The Fresh Focus team consists of registered dietitian nutritionists from the Marion VA Health Care System. This episode is hosted by Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Loran Morris and features guest appearances from her grandparents. Their message for this post? Give gardening a try.
Listen in as Marion VA registered dietitian nutritionist Loran shares her experience with growing colorful produce at home.
How many plants are we eating on a routine basis? How many colorful varieties of fruits and vegetables are we consuming on a daily basis? Eating a diet rich in vegetables and whole fruits has countless health benefits. These plants are packed with vitamins and minerals that our bodies need on a daily basis.
The more color you eat, the better. Each color of vegetable represents a different phytonutrient. A phytonutrient is a broad term for compounds that are produced in plants that are beneficial for our health.
Eat a rainbow
It is so beneficial to literally eat the rainbow of colors and, in terms of gardening, to grow a rainbow of produce.
- Red: The red color of tomatoes, strawberries and beets is called lycopene, and it protects your body against free radicals, which can ultimately help prevent cancer, heart disease and lung disease.
- Blues and purples: Blueberries and blackberries contain anthocyanins, which slow aging and help with heart health.
- Green: Lutein, which is found in greens, can help prevent macular degeneration.
- Whites: Allicin, which is found in white plants like onion and cauliflower, has anti-tumor properties.
If you have ever considered whether gardening is something you could give a try, you might just find the more you grow the healthier you eat.
Health and food savings
Gardening can provide your family with healthful and cost saving food options. You don’t need to be an expert gardener or have any experience to start.
First, think about why you want to garden. Knowing the “why” you want to start will help you stick with your plan in the long run. As you experiment with your first gardening season, don’t be discouraged if you have some mishaps.
Remember that gardening is a learning experience and will take time to master. The more experience you gain, the better gardener you will be.
Listen in to Fresh Focus episode 37 where Marion VA Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Loran shares her experience with growing colorful produce at home.