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Getting Dirty, Staying Healthy

Getting Dirty, Staying Healthy

by Dr. Justin Anderson 

published in Montana Parent June/July 2014

{Read this article and other great articles in the digital issue, here. Dr. Justin’s article is on page 66. Plus, look for hard copies of Montana Parent at these locations in Bozeman.}



Growing up in the Gallatin Valley on a family farm was much more to me than early morning chores and long days. It was a way of life that has helped to shape who I am today. Of course, as a young child, this experience was all I knew. As an adult, I learned to appreciate how much I had gained by working hard and getting dirty.

Over the last couple of decades, more research has come out showing the correlation between those children who regularly get literally “dirty” working in the soil—and a decrease in allergies and sensitivities. Many children and adults are plagued with a lifelong sentence of seasonal allergies and food sensitivities that often developed during their early childhood years.  Soil, however, boasts a host of beneficial minerals and microorganisms which are foundational to strong and allergy-free healthy bodies. Studies are beginning to show us that perhaps we do live too “cleanly”, without enough contact with the earth. Just spending a little time getting dirty in the soil may actually benefit us and our children much more than was previously believed.

Let’s move this conversation a little further and talk about how healthy soil is critical not only for our fingertips, but also for our insides! Our bodies are so innately connected to the soil that we can only survive if we consume vital minerals found in the soil and vitamins that are made from the soil. Life would cease to exist if we were cut off from the soil—our basic source of vitamins and minerals that are delivered to us via plants and animals. Of course, eating handfuls of dirt is not the prescription (though it’s good to have your hands in the dirt often!). God has designed an amazing system in which these building blocks are delivered to us through our food. The healthier that the soil is, and the healthier that the food is, means that more of these building blocks are delivered to us, assuring us of a quality foundation in our pursuit of true health.

The source of our food, all the way down to the dirt it comes from, is an important part of the equation in our adequate supply of essential vitamins and minerals. For example, the majority of people living in this area are deficient in iodine, whereas those living in Japan show mostly adequate levels of this mineral. The composition of the Japanese diet results in completely different mineral levels in their bodies, versus ours in this valley. We should be not only concerned about the quality of food we consume, but also aware that soil plays an important role in its nutrient density. Healthy soil can generate healthy plants, and healthy plants furnish nutrient-dense foods which increase our health and help us reach our wellness goals. Ultimately, good soil can lead us back to good health. Go, play in the dirt!

At Wellness Montana, it is our goal to help people make wise food choices and to provide them with nutrient-dense whole-food supplements. The supplements we offer come specifically from plants grown in organic soil free of any GMOs, pollutants, and chemicals that cause health damage. Healthy soil creates healthy plants, and healthy plants supply us with nutrients to achieve true health. So, it is recommended that everyone spend time “playing” in rich soil and spend time “eating” soil by way of the plants and animals that depend upon it. We’d love to help you get back to the land, figuratively, to reach your health goals.


Dr. Justin Anderson has a passion for caring for children, from pregnancy through their growing years when bumps and bruises—or more extreme—can be frequent. As a Doctor of Chiropractic practicing at Wellness Montana, and previously as an athletic trainer at Montana State University, Dr. Anderson is equipped to assist in the medical needs and restorative healing of your entire family. The Webster Technique and nutrition consulting are other areas of his expertise, which he is pleased to provide to our community. Contact Wellness Montana at or by calling 406.522.LIFE(5433). 

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