Get healthy: homegrown fruit & veg

With more information available than ever on health and eating well, fruit and vegetables are in the limelight. However, packaged supermarket veg can often be bland and uninspiring, so think about growing your own to experience the benefits…

1. Flavour and nutrients

It’s true. Homegrown really does taste better. Picking something from the vine or pulling it out of the ground just before cooking is as fresh as it gets, and the lack of packaging and mass production means the taste is flavour is vastly improved. A study from Kew Gardens found that homegrown tomatoes tasted sweeter and had a higher level of health improving nutrients – so they’re better for you too.

2. Seasonal eating

When everything is available all year round, we’re losing touch with how food is grown and what is seasonal. Growing your own veg helps reconnect us to nature, showing how weather impacts the food we eat and allowing us to enjoy the very best and tastiest seasonal food. It also feels more natural and far better to avoid things flown hundreds of miles.

3. Taste the rainbow

It’s easy to get bored of the same salads if you’re conscious of eating well. Growing a range of veg – even if it’s just some greens and different root veg – can open our eyes to other options and allow us to try varieties that are harder to get hold of in shops. Purple carrots, for example, that might cost a fortune in a health food store can easily be grown for an unusual addition to supper time.

4. What it’s made of

I like knowing that anything I’ve grown is a product of the conditions I’ve provided, and I have complete knowledge of what’s been added – or not added – to make it grow. Whatever method you choose, growing your own lets you know exactly what you’re eating.

5. Food appreciation

After the first homegrown vegetable, you’ll certainly think twice about throwing away veg or leaving it on your plate. Not only will you eat more of the healthy stuff when it’s right on your doorstep/windowsill, but you’ll be more mindful about what you’re putting in your body and how it’s been created. It might be a bit misshapen but pride in your homegrown prizes will mean seasonal cooking and benefits to the body, mind and environment.

 

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