Gardening is so good for you I don’t think it should be considered merely as therapy. I think it’s so good for you that it’s actually a necessity. In the same way I don’t think breathing is just therapeutic or a hobby. Breathing is a necessary function for human life. It seems that some people can NOT garden and not have too many adverse affects. But there are so many benefits it’s statistically improbable that by not doing any gardening there will be some adverse affects in your life. This may seem like an exaggeration but allow me to convince you…
Growing Your Own Produce Is Healthier For You
This is the most obvious one but not so many people know why and how much better. Most produce loses an average of 30 percent of nutrients three days after harvest. University of California studies show that vegetables can lose 15 to 55 percent of vitamin C, for instance, within a week. Some spinach can lose 90 per cent within the first 24 hours after harvest and 50 per cent in 30 minutes. 1
The answer is simple. Fresh produce is meant to be grown near your home and eaten straight after being picked. Sure it’s okay to supplement your meals with frozen vegetables. But if the purpose of food is nutrition delivery then you can’t beat growing it in your garden.
Gardening Makes You Healthier, Heal Faster & Benefits The Planet
In this paper 2 from the Royal College of Physicians by Dr Richard Thompson (The Queen’s former Doctor) He goes so far to say, “Health professionals should encourage their patients to make use of green space and to work in gardens, and should pressure local authorities to increase open spaces and the number of trees, thus also helping to counteract air pollution and climate change“.
Gardening Reduces Stress
Gardening Makes You Happy
Gardening Decreases Your Allergies
Just LOOKING At A Garden Makes You Healthier
One group of holistic therapies that aim to treat the whole person and has been well researched through surveys and randomised trials is referred to as green care, or therapy by exposure to plants and gardening.6,7 Several trials have demonstrated the beneficial effects on mood and mental health of observing nature, or simply even images of natural scenes.
In a Japanese study, viewing plants altered EEG recordings and reduced stress, fear, anger and sadness, as well as reducing blood pressure, pulse rate and muscle tension.8 Another Japanese study simply found that it more beneficial physiologically to view a green hedge rather than a concrete fence. In a randomised study by the environmental psychologist, Roger Ulrich views of plants and trees from post-operative wards improved the mood of patients, and reduced analgesic use, surgical complications and length of stay. Similar beneficial results have been found for patients undergoing dental treatment and viewing natural scenes together with natural sounds improved the experience of bronchoscopy. Another carefully controlled study showed that viewing sculpture gardens without any greenery through the windows of an oncology ward caused a negative reaction in many patients. Even randomly exposing post operative patients to pictures of the countryside on the walls of their rooms can reduce pain and anxiety while abstract images increased anxiety.9,10
The charity MIND compared short walks through a garden with walks in a shopping complex and showed that the former improved mental health, whereas the latter made it worse.11 In a prison in Michigan, residents who had a view of the countryside from their cells used the prison medical services less than those with an internal courtyard view.12
In another randomised experiment, when post-operative patients were exposed to eight different species of indoor plants, both pain and length of stay were once again reduced and patients’ satisfaction with their hospital rooms was improved.13 In another study, putting plants in a computer room improved productivity and lowered blood pressure.14 Indoor gardening has been used to treat patients with mental health problems.15
Many studies in the UK and other countries agree that higher proportions of green space, especially biodiverse habitats,16 are associated with less depression, anxiety and stress, even after controlling for potential confounding factors such as deprivation.17
Plants Filter Toxins Out Of The Air
It is not only the appearance of plants that is beneficial: their leaves remove toxins, dust and microorganisms from the air. NASA proved this one. 18
Gardening Is A Form Of Light Exercise
One obvious benefit of gardening is that it is a form of light physical activity which everyone knows is good for you. The science backs this assumption up too. 19,20 Gardening also gives us exposure to sunlight. Sunlight lowers blood pressure as well as increasing vitamin D levels. 21
Gardens Improve An Individual’s Sense Of Connection To Their Community
Less green space in people’s living environment coincided with feelings of loneliness and with a perceived shortage of social support. Loneliness and perceived shortage of social support partly mediated the relation between green space and health. 22
Gardening Can Save The Planet
Graeme Sait is a world renowned consultant on agriculture and soil science. He explains succinctly in this video how composting can literally save the planet.
Learn all about Humus, the layer of soil essential for healthy food production which is being gradually depleted by unsustainable farming practices. Graeme Sait a lifelong human and soil health educator explains how 467 billion tonnes of carbon has been released from the soil into the atmosphere, and that we urgently need to return that carbon to the soil, and start replenishing the humus in order to reverse the impact.
And the list goes on and on!