vegetables as a school activity.

For medical professionals around the world, it is nothing new that students, workers and the elderly are experiencing high levels of stress and mental health issues. For example, in the most developed countries or in densely populated urban areas, it has been seen that the number of people reporting mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression and schizophrenia, has increased fivefold. Feeling depressed makes functioning difficult and filled with despair. But a growing body of research suggests that one way to improve our mental health could be as simple as getting outside. In fact, some go so far as to say that just 10 minutes a day of exposure to nature could be beneficial. A study found that a 20-30 minute visit to nature three times a week is very effective in reducing cortisol (the “stress” hormone) levels in the body.

The health system and the population must therefore see organic prescriptions as a lower-cost alternative, which must accompany other treatments. To be effective, it requires low-cost investments and resources. For it to be successful in the long term, government and civil society must make a strong commitment to its implementation and scale-up, while tackling systemic issues such as social inequality to make it accessible to as many people as possible. large number. All of this takes time, and if this holistic approach is not taken, people in crisis with more immediate priorities are less likely to do anything else.

It is necessary to take into account in this program, as in other environmental programs which promote health and which aim to improve well-being through nature, who are the people who live in the most disadvantaged communities and neighborhoods, in which they tend to find the worst health conditions and a lower life expectancy and who, at the same time, are those who have the least access to quality green spaces, outdoor recreation areas, and even they have, if this is not accompanied by other safety measures measures to improve the environment and the quality of life, such as working methods and leisure spaces, etc., everything ends up by a failure. At the present time, what is often contradictory is that, among the least favored people, it is there that the need for these recipes is most felt and that one would expect the most effects from them. and these are, for the moment, those who have the least access to it. Additionally, many physicians are unaware of green prescribing, do not fully understand its benefits, or do not know how to get involved.

It is therefore obvious that as in all health prevention and therapy, the context is fundamental and ecological recipes must not only be prescribed but implemented closely linked to measures to improve living conditions. A wealthy white pensioner in a rural area is likely to have a very different experience and access to nature than a working-class youth living in slums and working in the city centre. A top-down approach is unlikely to work equally for these two people.

In summary, let’s say those in the know, what we need for green recipes to be successful is that:

They should be part of a systems approach to integrating nature-based interventions and thinking into urban and rural infrastructure in service delivery.

The prescription process needs to be simplified for physicians, social care professionals and patients. Barriers to overcome: Physicians are often short on time and resources, while patients may lack motivation and confidence, or have few previous positive nature experiences or lack time due to their duties. Bioprescribing should also be viewed as part of a holistic health promotion strategy, based on a planetary health perspective. To take care of ourselves, we must also take care of our environment.
Finally, we need new ways of working with local organizations and communities to understand what is needed in local contexts and to build skills and capacities.

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