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Reaping the Health Benefits from Gardening at Home

By Mary Serphos
Certified Health Coach and Licensed Psychotherapist

It is incredibly rewarding to reap the benefits from a home garden. Planting and working in a garden can be more simple than it seems and due to the low impact nature of gardening, it can be enjoyed by individuals of all ages. Gathering nutrient dense fresh hand picked greens, squash, tomatoes and papaya found right outside the front door not only boosts physical health but is also an effective way to reduce stress.

Gardening As A Way To Reduce Stress
One often hears that fresh picked produce tastes different, fresher, more alive. Not only does the food taste better and pack in superior nutrients such as phytochemicals, vitamins and antioxidants; getting out and gardening has many other, less known, health benefits. Research has shown that spending time gardening can reduce stress, boost immunity and even ease symptoms of depression. And there is science to prove it. An article posted on the Huffington Post mentioned, “A recent study in the Netherlands suggests that gardening can fight stress even better than other relaxing leisure activities. After completing a stressful task, two groups of people were instructed to either read indoors or garden for 30 minutes. Afterward, the group that gardened reported being in a better mood than the reading group, and they also had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.” And tending to a garden is a great way to be out in the fresh air, connect with others or be alone away from the rigors of everyday life including driving in the car and sitting still at a desk in front of the computer.

Healthy, Organic, and Local on a Budget
So many of us want to feel secure about eating food that is grown as naturally, locally and simply as possible. While some may sense that organic produce is only for the elite few who can afford to buy organic, this is a myth. Even people who have little land or no land can grow food at home in planters or small plots and enjoy truly local and organic grown food for minimal cost.  And to witness the whole process from seed to fully grown edible harvest gives an appreciation for the time and effort it takes to grow food often overlooked when walking into a store and grabbing a basket full of goods grown for the masses.

The Backyard Garden: A Benefit to Physical Health
The widespread use of pesticides and chemicals to grow the mass amounts of food we have become so accustomed to seeing, often lack in flavor and nutritional value. This reason alone has been a major impetus for individuals to take the step towards growing an edible garden. It’s not just individuals, here in Costa Rica, schools are rapidly initiating garden programs, as well as hospitals, and senior centers. Children who are often bored or overly active in the classroom often focus better while gardening and the low impact movement while gardening is a great way to increase activity for seniors and individuals who have conditions that make it more difficult to perform more vigorous exercise.



More Health News

5 Simple Secrets to Superior Health and Happiness

Transforming your health and your mood doesn’t have to be a long drawn out process. Luckily, as human beings, we have the ability to “snap out of it”, whatever “it” is quickly and simply. Whether you’re in a funk or feeling stressed or anxious, here are some tricks to help you clear out what’s weighing you down and help you revive in no time.

Brighter Smiles for Nosara

The children of Nosara are in for healthier, brighter smiles thanks to the help of two dentists, Dr. Laura Villarreal, and Dr. Magda Guerrero. The two women set out to educate the children of Nosara through free educational seminars about dental hygiene and oral health.

Aging and Sex
No Expiration Date on Sexuality

Life is a series of stages, each different, but all essential to our development. Sexuality is not unconnected to them, being a fundamental aspect with a rhythm that evolves as the years pass by.



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