Health Benefits of Los Angeles…Dirt!

Health Benefits of Los Angeles Dirt!

Most Los Angeles parents know about the health benefits of gardening as a family: spending time outdoors, working together, establishing a connection to the food we eat, better nutrition, and many more.

Something not so well known in Los Angeles is that the dirt itself contains beneficial bacteria that can aid in depression, cognitive functioning, and even in fighting some cancers.

Working with soil in Los Angeles – digging, pulling weeds, harvesting vegetables – exposes California kids and parents to a strain of bacteria called mycobacterium vaccae. Recent research reveals that m. vaccae triggers the release of seratonin, which can elevate mood and reduce stress.

In one study, two groups of mice were fed peanut butter sandwiches before finding their way through a difficult maze. One of the groups had m. vaccae spread on the sandwiches. The mice that ingested the bacteria ran the maze twice as fast and exhibited half as many stress behaviors as the mice that didn’t have the bacteria.

Think of Los Angeles kids in the ‘good ole’ days,’ running around on unpaved roads, playing in meadows, forests, and dirt piles, and half of the time probably bare-foot. It is quite a different childhood than the sanitized version that exists in our society today. Children not only need more time out-of-doors, but they need to get dirty! Let your Los Angeles neighbors hear you yell: ‘Kids, go outside and get dirty!’

LA, Southern California, and Los Angeles parents may do themselves and their children a favor by adding to their kids’ emotional, physical, and intellectual health by letting them play in the dirt!

My name is Patti Langell and I want to help Los Angeles families raise healthy, happy kids. Issues such as proper nutrition for children and childhood obesity in LA concern me. I am the owner of a Los Angeles area home business that sells xobiotic.

The following blog post was used as source material for this blog:

Sachs, Naomi, “It’s in the Dirt: Bacteria in soil may make us happier, smarter.” Therapeutic Landscapes Network. (Jan. 24, 2011), accessed March 14, 2012

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