The health benefits of growing your own food

The health benefits of growing your own food

Growing your own food can significantly improve your quality of life, well-being and general health, while doing something great for our precious planet. This four part blog series will dig-deep into the benefits of growing your own.

Home grown food is much healthier than anything you can buy in the shops, for quite a few reasons. Vegetables in the supermarket have been selected, bred or modified to have a long shelf life and to be robust enough to be transported long distances. They are picked prematurely so as not to go bad whilst being transported and laying on the shelves in the shop. This means that they have not yet developed the full flavour and optimal nutritional level before being picked! Furthermore, the time between being picked and eaten, and the conditions on that journey, depletes the flavour and nutrition. 

Organic, home-grown food is selected to be flavoursome, full of nutrition and is picked when perfectly ripe and bursting with flavour and nutrition. We can sometimes eat it within hours, minutes or even seconds! Have you ever picked a homegrown strawberry or raspberry and not been able to resist the urge to eat it before even putting it in the basket? You know what we’re talking about!

The sad truth is that chemicals are more often than not used in big scale farming. The scariest part of it is that new research consistently shows that some of the pesticides are more damaging than previously thought. What was labelled safe in the past is no longer deemed to be. What is being labelled safe now may not be in a few years time as new research develops. Due to this, organic produce will always be a safer choice, although they can use certain pesticides too, albeit most naturally occurring. When you grow your own food there is never a reason to use chemicals. You are in control of what you put on your crops and ultimately into your body, meaning you can grow your food without any extras that can damage our planet and health. 

This often comes as a big surprise to new growers but the supermarket has a very limited choice of fruit and vegetables. When you start growing your own, you realise just how many varieties there are! In the supermarket you may find 5 different types of tomatoes whilst you will be able to choose from a huge variety to grow at home. Not only are there more varieties of each type of vegetable to choose from when growing from seed, there are more types of vegetables too! How many supermarkets have romanesco, kalettes, scorzonera, white and purple sprouting broccoli, winter radish, cucamelons, asparagus peas, tatsoi and cape gooseberries laying around? All of which are perfectly possible to grow at home.

Another advantage of growing your own food is that when your garden provides the very best fruit and veg, you will eat more of it. More of that readily-available good stuff means less and less unhealthy foods!

Gardening can also provide you with some of your daily exercise goals by making you move around whilst digging, lifting and bending. Whilst doing all of that you will get fresh air and some much needed goodness from the sun.  

We hope that you have found this encouraging to start growing a lot of food in your garden!