The Key to Longevity May Be in Your Own Backyard
Gardening has been shown to positively impact our moods, reduce stress and alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. However, studies have shown that the benefits of this hobby may extend even beyond promoting a sense of contentment and well-being. A survey of communities around the world that are known for having many residents aged 100 and over shows that gardening may be one of the secrets to a long life.
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How Gardening Supports a Lifetime of Health
Gardening is a hobby that nearly anyone can participate in. Whether you have acres of land or a membership at a community garden, you can gain a lot of benefits from spending some time in the dirt.
Gardening Can Help You Improve Your Diet
Growing your own fruits and vegetables is as rewarding as it is simple, and it is a great opportunity to optimize your diet. In communities with a high number of residents at least 100 years old, a diet in which vegetables account for at least 90% of food intake was a common trend. Artificial preservatives, added sugar and meat are rarely eaten.
While this is a very different way of eating compared to the typical Western diet of processed foods and meats served as main courses, it is easy to make the switch to a vegetable-based diet. Grocery stores offer most fruits and vegetables year-round, regardless of the season. However, these foods lose up to 30% of their nutrients soon after harvest. By the time they make it to your dinner table, much of their benefits are diminished.
Growing fruits and vegetables yourself gives you access to food when it is the freshest and most nutrient-dense. You have control over how much time passes between harvesting and eating it, helping you preserve its nutrition and flavor.
Gardening As Physical and Mental Exercise
Gardening may not be the most strenuous type of exercise, but because it is a sustained activity, it still counts towards your daily physical activity goals. In fact, gardening improves your strength and dexterity and may help you burn as many calories as a session at the gym.
Tending a garden also helps keep your mind sharp and your stress levels low. While it is hard work, it is also satisfying and forces you to be in the moment. In a small study, participants were assigned a stressful task that they followed up with reading or gardening. The gardening group recovered from stress more quickly and had lower cortisol levels in their bodies than the reading group. Multiple studies have shown a correlation between lower stress levels and longer life.
How Nevada Insurance Enrollment Can Help You Enjoy Optimal Health
While a healthy lifestyle is a vital key to longevity, regular medical care is also essential. At Nevada Insurance Enrollment, our health insurance agents will help you find an affordable health insurance plan that enables you to see a doctor when you need to, without breaking the bank.
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