Health Benefits Bloom In The Garden

With beads of sweat forming on the forehead, hands in the dirt pulling out unruly weeds, while taking in sunshine rays – all of these actions of greening bring with it health benefits that contribute to overall wellbeing. Several studies have concluded that connecting with nature, being a part of the process to grow and nurture something alive, and movement bring a host of benefits.

By
Cindy Hsu
May 10, 2019
  • Stress Relief

    One of the biggest benefits to gardening is stress relief. It has been proven that gardening decreases cortisol. Cortisol is the stress hormone that is released from the body during times of stress. Chronically elevated levels of cortisol contribute to obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and a lackluster immune system.

    A study had thirty gardeners perform a stressful task, afterwards, the group was randomly selected to read or garden for thirty minutes afterwards. Through salvia sampling of testing for cortisol levels and self reported questionnaires, it was concluded that gardening had a decrease in both cortisol and stress levels.

  • Critical in Bone Health

    Spending time in the sun, working in the garden, allowing the skin to have exposure to the sun will accelerate the process of vitamin D synthesis. Through supplements or through sun exposure are the only two ways to get Vitamin D. This vitamin is essential for calcium absorption which help strengthen and maintain bones. People lose calcium daily through sweat, hair, feces, and urine. Having low levels of calcium puts people at risk for muscle cramps, brittle bones, osteoporosis, and other array of issues.

    Decrease in heart disease and stroke.

    Along with bone health, vitamin D contributes to heart health as well. Low levels of vitamin D have been shown to be a risk factor of stroke, heart failure, peripheral artery disease, and other heart diseases. Vitamin D has an influence over numerous genes, the cells of the heart, and the risk factors of high blood pressure, and diabetes. Sun exposure helps the deduce the numerous aversions to health so try and get at least 15 minutes of sun exposure daily (look on the side for sun health tips).

  • Mental Wellness

    Gardening is a whole-body activity that stimulates all of our senses, touch, smell, sight, sound, and taste. Keeping the body moving and hands busy allows for the release of happiness inducing hormones such as dopamine and serotonin. Taking care of plants comes with the responsibility of caring for living creatures allows the process of appreciation for nature and living. By creating a safe space to de-plug, destress, keep busy, this provides a healthy pause from the world’s stressors.