How to Garden Your Way To Better Health This Spring

Gardening has a history that began with civilization. Domesticating crops allowed for opportunities to settle in one place and form a community. Although it began as a means of survival, people soon found the pleasure in creating lush gardens with edibles and flowering plants. There are several health benefits of starting a garden this spring:

Nutritional Benefits

Obesity is one of the biggest health crisis in the United States. According to a report from the US Department of Health and Human Services, 2 out of every 3 American adults are either overweight or obese. One of the ways that doctors and nutritionists advise to combat this problem is to eat a healthy diet. The USDA recommends at least three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit every day. Fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals, and probiotics that are essential for optimal health.

Gardeners who grow their own fruits, vegetables, and herbs can easily fulfill these daily requirements. Instead of depending on the substandard produce that sits on most supermarket shelves, they can enjoy food that is fresh from the garden. Not only does homegrown produce taste better, but gardeners do not have to worry about the effects of chemicals that are used on many industrial farms. There are also a plethora of edible flowers that add vitamins and unique colors to fresh salads if you want to get creative.

Low Carb Lifestyle tip: Grow and eat vegetables that grow above ground if you’re just getting started! I just told my husband last week when I was making dinner that I couldn’t wait to grow my own salad in the backyard. It’s almost time to start thinking about starting seeds in the house! Spring is just over a month away, not that I’m counting or anything. Okay, 32 days to be exact. Yes, I am counting!

Exercise Benefits

Like many enjoyable hobbies, gardening takes planning and work. Gardeners get a full workout when they plant crops and tend to them every day. They have to bend and stretch while planting seeds and pulling up weeds. There is walking, lifting, stretching, and working out muscles with tools. The chores that are required for gardening can make joints and muscles more flexible and strong. People can also base their garden size on their physical abilities. Even those with physical limitations can enhance their fine motor skills with container gardening.

Psychological Benefits

With work, family life, and other obligations, it is no wonder why so many people are running around with a stress overload. The body reacts to stress by pumping hormones such as cortisone and adrenaline into the blood stream. It is an instinct for survival. Too much of these hormones can wreak havoc on the whole body, including the brain. Excessive stress can contribute to depression and anxiety.

There is a soothing feeling when gardeners dig their hands into the warm earth. It is a primordial connection between humans and nature. The simple physical effort of digging and caring for plants can improve some symptoms of depression by increasing dopamine and serotonin in the brain. People feel a sense of pride and accomplishment when they grow their own food. The colors and scents of beautiful flowers can also be natural mood boosters.

 

While organic gardening is not a novel concept, modern gardeners are realizing its rich benefits in body and mind. If you aren’t keen on exercise, gardening is a great way to get outside and burn some calories with a purpose to distract you. Moon Valley Nurseries or any plant nursery in your area are a great place to start working on your green thumb.

 

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