food gardening
Food

Growing your own food

As part of a healthier diet and overall lifestyle, many people turn to gardening and growing their own fresh produce. This is an excellent option for most people, as there are so many benefits, and not just in terms of nutrition.

Firstly, you can think about the physical health benefits. As we all know by now, processed foods contain high levels of fat, sugar and salt as well as other chemicals that humans don’t benefit from eating. In fact, the long term side effects of many substances we eat on a daily basis are completely unknown. Groceries from supermarkets have often travelled hundreds or thousands of miles to reach you and been treated with unknown chemicals along the way.

Whole foods, in comparison, offer better nutritional benefits that aren’t tainted by additives and preservatives. Fruit, vegetables and anything else you can grow at home will be much fresher and healthier than the equivalent supermarket produce. Home-grown foods tend to have higher levels of vitamins and other beneficial nutrients, plus they taste better almost every time.

People usually focus on these benefits, and sometimes the cost saving too, since growing your own food even on a small scale can work out significantly cheaper than buying the same food from your local shop. However, people often forget the mental health benefits associated with growing your own food.

For one thing, gardening is a great activity for people who have to deal with stress, anxiety and even depression. It provides a sanctuary for people to escape to, which can be very relaxing and enjoyable for people who struggle to find fulfilling hobbies. Making time to tend to your plants and enjoy the satisfaction of seeing your seeds grow into healthy food can be hugely beneficial, even more, people who simply want to find a new activity to fill their spare time, but especially anyone already struggling with their mental health.

Something everyone can benefit from when it comes to healthy eating is the issue of feeling guilty. This probably affects more of us than we realise, since we’re constantly bombarded with information about unhealthy food and the reasons we should stop harming ourselves by eating processed produce. Although it’s good to be aware of all the risks, the fact is that most of us still indulge in less healthy foods at times, or even every day despite knowing the risks. This can lead to a lot of guilty feelings which do not contribute to a healthy state of mind. Eating healthy, home-grown food is one of the best ways to alleviate the guilt without significantly changing the actual foods you can enjoy.

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