Gardening For Your Health

I’m very excited about gardening this year. We recently moved from the Chicago area, where gardening was quite a challenge, to a much more favorable climate for gardening. Our subdivision here has a “farm” where we’ve leased a 25’ x 25’ plot, and it’s planting time. Why the excitement? I’ll give you three great reasons.

  1. So, I wrote last month about processed foods, and about how frozen and canned fruits and vegetables can be just as healthy as fresh. That was absolutely true, but I didn’t mention taste and flexibility did I? The whole truth is that when it comes to some foods – like tomatoes – you can’t beat fresh. Fresh vegetables are also more suited to certain cooking styles, like grilling. Grilling zucchini could be an everyday thing for us this year.
  1. Gardening is a great way to get physical activity. We all know how important exercise is to diabetes health, but some people still think that means having a gym membership. But, for our purposes any kind of activity is good, and the bending, squatting, plucking, and pulling is just what the doctor ordered.
  1. The best benefit of all to gardening may just be stress relief. This isn’t just my opinion, by the way. Several studies have shown that gardening improves mood, even in people with diagnosed depressive disorders. The exercise may have some role in stress relief, but there is also an element of “getting back to nature” (and getting away from our modern world) that soothes our anxieties. Again, stress relief is extremely important to diabetes health.

I’ll keep you posted on how things are going. And, if past experience holds true I’ll probably have enough zucchini for everybody.

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