Gardening 101 – Part Three

Faithful Families PRINT

 

Welcome back to the gardening series! I hope you’ve been thinking deeply on how to start a garden with your family and friends. Starting small is always key and one of the best pieces of advice given by the Master Gardeners.  They advised that you start a container garden if you are very new into gardening or if you can’t afford the space or time to take care of a larger garden.

This post focuses on key health benefits that come along with gardening, including how your body, mind, and soul are maintained while working out on a garden. Physically, your body is moving and muscles, bones, and nerves are all at work. The stretches you make while digging, weeding, planting, and harvesting are all good for the body. Gardening is also therapeutic for the mind and soul because it serves as a de-stressor.  The mind and soul are both at ease and focused during gardening instead of being restless.  These are healthy benefits to the body in the physical sense. However, there is much more to know about the health benefits of the foods we plant, and the impact on our bodies.

Here are six simple reasons why we need to eat lots of fruits and vegetables, including three powerhouse herbs that you should know and grow in your garden:

  1. Fruits and vegetables contain some “miracle” substances that help reduce high blood pressure, heart problems, stroke, and some cancers.
  2. Fruits and vegetables are known to have low or no calories at all. So, snacking on them makes you feel full and look fit!
  3. Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber and aid in digestion.
  4. Fruits and vegetables reduce the risk of diabetes.
  5. Vegetables, especially the dark leafy green ones, are good for strong bones.
  6. Not only are fruits and vegetables good for our diets, but they are also great for our outer skin and hair!

As for the three powerhouse herbs you should know and grow, why not start with cilantro, mint, and parsley! There are more powerhouse herbs and spices that one can plant along with fruits and vegetables.  I’ll provide more information in the gardening series part four.

Stay tuned…

Maryam Funmilayo is a Program Assistant with the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP).  She teaches Faithful Families classes to the adult female members of the Islamic Association of Raleigh (IAR).

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