Gardening: More than just flowers

As the weather begins to warm people turn their attention to gardening, it can produce more than just fruits, vegetables, and flowers. It can have lasting benefits physically and mentally and could help fight against chronic diseases and cancers. Read on to learn more about ways gardening can improve a person’s health.

Healthy Tip Tuesday is brought to you in partnership with Trinity Health Systems.

A few of the ways gardening can benefit your health include:

Increased Exercise. Gardening can exercise all the body’s major muscle groups. Physical activity during gardening such as digging, hauling, watering, and harvesting can improve your physical strength, heart health, weight, sleep, and immune system. Regular exercise can also improve your brain health. Exercise can improve memory and thinking skills by reducing insulin resistance, reducing inflammation, and stimulating the release of growth factors.

Improved mental health. Gardening can improve one’s mental health by encouraging feelings of well-being, calm, empowerment, and connection. Working in school, community, and family gardens can help people of different ages, abilities, and backgrounds expand and deepen their connections with each other. Regularly tending a garden can provide structure to the day and is linked to improved mental health. 

Increased Vitamin D production. Vitamin D can help lower the risk of breast cancer, colorectal cancer, bladder cancer, prostate cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and multiple sclerosis.

Improved Diet. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults consume 2 ½ cups each of fruits and vegetables daily. Fruits and vegetables contain various nutrients that promote health and prevent disease, including dietary fiber. Growing one’s own fruits and vegetables can help encourage a person to eat more produce they harvest.

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