The Benefits of Gardening
There is increasing evidence that gardening provides substantial health benefits, including both physical and mental health. Research papers have reported how encountering nature in cities can play a key role in achieving a healthy society, and it has also been shown that a decrease in contact with nature results in a number of health and behavioral problems.
Daily contact with nature has a long-lasting and profound impact on health, impacting depression and anxiety symptoms, weight, diabetes, obesity, circulatory and heart disease, and longevity. It is therefore increasingly recognized that regular contact with nature can promote human health and be used as a form of preventive medicine.
Gardening is arguably one of the most common ways of interacting with nature and indeed is enjoyed as a popular pastime in many countries. Whether you have an acre of land or a few pots on a balcony, planting a garden will improve your overall health! It is an easy activity to share and you'll harvest benefits along with your fresh vegetables, colorful flowers, and/or aromatic herbs. Even better, you don't have to wait for your plants to bloom to see those benefits. Stress relief is an almost instantaneous benefit felt by most people.
Nutritionally speaking, gardening increases healthy fruit and vegetable consumption for the people growing the food, as well as a positive attitude attributed to healthy eating. It fosters variety in foods due to seasonal weather changes creating a wider nutritional intake, promoting a healthy lifestyle.
If you’re interested in growing food in your backyard or on your balcony, here are some tips:
- Start with things you really like to eat and in small amounts.
- Pick a spot with good daytime light.
- Use contaminant-free soil.
- Talk to farmers or other gardeners in your area to get a sense of what grows well in your region and when.
You are going to be amazed with the benefits but mostly how fun it can be and how proud you will feel by sharing the healthy food you grow. Remember to be patient as you cultivate and to relax and enjoy the activity!