Growing food, once a farmer’s identity, is gaining elitist attention and fast becoming a passion for the rich and the famous, endorsed heavily by doctors as the latest and best therapy for healthy living.
If it is not the back breaking, sky rocketing prices of greens that prod you to have a green thumb, then here are some more reasons.
The sacred ancient Indian texts, the Vedas, have held that eating good food is the purest sense of pleasure for human beings. Modern science has tried to redefine healthy eating and it boils down to eating fresh vegetables and fruits.
Now researchers across the globe have done a series of surveys all of which throw up results that eating your own grown food heals not just the body but brain as well.
Have you ever plucked a cucumber off its vine and cut it for salad and added a dash of lemons, plucked from your own tree? The overpowering burst of freshness you might have felt has already been laid down by researchers as the biggest booster, physically and otherwise.
Digging in your kitchen garden is proven to be a better stress reliever and mood booster than any other exercise. In Netherlands, two groups of people were given the choice either to read a book of their choice indoors or do gardening for 30 minutes. After half hour those who had done gardening had lower levels of hormone cortisol and were in a better mood than the readers.
In Norway, doctors attempted to use the benefits of getting hands dirty in mud out in the garden, in improving depression symptoms.
People suffering from mental ailments like low mood, depression, bipolar II order were made to grow vegetables and flowers six hours in a week. After 3 months it was seen that 50% of the people reported a vast improvement in their mood symptoms and the benefits lasted for 3 months after the program ended.
Watching the seeds that you planted burst into life, grow into tender plants and then bear fruits or transform into lovely flowers brings with it a sense of achievement and creates a strong bonding with nature.
This in turn leads to immense satisfaction that creates a positive energy for the individual. This is considered to be the most radical explanation for the near magical effects of growing food in your own garden.
Few researchers believe that gardening can also protect you from old age related dementia. In one of the most exhaustive studies, people in their 60s and 70s were followed for 16 years.
It was found that those who spent time everyday, tending to their vegetables, watering plants, removing weeds and other gardening chores had 36% and 47% lower risk of dementia than those who did not spend any time in the garden.
Though no conclusions were drawn but it strengthened belief that gardening augurs well for the mind.
For those caught up in the concrete jungles, in an urban landscape, veggies are now being shopped for in mega malls. The sophisticated cold storages have meant that the greens decorating the fancy shelves were plucked long ago and are only artificially fresh. By the time they are consumed most of the flavors are gone.
But the vegetables grown in your own garden are the freshest possible and studies have shown that children of parents who grow their own vegetables are far more likely to consume fresh fruits and vegetables than the children of the parents who don’t.
Their health and nutrition too is better than the others, a study done by researchers at Saint Louis University found.
It was found that garden produce creates a ‘positive food environment’ and is the most effective way of making kids eat healthier.
Also it was seen in the study that children who ate home grown food preferred fruits and vegetables to any other food which in itself is a very healthy eating habit.