Start Gardening to Have a Healthier Diet: What to Do

Let’s face it. The hard truth is, it’s expensive to eat healthily. One reason is that you have to buy more fruits and vegetables to sustain the number of calories you need for daily living.

Another reason that stops people from buying plant-based items is storage. Fruits and vegetables have a very short shelf life compared to other food items you buy in the grocery. It becomes a double-whammy then. You spend a lot buying healthy goods, but then it goes to waste when you don’t consume them fast.

These are only some factors that discourage people from having a plant-based diet. Yet, as they say, if there’s a will, there’s a way. There are indeed many things you can do if you want to start having a healthier diet.

Though fruits and vegetables are best consumed fresh, there is still the option of consuming them later. Extend your fruits and veggies’ shelf lives first by knowing where to store a specific item.

Onions, hard vegetables, and watermelon, for example, are best stored away from light. Items like bananas and citrus fruits, on the other hand, are best left on the countertop, while most herbs are best stored in the refrigerator.

For items to be stored in the fridge, make sure to pat them dry first and remove moisture to prevent them from expiring fast.

But the bigger issue for purchasing these healthy goods is budget. If these are more affordable, who wouldn’t want to eat healthy, right? But there is an obvious solution for this– plant your food. This way, you get to harvest food from your garden, and you get it for free.

Benefits of Having a Plant-based Diet

As published in Harvard Health Publishing, a plant-based diet is not limited to fruits and vegetables. Also included on the list are whole grains, nuts, legumes, and beans. It also means that having this type of diet does not make you vegan. Rather, you are consciously choosing to get more of your food source from plants.

Another article released in the National Center for Biotechnology Information mentions that people who started a plant-based diet have benefits that include lowered body weight and decreased chances of having cancer and heart disease.

If budget is your concern, it is safe to assume that it is still much cheaper to have a healthy diet than to go to the hospital and pay for medical bills in the future. The saying prevention is better than cure is always applicable and never gets outdated.

It’s Not All Physical

Aside from giving you free access to healthy food, gardening also has a positive emotional and mental impact.

Gardening gives you a sense of accomplishment. There is nothing more rewarding than to see something you planted with your bare hands grow little by little and bear fruits eventually. Imagine the day when you can finally reap the literal fruits of your labor. There’s a sense of pride there, and consuming something you produced is much sweeter.

AgriLife Today also mentioned that surrounding yourself with plants has a positive impact on your well-being. Stress and anxiety can be reduced when around greenery. That is most probably why a lot of people chose to go gardening during the pandemic. It allowed people to veer away from the problem and focus on something that would make them happy.

Starting Your Own Garden

garden concept

If you’re convinced enough to plant food in your backyard, start with those that are easy to grow. The most common plants that budding gardeners choose are tomatoes, potatoes, zucchinis, and herbs like mint and basil. Starting with easy-to-grow veggies and herbs will let you reap the rewards faster and encourages you to plant more in the future.

If you’re a fan of snacking, try planting soybeans. Soybeans are called “edamame” and are usually offered in bars or “izakayas” as healthy snacks in Japan. Soybeans are a great source of proteins and are also easy to grow, especially when using fertilizers.

Research conducted by Iowa State University found out that when growing soybeans, applying nutrients directly to the leaves causes an increase in grain yield. So if you want to have a good amount of soybean harvest, it is recommended to use the best foliar fertilizer for soybeans.

The Joy of Planting

Just like giving birth, the joy of planting and reaping your harvest will only be experienced once you try it. Since most are still on a work-from-home set-up, the perfect time to do it is now.

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