Let’s dig in and unearth the benefits of home gardening.
Benefits Of Growing Your Own Food
1. Helps Maintain A Healthy Diet
While the benefits of home gardening are many, the best is how it helps one maintain a healthy diet. Want to shed some extra kilos? Get cucumbers from your own backyard. Want to refresh your body? Pluck those juicy tomatoes from your vine. Want to boost immunity? Consume the leaves of herbs. Easy, right? Besides, the understanding that your food will have no chemicals will reassure your diet of being healthy.
2. Saves Money
Inflation forces us to ponder over the skyrocketing prices of fruits and vegetables, and rightly so! However, with one’s own garden, all this can be resolved. The trips to the grocery stores will reduce, and so will the money spent on buying the eatables. Furthermore, the produce will be healthier and more nutritious. The fear of consuming chemicals disguised as veggies will lessen, giving one the requisite peace of mind. And frankly, in this fast-paced world, peace of mind is all one craves. This is one of the significant benefits of growing your own food.
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3. Promotes Mindfulness
Raising a garden is equivalent to raising kids. It requires the presence of mind and constant checking up on the plants. The water requirements when the seeds are sown versus when the plants have grown are different. So are their placements. Even slight negligence can cause more damage than you can imagine. Gardening, therefore, creates a sense of belonging, which teaches mindfulness. Apart from this, it equips one with the inclination toward home decor, which can involve painting pots, beautifying rooms, and experimenting with growing food.
4. Stimulates Happy Hormones
A study was conducted wherein one group had to study inside while the other group was given the freedom to go out and garden while studying. It was revealed that gardeners had decreased levels of stress hormones (cortisol). A decrease in cortisol indicates an increase in serotonin levels (happy hormones). This research clearly shows how relaxing gardening is, making it one of the best health benefits of home gardening. Some even feel the presence of a higher power when they are around plants.
5. Burns A Great Number Of Calories
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one hour of light gardening and yard work can burn 330 calories. This is more than the calories one can burn after walking at a moderate pace for an hour. Gardening requires a great deal of sitting, standing, pulling, digging, bending, twisting, and whatnot! All this leads to the body indulging in exercise without even realising it. This not just keeps the heart and lungs healthy but keeps the calories in check as well.
6. Reduces The Risk Of Dementia & Alzheimer's
A study tracked some 3,000 people over 60 for 16 years to conclude that gardening can lower the risk of dementia by a whopping 36%. This is huge indeed! The reason behind this is the full-spectrum sensory experience gardening offers to gardeners. One looks at the plant growing from a seed, listens to the insects that buzz around, smells the aroma of flowers, tastes the fruits that grow, and feels the texture of the soil. Such a wholesome experience sharpens the mind and keeps Dementia and Alzheimer’s at bay.
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7. Overcomes Anxiety & Depression
Studies reveal that merely looking at a garden can ease the tensed muscles of your body. Furthermore, the greenery, the colours, and the calmness of a garden automatically bring changes in blood pressure and heart activity. This is not make-belief but a proven fact. Hence, gardening is bound to do wonders when it comes to soothing the mind and uplifting the mood. Anxiety and depression are treated through gardening too. Horticulture therapy (use of plants to improve mental and physical health) introduced in the 19th century is proof. Even doctors have recognised this is one of the major health benefits of gardening.
8. Increases Vitamin D Levels
A pan-India study published in May 2020, including 4,624 subjects at 229 sites across 81 cities in India, shows that 76% of the Indian population suffers from Vitamin D deficiency. A perfect cure to this is gardening because it exposes one to sunlight. Once this deficiency is worked on, the bones and joints grow more robust. The immune system also gains a boost. However, protecting oneself against harmful UV rays is equally important. Therefore, gardening during noon calls for sunglasses, sunscreen, and hats.
9. Sparks Creativity
Going through writer’s block? Can’t quite pick the right colour for your painting? Struggling to create that tune that has long been in your head? Well, walk through a garden, and things might dawn on you out of the blue. The details that gardening demands are immense. Tilling, harvesting, watering, pruning, and more require mindfulness. These activities soothe the soul to the extent that ideas start flowing without any significant effort being put in the direction. It just comes, almost magically - thanks to the beautiful emotions gardening evokes.
Well, that’s it!
Once you get your hands dirty (quite literally), your heart and mind will be swept clean. You’d realise how there’s no pleasure more significant than the pleasure of witnessing a seedling sprout from the soil. Along with this, you’ll discover the benefits of home gardening.
So try having a garden of your own and enjoy. Don’t forget to share your experience with us. We are all ears.