We've seen a lot of instability in the world. Gas and food prices have risen sharply. People have lost jobs, income, and savings. Politicians wage wars over multimedia arenas over health and financial issues. The incidences of obesity, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease continue to rise. Genetically modified foods, preservatives, and strange chemicals have inundated what we buy at the grocery stores.
As Americans we’ve neglected to pay attention to where food has come from for years. This has led to us eating junk that can barely be recognized as food. Even when we try to eat more fruits and vegetables we find them contaminated with pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, cancer causing preservatives and sweeteners, and genetic modifications. Many people are finally fed up and are taking some control over their food, their finances, and their health back from big business and government by starting gardens.
Growing your own food is a trend that seems to be gaining some traction as of late. It makes sense. A garden offers clean, organic, safe, chemical free food for very little money. It’s also much easier than many of us know.
You don’t need several acres of open land to make a difference in consuming healthier, cleaner, greener foods that are packed with nutrition. You can start a garden in your small back yards, in your patios, or even on your tiny balcony. No matter the size, gardens are a great investment, improve the environment, save money, and promote healthy eating.
These aren’t the only benefits of gardening. Gardening burns on average 300 calories an hour and combines strength, flexibility, and endurance exercises. Participating in regular physical activities, like gardening, lowers your risk of cancer and improves heart and lung function. Gardening has also been shown to reduce stress, ease muscle tension, and lower blood pressure. The living vegetables your garden produces then builds on these effects.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are filled with phytonutrients that combat disease, aid in healing, and fight the aging process. Those who garden eat more fruits and vegetables and a wider variety of them too. They also aren’t exposed to as many of the toxic chemicals that go into commercial produce, many of which are carcinogenic.
Gardening is also good for the environment. Less fossil fuel is used since it isn’t being shipped around the world or picked up at a grocery store. Gardens clean and refresh the air, pumping out oxygen. Those who garden also eat less processed foods and animal products, both of which have huge carbon footprints.
The benefits don’t stop there. Gardening unlocks creativity, builds responsibility, and teaches patience to you and anyone who helps, including children. Children who garden are more likely to eat healthier their entire lives, try new fruits and vegetables, care more about the environment, have a better sense of ownership and responsibility, and even do better in school. Start a garden and bring these benefits into your home and your life.