5 Ways Gardening is Healthy for You

If you've ever eaten garden-fresh fruits and vegetables, you already know just how delicious home grown food tastes. But did you know that gardening is beneficial to your health too? There are several ways that having a garden can help support your overall well-being.

1. Disease Prevention

 Maintaining a garden encourages physical activity while simultaneously reducing stress. Therefore, it can minimize the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes while helping you to maintain a healthy weight. Plus, eating the fresh produce you've grown is an incredibly nutritious dietary choice that will also support a healthy heart.

2. Boosts The Immune System

When you spend time outdoors, you are exposed to natural sunlight, which is important for the body. Just like the crops you plant, people need an adequate amount of sun exposure. For humans, a healthy dose of sunlight helps our bodies to produce vitamin D, which is essential for our bodies to function properly. Without vitamin D, the body cannot absorb calcium. As we know, calcium is important for your bones, which means gardening could even help in preventing osteoporosis, too. Just be sure to wear sunscreen and appropriate clothing if you're going to be outside for an extended period of time. Who knew that digging around in the dirt could actually strengthen the immune system? And speaking of the soil...

3. Grounding

"Grounding" refers to the act of placing your bare feet in the soil, directly connecting you to the earth. These days, many people never make direct contact with the dirt. We tend to spend a lot of time indoors, and the rest of the time, we are usually wearing shoes, which prevents us from grounding. The idea that grounding is good for us is one that's getting a lot more attention lately. Those who advocate for grounding believe that it can help to reduce inflammation within the body, thus reducing disease in the process. This is because of a build-up of positive electrons in our bodies, which is said to occur because of all the electrical frequencies we are exposed to in our modern day, technologically-driven lives. By connecting with the earth through direct contact, the soil is believed to reduce the built-up positive charges we carry. It grounds us, in the same way an electrical outlet can be grounded.

4. Mental Health

We now know that growing a garden is beneficial to us physically, but it's also good for your mental well-being. The combination of physical activity, sun exposure, and stress reduction helps to reduce anxiety and depression. Planting, caring for, and then harvesting your crops can instill a sense of pride that can boost self-esteem. All of these factors are linked with lower rates of depression and anxiety.

5. Focus And Memory

Spending time in the garden may help us to increase our ability to focus and pay attention. In the world we live in today, it's easy to get overwhelmed and become easily distracted. There's so many things vying for our attention- the constant pings of messages, e-mails, and social media notifications can be quite demanding, and that's in addition to handling daily responsibilities both at home and work. Working in the garden allows us to focus on a task at a hand, but in a much more passive and relaxed manner. There's also evidence that it can help with symptoms of A.D.H.D. in children, and studies suggest that it may help to ward off dementia in the elderly.

Gardening is an activity that can be beneficial to just about anyone. Whether you're looking to get some fresh air and sunshine, a little exercise, or just some tasty organic tomatoes, growing your own garden is sure to bring you peace, health, and happiness.