It’s no secret that eating lots of fruits and vegetables is good for your health. But there is a difference between eating shop-bought veg and growing your own. The latter is more rewarding, enjoyable, and maybe, could even help you live to 100. Here are seven reasons why eating fresh homegrown produce could help you live healthier and longer.
7 Reasons Why Growing Your Own Fruit and Veg Could Help You Live to 100
1. It Can Be Pesticide-Free
If you grow your own fruits and veggies, you know exactly what has been used on them, and you can avoid potentially harmful chemicals.
Shop-bought potatoes, lettuces, apples, and kale, for example, can be covered with pesticides which could be toxic for our bodies. According to the Soil Association, supermarket potatoes may have been sprayed with a cocktail of up to 30 pesticides before they make it to our shelves.
If you grow your own, you can also ensure that the fertilizer you use is natural and cruelty-free.
2. It’s Rich in Nutrients
Some studies have found that home-grown veggies contain more nutrients than those that are chemically grown on mass. One study, conducted at Kew Gardens in London, discovered that homegrown tomatoes are sweeter and richer in nutrients than those in the supermarkets.
According to the deputy director of science at Kew Professor Monique Simmonds, this is because many fruits and vegetables are grown to be aesthetically pleasing. With tomatoes, in particular, they are harvested before they are ready and then artificially ripened, which improves their shelf life, but not their health value. According to Simmonds, whilst eating homegrown produce regularly isn’t a miracle cure or guarantee you will live a long and healthy life, it can certainly help you on your way.
3. It’s As Fresh As You Can Get
If you grow your own produce, you can eat it as soon as it is ripe. Not only do mass-produced fruits and vegetables contain fewer nutrients, but they are more likely to lose a percentage of the nutrients they do have before making it onto your plate.
According to Healthline, in the U.S., veggies can take several weeks after harvest to make it to the supermarket shelf, in this time they have lost moisture, and the risk of the nutritional value dropping is greater.
4. You’ll Want to Eat More Because You Grew It Yourself
Growing your own produce gives you a sense of achievement. You nurtured and looked after your carrots or your tomato plant or your herb garden, and because of that, the taste will be even more rewarding than popping to your local shop. Your friends and family will want to eat them too because they were grown with love and care by you.
5. It Increases Physical Activity
Growing your own veg encourages you to get out and about in the garden, and therefore the amount of the exercise you take is increased. Anyone can help with it, meaning the whole family, young to old, can get moving outside and help to grow the veggies for dinner.
6. It Boosts Your Vitamin D Levels
Not only is getting out and about in the garden good for getting moving, but it also increases exposure to vitamin D, which comes from the sun. Vitamin D is good for our bones and muscles, helping us to absorb calcium and phosphate. It also helps to boost energy levels, meaning you might be more inclined to get out and keep exercising once you’ve had a potter around the garden tending to your veggies.
7. It’s Good For Your Mental Health
Not only is growing your own produce good for your physical health, but it’s also good for your mental health, helping to keep your brain active and interested. Maybe you’ll want to learn more about other plants once you try a few basic crops, or maybe you’ll become a full-blown botany expert. Or perhaps, you’ll enjoy cooking with your homegrown produce so much that you’ll pursue a new career as a chef, or at the very least, discover a fun new hobby.
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