Boost your antioxidant uptake for better health with this surprising all-natural source. (Spoiler alert: it’s right beneath your feet – and it’s free.)
If your health is a high priority, you probably aim to get plenty of antioxidants through a nutritious diet and, perhaps, supplements as well. It’s no wonder antioxidants are so sought-after, considering their role in disarming free radicals that can wreak havoc in the body if left unchecked.
But even the most health-conscious among us may be missing out on one of the most powerful, abundant sources of antioxidants on the planet. They’re free for the taking, and you need not swallow a single capsule to reap the benefits.
Introducing ‘Vitamin G’ Grounding (also called earthing) refers to electrically connecting your body to the ground so it can absorb the earth’s free, negatively charged electrons. The earth maintains a natural surface charge of free negative electrons via solar radiation, lightning and other atmospheric weather. These mobile electrons naturally travel to, and reduce, positive electrical charges. (Free radicals in the body carry a positive charge.)
When we walk barefoot – or sit or lie – on grass, sand, soil or damp concrete, positive charges in our bodies naturally attract and absorb the earth’s negatively charged electrons, according to grounding proponents. These electrons are purported to act as natural antioxidants, quenching and deactivating free radicals that could otherwise damage healthy cells and contribute to chronic inflammation and related diseases. In fact, chronic inflammation has been linked to most prevalent chronic diseases of our time: heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune diseases like lupus and multiple sclerosis, and many more.
Walking barefoot or grounding outdoors may not always be practical, so conductive grounding mats offer an effective alternative. They connect to your electrical outlet’s ground port, which is connected to a ground rod driven deep into the earth beneath your home. Each mat comes with a ground cord designed to fit only into a ground port; there’s no risk of plugging it into the wrong port.
When connected via the ground cord to the outlet ground, the mat is designed to automatically equalize with the earth and maintain its natural surface charge of negatively charged free elections. The idea is that when you sit or lie on a connected grounding mat, positive charges in your body instantly attract – and cause you to absorb – the earth’s negatively charged free electrons.
An Age-Old Practice Grounding was simply a way of life for our ancestors. Walking barefoot and sleeping on the ground (or on straw and animal skins) exposed them to a steady, unlimited supply of negatively charged electrons to help prevent oxidative stress and inflammation.
Today, however, we rarely touch the earth. Most of us wear insulating rubber- or plastic-soled shoes and spend our time in buildings electrically insulated and disconnected from the earth’s surface charge of free electrons. As a result, we tend to miss out on this potent antioxidant source and its protective health benefits – unless we make the effort to ground ourselves.
Benefits of Grounding A relatively small but growing body of research on grounding suggests an array of health benefits, including several related to its purported antioxidant, anti-inflammatory effects:
Get Grounded Ready to experience the benefits of Vitamin G? Here are two easy methods to consider. (If you’re dealing with a medical condition, consult with your practitioner first.)
Connect outside. Take a barefoot stroll on the beach, or go to the park and sit with your bare feet and hands placed directly on the grass. Another option is to sit in a comfortable chair on your patio with your bare feet on the unpainted concrete. Try to ground for 30–40 minutes at a time (on a regular basis, ideally) for the most noticeable effects.
Sleep grounded. Once you’ve experienced the benefits of grounding outdoors you might consider investing in a grounded sleeping mat . The length of a bed and half the width, the sleeping mat is designed to go directly under your fitted sheet. A ground cord connects the mat to your outlet ground. Once connected, simply lie down and let the earth do the rest.