Updated: Sep 2
While there are plenty of vegetables to explore and add to your daily diet, we will focus on one specific vegetable that has been proven to be the easiest to grow and best at reducing inflammation within the body.
Beginner Gardening Resources
Before jumping into our garden-friendly veggie for reducing inflammation, let’s cover the basic resources you’ll need for a successful gardening experience.
Gardening Bed or Container: Select a designated area for where your garden will come to life. This spot should be strategic based on which plants you plan to grow. Most plants require a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight, so try and find a spot in your yard that will allow for this. Avoid overly shady locations as this could prevent a healthy garden environment. Traditional gardens are cultivated by planting directly into the ground or in a gardening bed, but more and more people are beginning to utilize containers or pots for their gardens. Using containers or pots can allow for neat-looking décor in your backyard, but make sure there is plenty of space in the container or pot for your plant to grow.
Soil: Your plant will require good soil in order to survive and thrive. Soil can be purchased at any local gardening center.
Seeds: In order to plant any of the following plants, you’ll need to purchase seeds. Seeds can be found at a variety of different locations, including garden centers, online retailers, and farmer’s markets. It’s recommended to follow the instructions provided on the seed packaging of each given plant.
Hose or Watering Can: Since your plants will require a regular intake of water, a hose or watering can is necessary for a successful gardening experience. If you don’t have access to a hose, you can purchase a watering at any local gardening center, online retailer, or Amazon.
Garden Tools: Get ready to get your hands dirty. In order to maintain the health of your plants, you’ll need some basic tools, including a shovel, a pruner, and a trowel. These can also be purchased via local gardening centers, online retailers, or Amazon.
Fertilizer: Fertilizer is a necessary component for the growth and well-being of your plants. Consider buying fertilizer from your local gardening center.
Gardening Hat: This is just a fun suggestion but should also be taken into consideration for anyone starting a home garden. Garden care can require long amounts of time out under direct sunlight, and wearing a gardening hat can protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Find a cute hat via Amazon to help you look and feel the part!
These are just the basic beginner resources you’ll likely need when starting a home garden. Certain plants might require more or less, so be sure to do your research regarding your specific selections before getting started.
Leafy greens are a superb source of anti-inflammatory nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Leafy greens can dramatically reduce levels of inflammatory markers in the blood as shown in various studies. Kale, spinach, collard greens, and Swiss chard are a few of the leafy greens that are particularly effective at lowering inflammation.
Studies have shown that kale, in particular, possesses potent anti-inflammatory properties. According to one study, drinking kale juice for six weeks actually decreased the blood’s level of inflammatory markers. Another study showed that having a kale smoothie every day for six weeks decreased blood levels of C-reactive protein, a sign of inflammation.
Consider consuming your daily dose of leafy greens via a yummy salad and add other vegetables. Top it off with a variety of nuts, fruits, and a homemade nutritious dressing.
Leafy greens are also a great addition to sandwiches, wraps, soups, or stews. Alternatively, if you don’t care for the taste of leafy greens, try blending them into a smoothie and masking the flavor with some fruit, honey, or yogurt.
Location: Try to keep your dark, leafy greens out of the searing heat. Leafy greens will grow best if they have a decent amount of shade. If possible, plant them where the most exposure they’ll have to the sun is in the morning when it’s not as hot.
Soil Preparation: Clear the area where you wish to plant. Remove and discard weeds or debris before planting. Add manure or compost to improve the soil’s nutrients.
Plant the Seeds: Seed packets will typically include instructions on the back. It’s recommended to follow these instructions carefully when planting. Cover seeds completely with soil and then provide them with water.
Plant Care: It is important not to let the soil of your dark, leafy greens dry out. Water the plant frequently, ensuring the soil stays moist. A balanced fertilizer applied to the area every few weeks will also promote the healthy growth of the greens.
Pest Control: Since leafy green plants are susceptible to multiple types of pests, including cabbage worms, slugs, and aphids, protect your plants with some sort of organic method like using diatomaceous earth or neem oil.
Harvesting: Always harvest the outer leaves, leaving the inside ones to mature for longer.
Foods That Induce Inflammation
We’ve discussed the foods that reduce inflammation, but it might also be helpful to evaluate the foods that have long been linked to inflammation and, consequently, health ailments.
Foods most linked to inflammation in the body are:
Sodas and other artificially sweetened drinks
Processed Meats (sausages and hotdogs)
Refined Carbohydrates (chips, white bread and pastries)
These food items, often referred to as the “inflammation diet,” are saturated with elements that cause inflammation in the body and, consequently, many severe health ailments, including, but not limited to, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
It’s recommended to avoid foods that fall into this category and enjoy foods with healthier benefits, like cruciferous vegetables, which have anti-inflammatory properties. Not to mention the satisfaction you’ll find in growing your own food and eating fresh from your garden.
Indeed, that inflammation is often a silent grower, yet, it can cause some of the most deadly ailments in the human body. Things like heart disease, cancer, digestion, and so much more have all been linked to inflammation.
So, if you’re debating adding a home garden to your living space, the time has never been more right than now. Get back to the food that fuels you and your family’s health.
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