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Nutrition Tip of the Week

Start Preparing for Your own Garden
Brittany Kelley RD, LDN

Spring is finally here which means longer days, more sunlight, and extra time to spend outdoors. What better way to take advantage of this then by starting your own vegetable garden?! In New England, you can grow a large variety of plants with the seasons we have. And starting in March, you can begin to plant seeds for vegetables like broccoli and beets indoors to then transfer them outside once the weather gets a little warmer. I don’t know about you, but too many summers have gone by where I have ended up making countless trips to the grocery store or local farm to stock up on vegetables or fruit. I always forget how convenient it would be to just have to walk outside and harvest my own right from my backyard. It’s also a great way to save money, spend time with family or little ones and teach them the benefits of growing their own food as well as encourage healthy eating.  And the best part of it all as you don’t have to guess where the food came from or what types of pesticides were used since you grew it all yourself! This helps ease your mind when it comes to preparing meals for your family, and helps reduces overall stress.

So, what does this have to do with nutrition? Firstly, gardens provide us with nutritious fruits and vegetables that are loaded with vitamins, mineral, and fiber. These components of food help increase our immunity and total health as well as protect us against certain diseases. Similarly to how these foods help humans, growing fresh fruits and vegetables at home also helps the environment. Growing your own produce helps reduce the carbon footprint that comes from shipping food across the country to the grocery store. Likewise, plants help the environment by reducing the carbon dioxide emissions and releasing oxygen into the air. This cycle of growing and consuming plants creates a really unique balance between us and the earth. And obviously, the better we eat the better we feel and gardening has been shown to reduce stress. And who wants a bunch of stress especially in the summertime? Stress can get in the way of our everyday lives and can increase our body’s ability to store fat due to elevated levels of the hormone cortisol. Spending time getting your mind off of things in ways such as gardening helps to prevent this hormone from getting released improving your mood! So make a plan, figure out what plants you want to grow, and start getting it going!

 

Want to learn how? Check out the link below for more information or take a ride over to your local farm:

https://www.seasonedhomemaker.com/start-vegetable-garden


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