Finding the right foods and planting them properly to reap the benefits of what you sow. Herbs, vegetables, microgreens and more. All good for you foods, that will be fun to grow as well as rewarding.
Gardening for Nutrition
When you decide to start your own garden, there are many different types of things you can grow, from flowers to fruits, herbs and vegetables. There are many reasons why ones decides to garden. If you are gardening for fun, plant what’s fun. However, if you are gardening to learn to eat healthier then select foods that give good nutrition. Doing this means you are gardening for optimal nutrition.
What do you Enjoy Eating
You have to first start by looking at what you enjoy eating. Don’t grow beets if don’t like them, even if they are packed with vitamins and minerals. Growing something you won’t eat isn’t what gardening for nutrition is all about.
Figure out what you enjoy eating and grow those items. Maybe even items you might not like to eat on their own, but will eat if added to other recipes. If you don’t like carrots raw, but maybe eat them in a stew, then plant carrots. Same goes for other things like onions. Many don’t like onions on their own, but in dishes they can eat them. Make a list of what veggies you do like and start there.
Plant a Rainbow
One good rule of thumb is to think along the lines of a rainbow. You want to be eating foods in each color of the rainbow to get the best nutrition possible from the foods you’re growing in your garden.
Colorful vegetables pack a nutritional punch. Look for bright and deep, rich colors such as red peppers, purple eggplants, and so on. You also want to make sure you grow dark, leafy greens, like collards or mustard greens, spinach or kale.
You’ll find that dark, leafy greens are packed with iron and are considered superfoods in terms of the nutritional profile they possess. Cabbage and Brussel sprouts are other leafy greens that have a good, hearty nutritional backing.
Brussel sprouts help ward off illness with the incredible level of vitamin C they provide. And cabbage can help keep your cholesterol levels in check. You can even grow red cabbage if you prefer that over the green variety.
One thing you might want to consider is growing sweet potatoes over the other kinds. Sweet potatoes are far healthier because they give your body the manganese and vitamin A that it needs.
Zone Hardy Superfoods
Keeping in mind to make sure you have the right veggies for your zone. Zone hardy superfoods like spinach. Find superfoods you’ll be able to harvest from your garden for weeks on end, not just a single picking process. Usually, with some leafy greens, you’ll harvest the biggest leaves from the outside and work your way in as it continues to provide for you.
Another green food that helps you nutritionally is broccoli. This is another food that works well in almost any zone, and it not only gives you ample vitamin B, but also plenty of fiber and calcium, too.
Grow What Your Body Needs
Wondering what you should grow in your garden? Having your doctor do an exam and blood panel is a good start. Seeing what your body is nutritionally deficient in will give a good idea of what to plant.
Then you’ll be able to grow foods that correspond to what your body needs most. For instance, maybe you have blood pressure problems. Then you might want to start growing tomatoes, Swiss chard, carrots, celery and other items that naturally help with this issue.
How to Grow Delicious and Nutritious Microgreens for Optimal Nutrition
If you’re gardening for optimal nutrition, then you’re sure to have read about the benefits of getting more greens in your diet. Usually, we picture enormous leafy greens.
But these days, with many gardening for fewer people or in small spaces, the growing of microgreens is becoming more popular. Don’t let their size fool you these miniature plants pack a nutritional punch.
What are Microgreens
They are small herbs or vegetables often grown for consumption in restaurants for garnish, which has now branches out to households and individuals. Microgreens are not just green, either! They come in a variety of colors and are typically grown and harvested as young plants, just one to three inches in height. These are not sprouts, though. They’re grown a bit longer.
The great thing about growing microgreens is that more of the plant can be used in your food. When you grow large leafy greens, you often separate the leave from the thick stems, which are discarded.
But in microgreen harvesting, you can eat the stems and leaves together because they’re so soft and small. You don’t have to harvest an entire plant all at once, either. You can harvest just as much as you want off the plant and allow it to continue growing.
Growing Microgreens for Optimal Nutrition
If your gardening space is severely limited, such as reserved for a windowsill, then microgreens are the perfect crop for you to consider. You can grow a variety of plants for this purpose. There are fun kits that you can use in your home to grown microgreens easily. Even aero gardens that add a beautiful touch to your decor.
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Microgreen Seed Options
Onions, dill, leek, celery and fennel are good examples of microgreens you can grow and harvest from continually. You can also grow lettuce, broccoli, radishes, spinach, and even cucumbers and squash.
Reasons to use Microgreens and How
Microgreens have a high amount of antioxidants, which are great for anti-aging purposes. The nutrients in microgreens are typically high in iron, copper, magnesium and potassium, in most cases.
Many studies show that microgreens have a much richer nutrient makeup than their mature plant versions. People use them for help with their heart health, cancer prevention and to help control their weight to manage their diabetes.
People use microgreens in smoothies, on sandwiches or pizza. There is no end to the ways you can insert them into your diet, but you want to preserve their nutrients when preparing them.
This is a perfect gardening strategy for those living in the city who have limited gardening space. They don’t take up space, but they also don’t take a lot of time to grow from seed to plate.
Final Thoughts on Gardening for Optimal Nutrition
Health concerns or no health concerns, gardening for optimal nutrition is something everyone should consider. Proper nutrition is something everyone needs and many overlook. Get on the gardening bandwagon and start small to see if you enjoy it. A window garden, a raised garden, or small patio garden is a great start. Even those who travel year round can find ways to eat healthy with mini gardens.