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Alfresco a go go. Why you should really eat outdoors more often.

There’s nothing quite like the smell of food sizzling away on a barbecue. Actually, that’s not quite true. Taking that first mouth-watering bite might be even more pleasurable.

Barbecuing is obviously our favourite cooking method, by a long way. There’s nothing quite like the taste of food fresh from the grill. There’s also something about eating outdoors. Whether it’s a yummy picnic on the beach, a tasty wrap from a festival stand, or a juicy burger from the barbecue grill, it all just seems to taste better outdoors. After all, when you’re outdoors, you’re not just enjoying what’s on your plate. You’re also feasting on the sights, sounds and smells of your surroundings.

The benefits of eating outdoors don’t end at food tasting better. There are also numerous health benefits too.

Mood boost

If you live in the UK, you know from experience that a lack of sun can depress your mood. Find any excuse to get outdoors in search of some spring and summer sunshine. Even if it’s just to have lunch outside, or a barbecue with friends at the weekend, you’ll be amazed at how eating outside, and getting some sunshine and fresh air, can boost your mood.

Vitamin D boost

More than one in five people have low levels of vitamin D, according to recent data published by Public Health England. The essential vitamin not only keeps teeth and bones healthy, but it is also thought to play a role in protecting against autoimmune diseases, cancers, and cardiovascular disease. Although the best source of vitamin D is sunlight, it also occurs naturally in some foods such as oily fish and eggs. Time to throw some fresh mackerel and sardines on the barbecue?

Stress reduction

Spending time outdoors is thought to lower your heart rate and blood pressure, decrease stress hormones, and ease muscle tension. For office workers, even just having a view of nature outside your window is associated with lower stress and higher job satisfaction. Why not persuade your boss to throw a barbecue for the entire office and feel your work stress dissolve as the sun hits your face and that delicious aroma curls up from the grill.

Being more active

Ever been at a barbecue and suddenly found yourself with a tennis racket in your hand or a football at your feet? Eating outdoors and enjoying the fresh air and sunshine can spur you on to get more exercise. This can in turn reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer by up to 50% and lower your risk of early death by up to 30%, according to NHS Livewell. Exercise is a miracle cure for helping you to lead a healthier and happier life. So why not break a sweat in the great outdoors then treat yourself by getting your healthy alfresco grill on.

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