If you’re still on the fence about buying an herb in your local supermarket because on one hand, you’ll have something to keep you sane while staying at home; and on the other hand, you’re too lazy to grow one; learning about the benefits of keeping plants around might just be enough reasons for you to finally put it in your cart and check it out. Here are six proven health benefits of gardening:
1. Improve Your Brain Health
Since it requires the use of your cognitive functions, research shows that gardening is effective in keeping your mind sharp. Not only does it help improve your memory, but tending to your plants for even a few hours a day will lower your risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
2. Makes You Active and Stay in Shape
The author of the book, Fitness the Dynamic Gardening Way, Jeff Restuccio, explained to WebMD that you can turn your gardening into a structured exercise routine. So, if you miss hitting the gym due to the pandemic, growing vegetables in your backyard is a perfect alternative to your workouts since three hours of gardening equates to an hour of a gym session. Plus, you don’t need to pay for a membership fee. It’s a win-win for your body and your wallet!
3. Healthier Diet
By growing your own food, you will find yourself more in control of what you put in your body. Freshly picked fruits, vegetables, and herbs have more nutrients than what you normally buy from the store. On top of that, sustainably cultivating your plants will make for richer and delicious produce, thus making it easy to incorporate more greens into your diet.
4. Relieves Stress
The relaxing nature of doing gardening activities is in itself a stress reliever. Studies further proved that taking care of plants daily can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Not only that, exposure to sunlight makes your body produce Vitamin D, and in turn, Vitamin D produces serotonin, which is a brain chemical that makes you happy!
5. Better Sleep
Doing physical activities such as gardening will not only tire you out at the end of the day. Owing to the light therapy given off by the sun, you will also have adequate melatonin to help you sleep well at night, and realign your sleep patterns for an energy-filled morning the next day.
Your indoor plants are also a huge factor for a good night’s sleep. Plants with air-cleaning properties can clear out air particles and remove harmful chemicals, leaving you with excellent air quality while asleep.
6. Improve Immunity
Being exposed to a sufficient amount of “the sunshine vitamin” also keeps your bones, teeth, and muscles healthy, not to mention it boosts your immune system; while the dirt in your garden is home to a good bacteria called, Mycobacterium vaccae, a “friendly” soil bacteria that also helps in strengthening your immunity.
Although it’s something we don’t always consider doing, taking part in gardening activities does benefit our overall health – from physical to mental. That is why purchasing that basil plant you’ve been eyeing for long, is already a great start.
And, what better way to begin your journey in horticulture is with the use of recyclable materials to help with the efforts on environmental sustainability. Thankfully, with initiatives like ARC Refreshments Corp’s “Grow as One” campaign that promotes sustainable urban gardening, we have support in creating our own garden however small it may be. The “Grow as One” campaign shows the company’s resiliency amidst the new normal. Through this campaign, the employee-led project called “My Gulay Garden” was launched. It aims to encourage the community to recycle RC Cola PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles as containers in growing their plants.
Given both the short and long-term positive impact of gardening on our health, it’s just fitting that the environment receives the same as well. Because what do we need good health for, if the earth, the very home we live in, dies. So be mindful of growing your fruits, vegetables, or herbs. Reduce. Reuse. And recycle those PET bottles.
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The article was originally published in Lifestyle.INQ.