Do you have a vegetable garden? If not, then this is your year to start! In addition to being fun and rewarding, there are so many benefits to gardening that you really should give it a try.
- Stress reduction – digging in the dirt is a great way to relieve tension and help you feel a sense of accomplishment. Balancing stress hormones like cortisol counters its negative effects including weight gain.
- Exercise– bending, reaching, stretching, lifting. Even if your garden consists of a few containers on your balcony you can feel your muscles getting a workout caring for every plant.
- Stronger immunity – research indicates that lack of exposure to micro-organisms like those found in dirt, can negatively affect our immunity. Working with dirt and eating foods grown in healthy soils may help improve the healthy bacteria in our digestive tract impacting digestion and weight management.
- Increased Vitamin D – our greatest source of the sun shine, bone strengthening vitamin is through exposing our skin to the sun. Just 20 minutes of exposure of your face and arms to the sun, plenty of time to weed and water a small garden, significantly boosts your vitamin D production.
- Healthy, fresh food – you can’t get more local than your own garden. Fresh picked produce has a flavour you just can’t match when vegetables come from miles away. Talk about minimally processed… you can eat much of your produce sitting right in your garden.
You Don’t Have To Go Big
If you are pressed for space or you just want to ease your way into having a vegetable garden, then start with a small container or two and plant a few herbs. Basil, mint, oregano, chives, parsley, and cilantro are great starter choices because they’re easy to grow and they’re versatile in the kitchen. Picking fresh herbs for use in your kitchen adds bursts of flavour to your dishes.
Just Do It!
Adding flavour with combinations of herbs means sparing the salt, which leads us to one more benefit – lower blood pressure. So head to your local garden center and get dirty! Keep your eye on our growing recipe collection for great ideas featuring herbs and vegetables fresh from the garden.