Beyond the obvious benefits of producing fruits and vegetables at your home, family gardening can help you and your family improve your health for years to come. Studies show that gardening in childhood leads to higher fruit and vegetable consumption all the way into the early adult years. A recent research study surveyed freshmen in college and asked whether they had recently gardened or gardened as a child. Participants who gardened as children ate more fruits and vegetables in their college years.
Not only do you make (and then eat) extra veggies by gardening, but you gain a whole host of other benefits as well. Even if vegetables seem a little daunting to grow, gardening is a good source of physical activity and has also been shown to reduce stress. Are you a gardening novice? Try planting some flower bulbs to begin. Get started this spring in your yard or find a plot in your nearest community garden. The National Gardening Association provides a useful tool for finding what is best to plant https://garden.org/apps/calendar/. Simply enter your zip code and it will tell you what vegetables are currently in season at your location.
Written by: Catherine Ward, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern