Eating a nutritious diet is making a positive choice to enrich your health. Each time you put nourishing food in your mouth is an opportunity to invest in yourself – for reasons like better skin, a healthier digestion, more energy, and less chance of the on-set of lifestyle diseases. Of course, it takes a fair amount of effort, determination, and habit changes to adopt a whole new way of eating, so it’s just about doing your best to make healthier choices as often as you can. Small tweaks can eventually result in a transformation over time.
Taking meaningful action to nourish ourselves with foods which are rich in nutrients and unprocessed, means taking responsibility for our own food choices and overall wellbeing.
We all know what tastes good to us, and also what doesn’t – but considering the nutritious benefit of something we are consuming puts a whole different spin on our food choices if we start to consider whether it is both useful and satisfying to our bodies.
A simple way to begin thinking like this and getting closer to nutritious, healthful food is to grow some. Edible gardening really is accessible in a lot of different environments, at one level or another regardless of how much time or space is available to us. Whether it’s a full-on vegetable patch which is enjoying a resurgence at the moment, or a simple windowsill greenhouse – growing your own food is achievable if the desire is there.
Learning how to grow and harvest fresh herbs and vegetables helps us to be more considerate about what we consume, putting us more in tune with the nutritional benefits of what we are feeding ourselves and feeding to others we care and cater for.
As a process, all ages can enjoy the benefits of watching the progress of plants growing and then having something to put on the table at the end of it. This is extremely therapeutic and rewarding for many people.
Physical disabilities may prevent or restrict older people from participating fully, but with some adjustments this can be inclusive to them providing a safe space to observe and still feel involved. Also, strain on your own back should be avoided in the process, so if you do have back trouble it is important to take measures to ease any pressure on it.
Some ideas to reduce physical stress when gardening include:
Indoor horticulture can be a nice, simple option for care homes to get residents and employees involved in a project that connects people. An herb garden or a plant cart is a straightforward and delicious way to introduce edible gardening, and help people to realise that as well as tasting good and adding unique flavours to our plates, herbs do have lots of nutritional benefits for us too.
Full of antioxidants for immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory effects. A wonderful source of dietary fibre, manganese, iron, and magnesium as well.
Both healthful and powerful, this plant is great in aiding digestion as well as containing small amounts of potassium, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and magnesium. Mint has been used in many medicines over the years.
An actual plant that tastes of chocolate mint? Just wow. It smells as well as tastes delicious. A great healthy swap to satisfy that sweet tooth without the sugar.
Full of minerals and vitamins, often described as a taste of the sea, this plant is commonly used to accompany fish due to its salty taste. Because of this it can be used a healthy alternative to salt in many meals.
Over the Centuries parsley has been used to naturally treat high blood pressure and allergies. It is a nutrient-dense plant, providing a good source of vitamin C.
So, as you can see, herb gardens will contribute towards a super-healthy diet, even substituting those less healthy salt, sugars and sweeteners and other flavour enhancers.
We are not what we eat, we are what our bodies do with what we eat. It’s never too late to make those changes, being more mindful of our food choices.