In recent years, human health and well-being has become an important criterion for assessing the quality of natural areas and urban ecosystems besides ecological and environmental criteria. Unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly clear that human values and ecological values are not interchangeable. The growing recognition of health functions of nature thus seems a mixed blessing for ecologists. On the one hand, it strengthens the case for the importance of nature in society. On the other hand, it weakens the relative importance of biodiverse ecosystems as compared to other types of nature. In my presentation I will start with a brief review of research on health impacts of nature, followed by a discussion of the values of various ecosystem qualities for human health. I will conclude with some examples of how knowledge on the health functions of nature has been used in the Dutch context.