- Author: Chris M. Webb
Important nutrients such as Vitamin A, C, potassium, and dietary fiber are under consumed in the U.S., a cause for public health concern for the general public. Gardens can help improve nutrition. Research shows that increasing fresh fruits and vegetables in the diet can help bridge that dietary gap, reduce risk of chronic diseases, and can help adults and children maintain a healthy weight.
In addition to producing tasty and nutritious food, incorporating gardening—of moderate and vigorous intensity into a weekly physical activity routine can help strengthen the heart and other muscles, increase flexibility, relieve stress, and reduce risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, and obesity.
Gardeners report several positive mental, emotional, and social benefits of gardening. Among these are the satisfaction of growing their own produce and flowers, being outdoors, learning about horticulture, and having an outlet for artistic expression. Many gardeners also find a sense of common purpose while gardening with friends or working in community gardens.