On January 4th, a randomized study by the University of Colorado Boulder found that community gardening can have significant health benefits. By increasing fiber intake and physical activity, gardening reduces the risk of cancer and chronic diseases, and also benefits mental health by minimizing stress and anxiety.
With the new year, everyone sets new goals. Whether it’s getting a promotion in your job, more physical activity, exercising, or even getting more sunlight. Gardening.
The American Cancer Society conducted the first randomized controlled trial in the gardening community and found that those who started gardening consumed more fiber and got more physical activity. bottom. These two associations reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. The study also found that more physical activity and sun exposure reduced stress and anxiety.
“These findings provide concrete evidence that community gardening can play an important role in preventing cancer, chronic disease, and mental disorders.“ Shared Jill Litt, senior writer and Professor of Environmental Studies at CU Boulder.
Litt focused her research on ways to reduce health risks, especially among low-income groups. She focuses on cost-effective and sustainable ways to help individuals and gardening It’s become a great source of physical activity and hobbies. “Everywhere you go, you’re told there’s something about gardening that makes you feel good,” says Ritt, who is also a researcher at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health.
She continued that it’s difficult to prove the exact scientific basis behind this, and that without solid evidence, it’s difficult to get support for new programs. People who exercise tend to eat more fruits and vegetables, which has often been shown to lead to a healthier body and weight. In the past, there have been three studies that used randomized controlled trials, the gold standard in scientific research.
But past research has not looked at gardening categorically. Gardening To focus on her community, Litt called 291 of her non-gardeners in Denver, with an average age of 41. Following last spring, half was placed in a community her gardening group and the rest in a control group where he had to wait a year before starting gardening.
The first group was provided free gardening tools, including seeds, an introductory gardening course from the non-profit Denver Urban Gardens program, and research partners. Both groups were required to conduct surveys on their nutritional intake and mental health journey, but were also required to monitor their body measurements and wear activity monitors.
During the fall season, people in the gardening group were shown to consume an average of 1.4 grams more fiber than people in the control group. This was an increase of about 7 percent. The study authors say fiber has a significant impact on inflammatory and immune responses, allowing the body to metabolize in a healthier way. have a positive impact on
Health professionals recommend about 25-38 grams of fiber per day, and the average adult eats less than 16 grams. “An increase of 1 gram of dietary fiber can have a significant positive effect on your health.“ I shared co-author James Hebert, director of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at the University of South Carolina.
Apart from increasing dietary fiber intake, the gardening group also increased physical activity by approximately 42 minutes per week. Public health agencies advocate at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week, but the average American sees her only a quarter of that time. After just a few visits to the garden, participants reached 28% of the recommended amount of physical activity. Physical activity benefits not only your muscles and bones, but also your brain. It improves sleep, alleviates many chronic health conditions, and aids in weight management.
Participants also noticed a reduction in stress and anxiety, which had a positive impact on their mental health. Those who participated in the study with the most stress and anxiety saw the most significant changes in their mental health. It has also proven that you can continue to benefit as you gain experience.
Linda Appel Lipsius, executive director of Denver Urban Gardens (DUG), says the results aren’t all that surprising. “It’s transformative and even life-saving for so many people,” Lipsius said. DUG is his 43-year-old non-profit organization that provides his community with his gardening tips to about 18,000 individuals each year. ““Even if you come to the garden to grow your own food in a quiet place, you’ll see your neighbor’s plot, start sharing techniques and recipes, and over time the relationship will blossom,” said Litt.
Gardening is certainly good, she continues, but gardening in the community can bring additional benefits. “Not just fruits and vegetables. It is also about being with others in outdoor natural spaces.“