Vegetable Gardening For Better Health

When it comes to vegetable gardening in general, I doubt that anyone would debate that growing your own vegetables isn’t good for your health. After all, the assumption is that you eat what you grow. That’s a given. Not many of us (well,not me anyway) would actually consider that simply by participating in the activity of growing your own food in your garden you are promoting your better health. That’s right! Yet, it’s so obvious nobody discusses it. Simply by going through all of the routine gardening activities like digging and moving soil, weeding, watering, planting and harvesting, you’re more or less doing the equivalent of going to the gym on a regular basis. Here is a short article outlining four health benefits derived from vegetable gardening written by Emily Main of Rodale News reprinted on the Mother Nature Network.

Vegetable Gardening For Better Health

If the idea of digging in the dirt has never much appealed to you, consider this: A growing number of studies are finding improved mental and physical health benefits of gardening that extend far beyond the obvious rewards of exercise and fresh air. And in this economy, the free food certainly doesn’t hurt. There’s no need to dig up your entire back yard, either.
You need only a window box or a few houseplants to see these improvements in your health:

vegetable gardening

Vegetable gardening promotes good health through regular physical activity. Photo by Comstock c/o Photos.Com.

1. Improve your satisfaction with life.
It’s hard not to enjoy life when you’re surrounded by flowers, vegetables and all the wildlife they attract — and now there’s science to back that up. Professors from the University of Texas and Texas A&M asked 298 older adults how they would rate their “zest for life,” levels of optimism, and overall resolution and fortitude and found that gardeners had significantly higher scores in all those areas than non-gardeners.
Whether you’re vegetable gardening as a hobby or you’re doing it on a larger scale for profit, there are significant health benefits to doing so. Eating what you grow is beneficial to your health in more ways as well. Just think, by tending your vegetable garden regularly, you’re saving yourself the cost of a gym membership too. What a bargain!
Participating in moderately intense, regular but sustained physical activity helps to maintain good health and can be done at almost any age. As we boomers get older, we’d be wise to consider activities such as gardening, walking, or even yoga as ways to keep ourselves fit and out of the doctor’s office.
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Red beans and ricely yours.  — Louis Armstrong

First Lady Michelle Obama: Vegetable Gardening For Health

First Lady Michelle Obama broke ground on the south lawn of the White House in 2009 to expand their kitchen garden. Endorsing vegetable gardening for better health and setting a positive example to help combat the rampant obesity epidemic in the U.S., the First Lady was assisted by students from the Bancroft Elementary School of Washington D.C.  The point of it was to help connect her family to the source of their food as well as to provide fresh produce for the First family’s table. An article by Julia Inslee for the Examiner provides some details and insight.

First Lady Michelle Obama: Vegetable Gardening For Health

In her speech at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday night, Michelle Obama proved to the country what a passionate,vegetable gardening loving, intelligent, and conscientious woman she is. She showed the nation that she not only cares deeply for her family, but for the citizens of this country. She has taken her duties as First Lady seriously by championing projects that will affect positive change in the personal lives of Americans. This is no more apparent than in her endeavor to create a White House Kitchen Garden on the lawn of the most iconic house in the country in order to model healthy living and eating habits to a nation of skyrocketing obesity.

Original article here at examiner.com:

Vegetable gardening connects us with the source of our food and links us more tightly to that which gives us life. Our food is more than just a collection of calories we ingest every day. Eating is a spiritual activity that is supposed to enhance our lives. Filling our faces with empty calories and junk detracts from our physical health and robs our spirit. Connecting our bodies with the earth through the foods we eat nourishes our physical bodies and our spiritual nature. Sharing this valuable connection with others through vegetable gardening connects us all together.

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It’s bizarre that the produce manager is more important to my children’s health than the pediatrician.         — Meryl Streep