Have you ever wondered what are the health benefits of growing your own food? Whether you were born with green fingers or tending to your garden is a new and exciting venture, growing your own food can be both incredibly satisfying and healthy!
When it comes to growing produce, there are a plethora of things you can grow even in the smallest of spaces that you would probably never have imagined. And it comes with a lot of health benefits of growing your own food.
The first time I grew my own food, I lived in a tiny apartment on the 7th floor. I had no garden, but I did have a small balcony..
Okay, small is probably generous you couldn’t swing a cat there! Don’t worry PETA, swinging cats is not one of my pastimes, just an expression!
Anyway, I grew onions and potatoes – in flower pots of all things. And guess what? They turned out great.
There is seriously nothing more satisfying than eating something you have grown yourself, and the flavor and sheer freshness? Out of this world.
However, besides the amazing taste food going straight from pot to plate has, it also offers a number of health benefits.
In today’s society everyone is told to ‘go organic’. Frankly, a huge percentage of people don’t even know what growing food organically entails nor do they know why it’s better for you, they just presume it is.
But I think we can all agree on one thing:
There is possibly no food more organic than that which you have grown yourself.
Organic produce usually refers to that which has limited use of harmful chemical pesticides during the growing process. However, there are a number of pesticides which are still used on farmed organic crops that end up in your grocery store. Many of which can do damage to your health when consumed regularly.
The advantage of growing your own food is you can decide what pesticides and fertilizers (if any) you choose to use. Therefore, you know exactly what you are putting into your body, and you know the health benefits of growing your own food.
As I’ve already mentioned, nothing beats the freshness of getting your fruits and vegetables from the garden to the plate in a matter of minutes.
One picked, produce starts to lose both its moisture and nutrients. That is why you often see frozen food manufacturers boasting how their vegetables are frozen as soon as they are picked to promote freshness.
When trying to eat our five a day in order to get all the vitamins and minerals, the fresher the food, the more of those essential nutrients we absorb.
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that has a number of functions within the body, most notably, it helps your body to absorb calcium which gives us strong bones and teeth.
Our number 1 source of vitamin D is the sun and according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “Vitamin D deficiency can lead to abnormalities in bone metabolism, such as rickets in children or osteomalacia in adults” (source)
Many store bought foods such as milk and cereal are fortified with vitamin D in order to help us get more into our bodies. However, tending to your garden each day even by watering the produce for 30 minutes can give you all the vitamin D your body needs.
Getting vitamin D from the sun each day can also promote better sleep and positive energy – but don’t forget the sunscreen!
If you’re typically a couch potato, gardening can be an excellent way to get on your feet.
In fact, just one hour of typical gardening tasks like pulling weeds, moving rocks, planting flowers and mowing the lawn can but up to 600 calories!
The best thing is, gardening can be enjoyed by the whole family. It is an excellent way to get kids outdoors, keeping fit and learning where the food they eat comes from.
As you can see, starting your own fruit and vegetable garden has some great health benefits, not to mention growing your own produce can save you money and lower your grocery bill!
Plus, it can turn a dull and dreary yard into something beautiful and full of life.
So why not try starting your own vegetable garden today? Remember, you can start small with a single pot and build up to something wonderful!
Helen Sanders is chief editor at HealthAmbition.com. Established in 2012, Health Ambition has grown rapidly in recent years. Our goal is to provide easy-to-understand health and nutrition advice that makes a real impact. We pride ourselves on making sure our actionable advice can be followed by regular people with busy lives.
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