The Health Benefits of Gardening
Early in the pandemic, as headlines forecast food shortages and lockdowns put a lot of people out of work, Americans picked up their spades and rakes. In response, many started cultivating their own backyard or indoor gardens. In a span of a few weeks, fruit trees, seedlings, and seeds sold out in gardening centers and online.
The impulse to garden is a wonderful idea, whether or not you are coping with a crisis. Gardening is actually one of the best – and healthiest – habits you can develop! Your local Dallas landscaping company would like to share with you the health benefits of gardening. Read on.
1. It can help your body ward off disease
Did you know that similar to plants, your body is capable of photosynthesis? Photosynthesis is the process where plants manufacture their own food with the help of sunlight.
When you are exposed to sunlight, your body makes one of the essential nutrients: vitamin D. Vitamin D is needed for a lot of body functions, and boosting your immune system and strengthening your bones are just two of them. Depending on your skin color and how much your clothes cover you, researchers estimate that at least half an hour in the sun can make around 8,000 – 50,000 IU (international units) of vitamin D in your body.
Studies show that exposing yourself to sunlight can help lower your risk of the following:
- Colorectal cancer
- Breast cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Multiple sclerosis
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
Low vitamin D levels in your body also give you a bigger risk of developing type 2 diabetes, psoriasis, and dementia. Yes, a little sunshine while tending to your garden can go a very long way!
2. It is a mood booster
Various studies have found that gardening boosts your self-esteem and improves mood. In fact, it is positively correlated with a reduction in anxiety symptoms and depression.
Because gardening helps with stress, some hospitals use flower arranging and planting as a form of rehabilitation for those recovering from strokes, injuries, surgeries, and other conditions.
Gardening gives a certain level of control over a situation when they might feel helpless, plus, it teaches them a brand-new skill that helps restore their confidence.
3. It can help you eat healthier
A productive garden does not only equate to good physical exercise, it can also promote a better diet by giving your family healthy, fresh produce. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only one out of ten Americans meet the recommended 1 ½ cups of fruits and at least 2 cups of vegetables per day.
Gardening can help your family develop a lasting habit of eating adequate vegetables and fruits. Who knows, maybe it will help your children try healthy meals that they may not have eaten before!
One of the best health benefits of gardening is that it gives you more faith in the future. Growing something real, something alive, and something green is definitely a hopeful thing to do!
Don’t know where to start? Click here for our gardening guide.
“Benefits of Sunlight: A Bright Spot for Human Health” PubMed, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2290997/
“The risks and benefits of sun exposure 2016” PubMed, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5129901/pdf/kder-08-01-1248325.pdf
“Gardening is beneficial for health: A meta-analysis” Science Direct, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211335516301401
“Only 1 in 10 Adults Get Enough Fruits or Vegetables” CDC, https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2017/p1116-fruit-vegetable-consumption.html