Cultivate a healthier you!

Summer 2012Growing a backyard garden is becoming more and more popular today. While the benefits of growing your own fruits, vegetables and herbs are numerous, here are just a few benefits to convince you to put your green thumb into action.

  1. Encourages you to eat more fruits and vegetables. You may have heard that most of us need to include more fruits and vegetables in our diets. In fact, half of our plates should be filled with these foods. This task becomes a whole lot easier when they are available right outside your door.
  2. You know how fresh it is and what is on it. The flavor and nutritional value of many fruits and vegetables is at its peak right after picking. When you buy fruits and vegetables at the store, who knows how long they have been harvested? Growing and harvesting your own fruits and vegetables puts time on your side.  Travel from garden to table is almost non-existent. Also, whether you opt for organic foods at the grocery stores or not, it is nice to know just what chemicals, if any, your food has been exposed to. Growing fruits and vegetables yourself puts the decision in your hands.
  3. Good Exercise: It’s no secret a garden does not take care of itself. The planting, watering, weeding, harvesting, etc. burn calories and get you off the couch.  Although calorie burned varies by individual and tasks being performed, an average of about 150 calories can be burned in about 30 minutes of gardening.
  4. Educational: Gardening can be an educational experience not only for adults but also for kids. Some have no idea how a tomato becomes a tomato. See all of the stages of growth first hand and learn to work through the challenges that each growing season might present. Sometimes the excitement of the process can get your family more excited about eating those fruits and veggies.

So what are you waiting for? Pick up that trowel and start reaping those rewards!



About Janeah Schwarz

Janeah Schwarz is a Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Manager for Agnesian HealthCare

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