Anyone who’s spent time outdoors knows how much it can benefit you. Being surrounded by natural beauty from dusk until dawn has been shown to calm your mind, lower your stress levels and even increase your life expectancy. But the benefits of being out in nature don’t end with just giving you a break from the pressures of everyday life. The great outdoors also has a host of other positive effects on our mental and physical well-being. These include helping us to sleep better, reducing stress and boosting our immune systems.
Provide food for wildlife
Wild animals in your garden and landscaping are great at helping to control pests. Birds in particular are especially helpful at swooping down to catch insects mid-flight. If you’re growing herbs and vegetables, this can greatly reduce the need for chemical pesticides. If you’ve got a fruit-bearing tree, birds are a great way to feed the wild creatures in your area. Birds are also fantastic at spreading pollen, which can help to pollinate your crops.
Wildlife in your garden and landscaping is also a great way to add diversity to your neighbourhood. If you’ve got a particularly dull stretch of road or path, adding a few birdhouses or nesting boxes to a nearby tree can help to add some colour to the area.
Improve your health
There are a number of health benefits that you can enjoy by incorporating more healthy produce into your diet. These include lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reduced risk of heart disease, improved digestion, lower risk of certain cancers and more. Many of these benefits can be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of their age. However, they’re particularly important for our ageing population. After all, who doesn’t want to improve their health and live longer? There are a number of ways in which edible plants can benefit your health.
Let’s take a look at a few of them.
- Lower Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels -The majority of fibre contained in many healthy plants like whole grains and beans helps to reduce blood pressure.
- Better Digestion – As we grow older, our digestion tends to slow down. This can lead to digestive issues, bloating and even a potential increase in certain cancers.
- Reduced Risk of Heart Disease – Studies have shown that consuming certain types of vegetables and fruits on a daily basis has shown the potential to reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Improved Immunity – Just like our gut bacteria, the bacteria that live in our body’s ecosystems is important for our health. The more diverse it is, the better.
- Encourage Biodiversity – Some plants can be used to help to create a more diverse ecosystem in your garden and landscaping. These plants can include species such as lavender, mint and rosemary.
Help you sleep better
In addition to the positive benefits that you can enjoy by incorporating more healthy produce into your diet, there are also many health and sleep benefits that can be enjoyed by adding more vegetables and fruits to your diet. When it comes to sleep, vegetables and fruits are especially helpful. They are low in calories, sugar and carbohydrates, meaning that they don’t affect our hormones that affect our sleep cycle. Vegetables and fruits are also rich in vitamins and minerals, which have been shown to have a number of health benefits.
If you’re feeling stressed out, it’s worth remembering that there are a number of ways that plants can help to reduce your stress levels. Besides having the potential to lower your stress levels, many of the benefits that you can enjoy by incorporating more healthy produce into your diet are also beneficial for improving your mental health. Additionally, many plants have been shown to contain powerful medicinal compounds that have been used for thousands of years in traditional medicines and folk medicines.
Boost your immune system
When we’re young, our immune system is generally very strong. However, as we get older it tends to weaken and lose some of its effectiveness. Boosting your immune system can help to protect against a number of health issues, including certain cancers and chronic infections. Some plants have been shown to have potential to boost your immune system. These include turmeric, blueberry and black elder.
Encourage biodiversity in your garden and landscape
Some of the health and sleep benefits that you can enjoy by incorporating more vegetables and fruits into your diet are also beneficial for improving biodiversity in your garden and landscape. When it comes to improving biodiversity, you don’t need to limit yourself to using just edible plants. In fact, many types of plants that can help to increase the biodiversity in your area are also helpful for improving your mental health. These include flowering plants such as sweet marjoram and lavender, shrubs such as rosemary, mint and aloe vera, trees like eucalyptus and gum trees, birds and insects.
There are many good reasons for incorporating more healthy produce into your diet. The important thing is to eat a balanced diet that’s rich in vegetables and fruits, but also includes other types of healthy foods. By doing this, you can enjoy many benefits from eating more vegetables and fruits, including lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, improved digestion, reduced risk of certain cancers and more. If you’re still not convinced, perhaps the idea of living a healthier and longer life will be enough to convince you to incorporate more veggies into your diet. After all, the benefits are definitely worth it!