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Treen seedlings sprouting in dirt

Three Health Benefits of At-Home Gardening

When it comes to produce, patience is a virtue. Research shows that gardening at home benefits more than your plate.

If you need to buy more vegetables, a trip to the grocery store may be the first thing that comes to mind. Whether grocery shopping is convenient for you, there’s another way to get vegetables closer to your kitchen. Before you grab your keys, let’s talk about homegrown produce.   What is Homegrown Produce?  Homegrown produce includes fruits and vegetables that you grow at home in your own backyard, greenhouse, or even kitchen windowsill. Plants like tomatoes are easy to grow, and with a little time and effort, you can have your own produce section waiting for you right outside. 

Why grow your produce?

  • It’s tastier! Homegrown food can taste better because you’re able to pick the produce at just the right time to achieve peak ripeness and optimal taste. 
  • It’s inexpensive! Homegrown vegetables can be quite economical: a packet of seeds usually costs less than $3 and can grow up to 8-10 pounds of produce.1
  • Reduce waste! It’s easy to pick from your garden only what you need when you need it, so you’re less likely to waste food bought from the grocery store. 

Tending to your garden is great for your plants, and it just might give you a positive boost, too. Gardening is an excellent way to spend time outdoors, do something active, and offers health benefits:

  • Gardening on a sunny day can help fulfill your daily Vitamin D requirement! Vitamin D helps our bones absorb calcium from the foods and supplements we eat. It also strengthens our immune system and helps fight off foreign viruses.2
  • Leisure time activities, such as gardening, showed a positive effect in lowering dementia risk. Conversely, sedentary people have a higher risk of getting dementia than those who participate in physical activity.3
  • Cortisol is called the “stress hormone” for a reason: it is released into the blood when you’re stressed. Gardening is such a light activity that can help reduce stress and lower cortisol levels. 

A trip to the grocery store might be quick, but once your fruits and vegetables bloom, it doesn’t beat a 10-second walk from your kitchen to your garden. Enjoy the health benefits of growing your own produce with this easy gardening how-to to get started.

Want to learn more? Check out UT’s gardening program TX Sprouts.

Published on October 16, 2019 in What's Fresh
  1. “Foods Cheaper to Grow Than Buy.” PSECU. Accessed October 7, 2019. https://www.psecu.com/learn/financial-tips-for-every-stage-in-life/2017/10/31/foods-cheaper-to-grow-than-buy.
  2. “Office of Dietary Supplements - Vitamin D.” NIH Office of Dietary Supplements. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Accessed September 26, 2019. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-Consumer/.
  3. Lee, Junga. “The Relationship Between Physical Activity and Dementia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies.” Journal of gerontological nursing. U.S. National Library of Medicine, October 1, 2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30257021.