As COVID-19 continues to affect the ways in which Americans think about health and wellness, the relationships between diet, healthy lifestyle habits and the immune system have become common household discussions all across the country. As families search for ways to improve their nutrition, many are discovering the problems that go hand in hand with the accessibility of supermarket produce, such as pesticides, a massive carbon footprint, and nutrient loss.
Enter Planted Places. A vertical garden wall provides easy, consistent access to leafy greens, full of essential vitamins and minerals, grown right in the comfort of your backyard, patio or deck. A vertical garden wall can provide many benefits for you and your family, both nutritional and decorative. Here are 10 reasons to grow and harvest your own greens using the Planted Place’s vertical gardening ecosystem.
1. The Healthier you Eat, the Less you will Crave Food.
Real foods are a huge key to weight loss. Growing your own greens increases the number of real foods you consume, a key factor in a healthy diet. According to a recent Healthline article, real foods “are single-ingredient foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals, lack chemical additives and are mostly unprocessed.” Since all of the greens growing on your vertical wall are real foods, you and your family can experience the numerous weight loss and health benefit benefits, including more protein, the “most important nutrient for fat loss”, as well as more soluble fiber, which aids digestion and can make us feel more full, satisfied, and less likely to eat again soon.
2. Clean Eating Boosts Your Immune System
Your diet and your immune system go hand in hand! In episode 109 of his podcast The Doctor’s Farmacy titled “How Diet is Driving COVID-19 Outcomes”, Dr. Mark Hyman strongly emphasizes the linkage between metabolic health and the severity of COVID-19 symptoms, stating,
People who aren’t metabolically healthy (think obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension) are much more likely to experience severe complications if they are to get the virus.
If your diet is packed with real foods and leafy greens, the amount of inflammatory, empty calories and processed sugars you consume will be much lower, reducing the weight gain incurred by these sugars, and artificial trans fats, both of which are synonymous with processed foods.
3. Gardening is a Proven De-stresser.
Aside from the obvious health benefits of eating the greens, the process of growing them is just as healthy! Gardening has been proven to be good for your health, both mentally and physically. Psychologist Seth J. Gillihan, PhD. supports gardening as a teacher of patience and acceptance of the many aspects of our lives in which we do not have control over.
Given the lack of control we have, gardening can be a good antidote for perfectionism,said Gillihan in a recent Psychology Today article.
No matter how carefully you plan and execute your garden, there are countless factors you can’t predict—invasions by bugs, inclement weather, hungry rodents.
Practicing mindfulness and embracing situations we cannot control on a daily basis reinforces our ability to accept life’s problems with patience and healthy acceptance.
4. Growing in Living Soil Packs in the Nutrients.
A little dirt never hurts! A 2017 Quartz article, by environmental reporter Zoë Schlanger, highlighted a 2004 study that explored the impacts of a soil bacteria on the immune system of lung cancer patients. Describing the results of the study, Schlanger explains,
…the bacteria injection significantly improved patient quality of lifeO’Brien wrote in the paper detailing the findings.
Her patients were happier, expressed more vitality, and better cognitive functioning—in short, it reduced the emotional toll of advanced cancer.”
That paper also demonstrated that eating the bacteria, instead of injecting it, could still give the mice those benefits, which suggests eating trace amounts of it from garden vegetables, or breathing it in, may be too, for humans.says Schlanger.
5. Growing Organic Means No Harmful Pesticides.
Can you name all of the pesticides used in the growing process of your grocery store greens? Didn’t think so. Given the linkage between serious health problems, including numerous forms of cancer, and exposure to pesticides, this is a big deal. A recent French study found that out of 70,000 participants,
Those who ate the most organic fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meat and other foods had a particularly steep drop in the incidence of lymphomas, and a significant reduction in postmenopausal breast cancers,according to author Roni Caryn Rabin
Knowledge that all of your greens are pesticide-free allows you and your family the peace of mind that comes with eating fresh, clean produce, with no exposure to pesticides.
6. Fresh Greens Means More Vitamins!
Did you know vegetables begin losing vitamins the moment they are cut? Take spinach for example. After it is harvested, spinach can actually
lose 90% of its vitamin C content within 24 hours of harvest, and 50 percent of its folate and carotenoids within a week.
7. Homegrown Greens Taste Better!
Not only do vegetables lose important vitamins like Vitamin C when they are cut, they also lose the vitamins that give your greens that fresh taste: antioxidants.
While antioxidants are also extremely important overall health, they also influence the way the greens taste in your mouth. Increased antioxidant levels actually
affect food’s organoleptic qualities—taste, aroma, and mouthfeel—and how the human senses detect a food’s unique flavor.
8. Improves the Health of the Planet.
Growing your own produce is good for everybody! It promotes good stewardship of our planet by saving water, combatting food wastefulness, and reducing the harmful use of pesticides. According to three 21st century studies, food production in the United States uses
15.7 percent of the total energy budget, 50 percent of all land and 80 percent of all freshwater consumed.
Despite this massive investment, up to 20 billion pounds of produce is lost on farms each year. The energy cost of food transportation in the United States is hugely significant, as produce travels an average distance of 1,500 fossil fueled miles before it is actually consumed, losing vitamins and tastefulness each passing minute. By choosing Planted Places, you can eliminate thousands of fossil fueled miles from your carbon footprint, replacing them with a walk to the backyard.
9. It Models a Healthy Lifestyle!
Finally, sustainably growing, harvesting and eating your own real food sets a great example for your family members, especially children, and can be a key factor in forming a lifelong commitment to clean eating. A 2007 St. Louis University study discovered that preschool children
A 2007 St. Louis University study discovered that preschool children who were almost always served homegrown fruits and vegetables were more than twice as likely to eat five servings a day than those who rarely or never ate homegrown produce.
Integrating your children into the world of healthy eating at an early age can be one of the best gifts a parent can give. In modeling clean eating, and including them in the process of growing and harvesting greens from the living wall, you are providing them with a basis for a lifetime of commitment to health, sustainability and eco-consciousness.
10. Growing Organic Greens on a Wall is a Show Stopper!
Did you forget how beautiful living gardens can be? Let us remind you. A Living Wall can add a natural feel to any backyard: providing beauty, while transforming empty or barren spaces into havens of color. You will be growing food that feeds you both inside and out-irreplaceable.
There you have it! Although there are many more than 10 benefits to growing your own greens, these incredible perks will add color to your life, as well as your plate!
Intimidated by growing all of your own produce? Don’t be.
When you join the Planted Places membership community, you will immediately have access to personalized instruction, tips and tricks and a community of people who all want to to grow their own food easily, reduce their personal carbon footprint, and want to serve themselves and their friends and family the healthiest, best tasting, organically grown vegetables possible. Start your journey towards Living off the Wall today.
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