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From local celebrities to Tiktok influencers down to your next-door neighbor, everybody seems to be interested in growing a green thumb these days. With more free time at home, people have been all about gardening. In our previous post, we discussed basic gardening tips to kickstart a healthier lifestyle, in line with the celebration of Nutrition Month.
Here, let’s unpack the benefits of the plants we mentioned, so you can gain a better appreciation of the greenery you’ll be cultivating.
If you must pick one cluster of plants to put in your home garden, vegetables should be your first consideration. They’re a must-have, given the nutrients they provide for better immunity. At the same time, when you grow your own, you can be sure that what you’re getting is fresh and safe to eat. On top of this, there’s the convenience of not having to go out of your village to get some of that produce. In the era of stay-at-home policies, this is surely a huge perk.
The following are the vegetables and fruits that are easiest to grow:
- Carrots. They’re good for eye health. Containing beta carotene and lutein, they help prevent eye damage from free radicals. Moreover, carrots are rich in lycopene, helping reduce your risk for heart disease.
- Eggplants. These are rich sources of fiber, potassium, and vitamins C and B6, which promote good heart health. The polyphenols, which contain antioxidants, may contribute to cancer prevention.
- Bell peppers. The carotenoids in bell peppers, namely lutein and zeaxanthin, can promote good eyesight. Abundant in vitamin C, the vegetable also improves the absorption of iron in the gut, preventing anemia.
- Okra. It helps slow down the rate of sugar absorption in the body, which then protects you from life-threatening diseases, such as diabetes.
- Tomatoes. Rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, tomatoes can help defend the body against free radicals, which cause cancer.
- Squash. These are also anti-cancer veggies, given the high level of carotene in them. Packed with vitamin A, they’re also good for the skin and eyesight.
- Malunggay. Malunggay is a rich source of antioxidants, protecting your cells from damage and keeping your immune system strong. It also has vitamin C, potassium, calcium, and iron.
Herbs and Spices
Your first garden can also benefit from having plants you can use for treating certain ailments and spicing up your dishes. So while you do have vegetable and fruits, include the herbs and spices listed below in your outdoor space so you can take advantage of their benefits:
- Basil. Because of its strong anti-inflammatory properties, this herbal plant is sometimes used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Some people also consume basil to relieve sore throat, cold, and flu. As an ingredient to a dish, it’s often used in traditional pesto and tomato-based pasta sauces.
- Oregano. This relieves coughs, asthma, and other respiratory problems. Women also use this for menstrual cramps. As for dishes, people often add this to stews and sauces.
- Rosemary. While there’s currently no scientific evidence, most people use rosemary to treat indigestion. In meal preparation, it’s usually a seasoning in soups and salads. Sometimes, it’s used in chicken recipes as well.
- Parsley. Rich in vitamin C, parsley can help treat wounds. In cooking, it’s added in soups, sauces, and vegetable dishes. It can also be used as a garnish.
Of course, decorative greenery should also be part of your home. It will elevate its visual appeal, adding a point of interest in your outdoor space. As mentioned in our previous post, these are some of the beginner-friendly aesthetic plants you can start nurturing in your home:
- Orchids. Its flowers are bilaterally symmetric, meaning the two sides are similar to each other when divided in half. They feature bright hues, which can give a pop of color in a monotonous-looking wall in the garden.
- Snake plant. With a height ranging from six inches to eight feet, the stiff, almost sculptural leaves of this plant can serve as a work of art itself. Kept neatly on the sides of a garden walkway, it offers a refreshing sight. A plant box filled with snake plants can be a good contrast to soft garden elements, such as hedges or water features.
- Spider plant. They can be ground covers or hanging greenery. The fountain-like appearance of this plant’s leaves offers a feast for the eyes, which deserve a special section in the garden.
- African Violet. An indoor plant, African Violet’s vivid colors provide a nice contrast for empty spaces and corners in your room. Gather plenty of these and keep them in a plant rack. It will serve as a good focal point in any space.
Join the gardening craze and find something productive and beautiful as you stay home. Grow a green thumb yourself today.