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Five Ways Growing a Garden Could Save Your Life

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We all know that growing an eco-friendly garden contributes to improving our planet, but could it save your life? Consider this. Most foods you see in the grocery store are altered in some way.  Genetically modified foods, additives, preservatives, high fructose syrup – these and other ingredients or unhealthy preparation practices add up to potentially toxic food we’re putting in our bodies.

While food processing has made advances over the last few decades, there is nothing healthier or safer than eating food right from your own garden.  Here are a few ways growing a garden could save your life as opposed to consuming packaged foods or processed store-bought items.

Food for Thought: What You’re Really Getting With Store-Bought Foods

Before we list the many ways growing a garden can save your life, let’s look at what you’re really eating if you’re consuming store-bought foods.  If you’re not eating from your own sustainable garden, then you owe it to yourself (and your health) to understand what you’re really consuming.

To explain, there are thousands of substances (yes, we said thousands) added into packaged, store-bought foods.  Some of the usual suspects of processed foods include: Stabilizers, preservatives, flavorings, emulsifiers, food dyes, and artificial coloring.  What’s more, many processed foods contain unnecessary enhancements like tons of salt, artificial sweeteners, or sugars. 

Most of these extra ingredients in store-bought foods are not only unneeded, they can also cause major health problems. That’s where securing your own home garden can play a part in saving your health – because you are not subjected to the injections and additives commonly found in processed foods.

Avoid Food Sensitivities and Allergies

The aforementioned additives are not natural, and in many cases, they could wreak havoc on your body. Additionally, eating foods you haven’t grown yourself poses a lot of mysterious complications in both health and diet. 

For instance, what’s in that “blend of spices” listed on the ingredients label of that pre-packaged cup of noodles you grabbed at the grocery store? There could be something in that cup that could have a negative impact on your health. For example, if you’ve taken a food sensitivity test, and know you are severely allergic to turmeric, how can you possibly avoid that spice in pre-packaged foods if it’s not listed on the label?  The point here is that you might be eating foods you’re allergic to and not even realize it.

If you don’t know what you’re eating, you could be opening yourself up for adverse health reactions. That’s the beauty of eating from, and cooking with your own home-grown garden goodies.  You know exactly what you are consuming. This means you can avoid digestive flare-ups caused by mystery ingredients or breakouts triggered by substances in pre-packaged foods you may be allergic to.

Avoid Premature Death

Yes, premature death sounds extreme, but hear us out.  As mentioned, processed foods typically contain loads of sodium (salt), sugars and added fat.  While some may say these added ingredients might make food taste better, the reality is that these extra ingredients can cause obesity which is the leading cause of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers. In fact, a study showed that consuming more than four daily servings of processed foods resulted in a 62% higher risk of premature death compared to eating non-processed foods such as those found in a garden.

What’s more, tending to your own garden will involve some type of exercise, which is proven to reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease.  Working in the garden is also likely to give you a healthy dose of vitamin D from exposure to the sun, which is also known to decrease the chance of heart disease.  Between physical benefits and eating whole, healthy foods from the garden – your odds of staving off an early death are greatly improved.

Enhance Your Mood

While depression isn’t a direct cause of death, it can certainly shave years off your life. To elaborate, depression causes blood vessels to constrict, which can lead to cardiovascular disease and other health conditions. Additionally, depression is linked to lower immunity which could open you up to a variety of illnesses or health problems. 

Thankfully, growing a garden can help you avoid depression and health-harming side-effects. The mental benefits of gardening are multitudinous and incredibly positive in thwarting depression. Gardening is known to have positive effects on mental health such as: Improved mood, reduced stress, enhanced focus and attention, and bolstered self-esteem. 

In addition to enhancing your mood, studies have found that people who garden were 35% less likely to develop dementia. A 16-year long study by Reuters Health was conducted with over 3,000 people. The results revealed that those who gardened felt more focused, active, and productive. It also showed slower development of brain chemistry that leads to conditions such as Alzheimer’s. When you consider the mood-boosting effects of growing your own garden can directly improve your mental health, the choice to garden as a life-saving strategy is easy to make.

Increased Strength and Mobility

As we mentioned earlier, gardening can be a physical activity.  Even the smallest gardens require some kind of physical effort.  The effect of planting, weeding, picking and pruning all results in building stronger bones and muscles, which results in a longer, healthier lifespan.  

Additionally, gardening improves flexibility, which can lead to better mobility. You might wonder how this is a life-saving factor.  Medical studies show that inactivity is a leading cause of obesity, arthritis, impaired blood circulation – all of which can be harmful to your health and decrease life expectancy. Having a garden can safeguard you from these pitfalls to your health and wellbeing.

Save the Planet and Save Yourself

Growing an eco-friendly garden is a powerful way to contribute to the betterment of the planet. By association, improving the planet means securing your own health and wellness.  After all, you can’t expect to live a healthy life in a world choked by greenhouse gasses, a world without bees, or without sustainably grown food. 

There are a myriad of ways growing a garden can help heal the planet. From cleansing the air to purifying groundwater – gardens are perhaps the most effective, and doable way anyone can positively impact the planet and secure self-care. 

In conclusion, it should be clear that gardening is the single-most constructive way to help you live a longer life. From increasing your joy, to helping you eat healthier, improving mobility to helping the planet – there is no end to the life-saving miracles growing a garden can provide.

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