How a Garden Can Help Your Health and Wellness Journey

by Nicky Banks

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

For those that are looking to make better choices with their health, gardening can be a great step.  Whether it is your first step, or your final to take your health and wellness to the next level.  Gardening is the vegetable powerhouse you’ve been missing.

Starting a garden is the best way to make sure your family makes healthy dietary choices. Choosing what your family will eat and what will grow in your area is the key to a green thumb no matter where you live.

Why Garden?

Gardening is an easy way to incorporate health and wellness into your everyday choices.  You grew it yourself and you’ll be more likely to actually eat it.  These choices, in addition to the physical work to cultivate your vegetables, can jump-start your health and wellness journey.

Benefits of Having a Garden: Step by Step

Preparing your beds or planters can be a labor-intensive task.  You either need to weed, till, and amend your soil, or buy big bags of soil, shovel the soil into the planters and move them into their final positions.  Either way, you’ll burn calories and start making better choices for your health.

After the soil is ready, vegetable seeds need to be planted.  This is where doing a bit of research beforehand can ensure success.  You need to know your planting zone to be able to choose vegetables that will survive where you live.  Check out the USDA’s official zone guide map for the United States here: USDA Zone Map.

So long as you choose vegetables that are able to be grown in your zone, you can easily flex your green thumb.    No matter where you live, you can easily garden to improve your health and wellness.

Planting Seeds or Starts

After you’ve done your research, you’ll need to purchase the seeds.  We recommend heirloom or open-pollinated varieties but any seeds are better than not gardening at all.

Start with a variety of seeds.  No matter where you are, some things will grow better than others.  Taking the time to experiment will keep you interested in your new project until you start reaping returns.

After you have that list, consider each one carefully.  Will you eat it?  How much will you need to feed your family?  Are you able to plant enough to preserve?  Can you plant enough to share with friends, coworkers, and family?  Are there specific plants that would help you to achieve a greater level of wellness?

Once you have your choices, read each package before venturing outside.  Taking this extra few minutes ensures that each plant is cared for as exactly as its needed.  Know each of the conditions that are needed and do the best you can to give it what it needs.  This is the best chance for the plant’s survival and your new green thumb’s success.  Water as directed and see your seed grow.

For those that are weary of seed starting have the choice to purchase vegetable starts from your local home-improvement store or nursery.  We recommend getting the largest healthiest plants you can find.  Take the time to also read the tag to make sure that it’s a good choice for your garden area.  Don’t be afraid to split multi-stemmed starts either to create “multiple plants.”

Weeding your Garden is Your New Workout

Weeding is the bane of all garden lovers alike but, if you think about it as exercise, it’s less of a chore.  By weeding and tending to your garden’s needs daily, you will ensure that your plants are successful and you’ll be getting an extra workout completed at the same time.

Manual weeding is going to be the most calorie intensive and best choice to ensure the health of your growing plants.  Giving your plants the best chance for success will improve yields and keep you motivated year in and year out.

Harvesting Your Own Vegetables

Delicious nutrient-rich vegetables are your best choice for a new healthy diet.

When you are taking the time to weed your crops you are inspecting your plants.  This dutiful curating allows you to pick the plants at their optimum.  You can wait for them to ripen on the vine and get the most flavorful fruits and vegetables that are full of vitamins and minerals.

Preserving Extra Vegetables

Depending on the yield of your garden, you may have the option of preserving your extra food.  The ease of canning has greatly improved in the last 20 years and can easily be done in a few easy steps.  It is easy to make healthy choices when you have fresh canned vegetables in your pantry.  Canned vegetables are easy ways to extend your season.

This makes these vegetables even better for you since you are burning calories to curate them from seed to harvest.  Gardening can be a useful choice on our health and wellness journey.

Nutrition and Gardening Go Hand in Hand

Gardening is also important when it comes to nutrition.  By planting and growing your own food you regulate what goes in your and your family’s bodies.  This power is completely available if you’re willing to work for it!  As a good first step to taking your health into your own hands, you can add much-needed vegetables into your new diet.

With important vitamins and minerals, fiber, protein, and good healthy fats, you can easily add great nutritious choices.  These health and wellness decisions can kickstart your diet.

Start Small if You Have To, Just Start a Garden

Start small and see big returns!  Adding micro greens or sprouts is a great first step to making healthier choices!  Even if you live in a small apartment, you can start micro greens on windowsills or balconies.

Here is an example of a balcony garden done right. There are no excuses anymore, where’s there is a will to garden, there is a way!

How to Start, Even if You Haven’t Had a Garden

Gardening info is easy to find. even if you have no clue what you’re doing.  To start your research, we recommend searching for your local university’s extension office.  They normally have the best up to date information for your area.

Gardening is More Than Just For Eating

Beneficial compounds in plants can help you throughout your health and wellness journey.  From the calming effects of chamomile in tea or a bubble bath to the invigorating freshness of spearmint, there are many common uses for beneficial plants.  These plants have additional benefits beyond nutrition in some cases and can be valuable additions to help you and your family.  Delicious low-calorie teas can be substitutions for soda or coffee and ease cravings.  We recommend discussing any changes to your daily regimen with a healthcare professional before use.

Gardening is an Eco-Conscious Choice That Can Make a Difference

Culturally, the farm to table and low carbon footprint focus have made our food a more central part of everyday discussions.  Gardening has the lowest carbon footprint of only a few steps instead of a few thousand miles.  This change in focus can help us to all make choices that can make an impact in our world.

Gardening is the bumble craft of our grandparents in most cases or further back.  Gardening is the meaningful addition to your health and wellness journey that you’ve been missing.  We believe that gardening is a great beginning, especially for those that may not be active.

Gardening is your secret superpower to help your fitness, health, and wellness journey!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

by Nicky Banks

by Nicky Banks

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

I am an experienced gardener and professional genealogist who loves to see plants and family trees grow. I'm passionate about life, health, and the pursuit of happiness while enjoying delicious fruits, vegetables, and nuts from my gardens. I enjoy research and love to help people find their stories, make healthier choices, and eat deliciously!

Read more at myproficientliving.com