There are several recently published books that I recommend for an enhanced understanding of the connections between nature and health. The books cover different aspects of nature and health that provide a solid foundation on the topic.
Your Brain on Nature (2012) Eva Selhub and Alan Logan
Your Brain on Nature offers scientifically proven, nature-based methods for reducing stress, improving cognitive powers, and boosting the efficiency of exercise.
Forest Medicine (2012) Qing Li, Editor
The goal of Forest Medicine is to present up-to-date findings related to forest medicine research to show the beneficial effects of forest environments on human health. The book is organized into sections focused on evaluation of the forest environment; effects of the forest environment on human health; effects of factors in the forest environments on human health; greens areas and human health: epidemiological studies; and research into forests and human health, including recent trends worldwide. The book includes evidence from both experimental and epidemiological studies and covers recent trends related to forests and human health in Japan, Korea, China and Europe. Forest Medicine can be utilized by the fields of forestry, horticulture, alternative medicine, environmental medicine, preventive medicine, public health and aromatherapy.
Forest, Trees & Human Health (2011) Nilsson, K.; Sangster, M.; Gallis, C.; Hartig, T.; de Vries, S.; Seeland, K.; Schipperijn, J., Editors.
Forests, Trees and Human Health is the outcome of the European Union’s COST Action E39 ‘Forests, Trees and Human Health and Wellbeing’, and brings together work carried out over four years by scientists from 25 countries working in the fields of forestry, health, environment and social sciences. The focus is primarily on European health priorities, but also includes research from other regions including North America. A strength of the book is that it extends across both disciplines and nations, serving as a reference for researchers in forestry, health, natural resource management and environmental policy. Forests, Trees and Human Health is the only unified body of work on this topic.
Green Care: For Human Therapy, Social Innovation, Rural Economy, and Education (2013) Christos Gallis, Editor
Green care is described as the use of agricultural farms and the biotic and abiotic elements of nature for health and therapy-promoting interventions as a base for promoting human mental and physical health, as well as quality of life. This book presents scientific knowledge related to green care, its definitions and theories, and findings to show the beneficial effects of green care on human health and well being. Also discussed are the social, political, economic, and educational aspects of green care.
Biophilic Cities outlines the essential elements of a biophilic city, and provides examples and stories about cities that have successfully integrated biophilic elements, from the building to the regional level, around the world. Beatley reviews biophilic urban design and planning, describing urban ecological networks and connected systems of urban greenspace, green rooftops and green walls, and sidewalk gardens.