Do you ever wonder why you feel refreshed and relieved whenever you go to the beach or to the mountains? The fresh sea breeze, spray of seawater on your face or the fresh mountain air is like food for your body right?
Science has an explanation for that refreshed, revitalized feeling – negative ions.
The air we breathe contains electrically charged natural particles called ions.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, an ion is an atom or group of atoms that carries a positive or negative electric charge as a result of having lost or gained one or more electrons. Positively charged ions are called cations while negatively charged ions are called anions.
Research shows that negative ions, which can be generated by lightning, ocean surf & waterfalls, among other sources, can improve health. According to ion researcher Michael Terman of Columbia University, “The action of pounding surfs creates negative air ions and we also see it immediately after spring thunderstorms when people report lightened moods.” Columbia University also conducted a study of 25 people with Seasonal Affective Depression (SAD). The patients sat in front of a negative ion air purifier for half an hour every morning for a month. Half of the patients were given a low level of negative ions, while the other half were given a high level. The results of the study showed that a high level negative ion treatment is as effective against SAD as antidepressants such as Prozac and Zolof, minus the side effects of the said drugs.
Aside from treating depression, research also shows that exposure to negative ions increases alertness and relaxes people who are in severe pain. Negative ions also destroy and extract from their air certain types of bacteria that cause colds, influenza and other respiratory infections. A high concentration of negative ions in the air is also said to make the air refreshing to breathe. This explains why the air in the mountains, near waterfalls and seashores, where there is a high concentration of negative ions, is refreshing. Negative ions are said to be anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral. **continued in comments