10 Gardening Health Benefits

June 28, 2013

Gardening for Health

The satisfaction of nurturing your garden and watching it thrive, not to mention the fresh, pure taste of homegrown foods is priceless. Here are 10 more healthy reasons to love gardening this summer:

1. Exercise fun in the sun!  Gardening provides you with both cardio and aerobic exercise while you care for the vegetables and fruits you are growing. (Hoeing, raking, weeding, bending, walking, etc.)
2. Your garden can help to boost your immune system. Experts say that digging in the dirt exposes you to trace amounts of pathogens that can give your immune system a workout.  Gardening also exposes you to possibly beneficial microorganisms that can support your bodies’ cells in battling infections.
3. You get a dose of vitamin D. Gardening allows you the opportunity to absorb a little vitamin D. Be sure not to spend longer than 15 minutes in the sun if you are not wearing sunscreen.
4. Reduces stress. Spending time in your garden is a great way to reduce your stress levels and creates a tranquil environment.
5. Creates social and bonding time. Gardening allows for social interaction whether through community gardens or creating family time in your garden at home.
6. Improves your diet.  You have your own "fast food" walk through right at home! With vegetables and fruits right at your finger tips, planting your own garden can help to improve your diet.
7. Your food will be safe and healthy. No harmful pesticides, additives, or preservatives will be used on your fruits and vegetables.
8. Gardening is environmentally friendly! The food you grow doesn't have to travel far to make it to your plate. No refrigerated trucks, gas emissions, etc.
9. Growing your own foods is more nutritious.  Supermarket produce  most often consists of fruits and vegetables that have to be picked before they are ripe because of traveling time and shelf life. Because nutrition comes from the stem of the plant, produce is most nutritious when it is ripe and harvested shortly after.  The nutritional value of produce decreases each day after it has been harvested.
10. Enhances your spiritual and emotional health. Growing your own food is good for the mind, body, and soul and is rewarding and gives you a sense of accomplishment.

What are some of the reason that you love to garden? What are your favorite fruits and vegetables to grow?