Top 5 Health Benefits of Starting a Vegetable Garden at Home

Sponsor/Writer - LouAnn Moss

More and more Americans are opting to grow their own vegetables at home, and there are many surprising perks that can come along with this. While it may just seem like a fun gardening hobby, these five health benefits cannot be denied.

1. Cook Healthy Meals at Home

Not including breakfast, the average American orders out around 4.5 times each week. While there are some healthy foods that you can find while eating out, the best healthy foods will always come from your own kitchen.

Growing your own vegetables means that you will always have easy access to fresh food straight from your garden. Not only will it be fresh, but you can also trust that it wasn’t grown with any chemicals or pesticides. Additionally, this can save you a bit of money when compared to buying organic veggies from your local grocer.

2. Fresh Air and Sunshine

Starting your own vegetable garden will also give you a good reason to get outside and experience the fresh air and sunshine. This can help increase your levels of vitamin D, which is essential for bone and muscle health. It can also boost your immune system, as plants can emit phytoncides, which are antibacterial and help plants fight off disease. When you inhale these, it can also increase your number of white blood cells, which boost your disease-fighting abilities as well.

3. Healthy Food = Healthy Teeth

Healthy veggies straight from your garden can be important for keeping your teeth healthy as well. Carrots and other root vegetables are good for helping to stimulate saliva production, which can help keep your teeth cleaner and less acidic. Leafy veggies, such as lettuce and kale, can also help promote oral health, as they include vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin A, magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium. Phosphorus can be especially important as it is stored in your bones and teeth, allowing for the absorption of magnesium and calcium.

Just as eating well can be important for your whole body, so too is oral health, especially considering that the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools reports that nearly 51 million school hours are missed every year due to dental illnesses. While homegrown veggies won’t replace proper brushing, flossing and checkups, they can help keep your teeth just a little bit healthier.

4. Reducing Stress

If eating healthy and keeping your teeth healthy isn’t enough, starting a home vegetable garden can help lower both stress and anxiety. This is because gardening gives you a chance to focus wholly on something other than the major sources of stress in your life. By tending to your garden, seeing it thrive and being able to reap the fruits of your labors, you can start to feel more accomplished and happy.

5. Start Living a Healthier Lifestyle

Gardening overall can help you live a healthier lifestyle both by allowing you to eat better and by giving you the opportunity to get outside and move. Nearly two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese in the United States, and by eating well and moving more, you can help control your weight, cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure, all of which can be dangerous when they get out of control.

Even if your goal isn’t necessarily losing weight, gardening can still give you the chance to eat better and spend more time outdoors, which in and of itself can be wholly beneficial. You can even get the whole family involved. If you have children, they will benefit from being taught how to grow their own foods, and it can even boost their self-confidence when they’re able to eat the products of their hard work.

Starting a vegetable garden at home can have many benefits, and these are just five of many that you should keep in mind if you are considering starting your own.

Image credit: via StoryBlocks

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