Looking for a new summer hobby with a few awesome benefits? Having your own garden offers some amazing perks. Our garden contains sweet corn, cantaloupe, watermelon, green beans, wax beans, onion, tomato and pepper plants, and zucchini. Gardening a favorite of my summer hobbies, and offers so many benefits:
Homegrown veggies are healthier!
Gardening can save money!
Gardening is therapy!
Although homegrown veggies may not be uniform in shape and size, home grown tomatoes have a higher concentration of natural sugars and anti-oxidants. Homegrown veggies are also beneficial because they likely do not have chemicals or pesticides.
A study by the Nation Gardening Association (2009) reported the average vegetable garden costs around $70 a year, and grows an estimated $600 worth of vegetables! Great! Now we can take that extra $530 and go on a vacation! Wahoo!
The joy of connecting with nature provides many benefits of stress relief- similar to the benefits on psychological health seen with yoga, and meditation. Research published by Van Den Berg (2010) showed that cortisol levels were significantly lower and self-reported mood was significantly higher in gardeners in comparison to a non-gardening control group. Cortisol, known as our stress hormone, has been linked to obesity and cardiovascular disease, so a decrease in this hormone may lead to improved overall health in the long run! Stress relieving activities can also decrease blood pressure and decrease fat storage within the abdominal region, leading to a decreased risk for the development of type II diabetes.
In short, gardening provides you with a multifaceted way to improve health, and enjoy the great outdoors!