This summer, take advantage of the (finally) warm weather and find a way to get out of the house and boost your health and wellness. Instead of hiding in the A.C, take advantage of the sunshine and get your hands dirty this summer by starting a garden of your own. In addition to being a great form of exercise, planting a vegetable garden can help you to grow your own produce, making eating right even easier—an added benefit for your medical weight loss efforts.
Whether you are planning on digging out a portion of your backyard or just getting started with a small container garden, growing your own fruits and vegetables is a rewarding experience. Think about this: it is hard to think of it as dieting when you are enjoying the literal fruits of your labor.
When planting your garden, go for more nutrients. You can do this by planning out what vitamins you are hoping to achieve out of your efforts and plotting the plants accordingly. Don’t forget to also consider which crops will best grow in your area in Illinois.
Consider this guide when deciding what foliage you are going to plant this year:
Calcium: You don’t need a cow to have natural sources of calcium in your backyard. Plant leafy greens like kale and spinach, in addition to broccoli, Chinese cabbage and turnip greens for calcium.
Iron: Iron is not limited to red meats. You can grow this nutrient by planting green peas, potatoes, kidney beans and spinach, as well as lima and garbanzo beans.
Magnesium: Important for moderating nerves and maintaining heart health, magnesium can be grown in your backyard through soybeans, black-eyed peas, kidney and pinto beans, spinach and potatoes
Vitamin A: Vitamin A is important for your immune system, improving white blood cells which help to fight off infection. You can get this nutrient by planting kale, carrots, spinach, cantaloupe and tomatoes.
Vitamin C: One of the more popular nutrients talked about, vitamin C is also important for your immune system. To plant vitamin C, go for sweet peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, strawberries, cantaloupe and watermelon.
Planting all of these would be a huge task. If you are just getting started then pick a few simple plants that range in nutritional value and see how it goes. Tomatoes, carrots and kale are all pretty easy starter plants for the gardening novice. Then again, if gardening in general just doesn’t sound like fun to you, look for these plants at your local farmers market or produce store. While you may not reap the same physical rewards from growing the plants yourself, the nutritional value is still the same.