The Importance of Fresh Vegetables
There is a growing trend of people returning to gardening and growing their own produce. Besides being a great hobby, growing vegetables at your home has a number of advantages. If you don’t have space for a large vegetable garden a few big containers can provide the needed environment to grow some excellent fresh fruits or vegetables.
Ripe is Best
According the Eating Well, Americans eat only 1/3 of the recommend daily number of servings of vegetables. That is only 3 servings per day instead of 9 servings per day. Having a container garden full of fresh veggies will make them easily accessible and you will be more likely to include vegetables in your meals and snacks. Cooking with vegetables becomes more fun when you have put in some work, watched the plants grow and produce and are eating the fruits of your labor. They are usually also tastier right off the plant. Eating Well also points out that vegetables allowed to fully ripen on the vine have more nutrients than those picked earlier. Almost all vegetables sold in supermarkets have been picked well before they were ripe so that they would not go bad in the time it takes to ship them and sit on the market shelves.
The Ups and Downs of Canned
Not only are fresh vegetables tastier but they are better for you than canned vegetables. Store bought canned goods often contain excessive amounts of salt or sugar. Canning also requires that the vegetables be cooked for a significant period of time, this can diminish the amount of Vitamin C found in vegetables. However, according to WebMD, some vegetables such as tomatoes have more lycopene, an anti-carcinogen, when canned. Buying canned is better than not eating vegetables, but if you must buy canned look for low sodium and low sugar options.
Another advantage to growing your own vegetables is knowing how they have been grown. You know exactly what, if any, chemical insecticides you have used as well as any fertilizers. You have the ability to grow your vegetables organically, without chemicals, if you choose. This is much easier to accomplish in a small scale container garden than on a large farm. Knowing how your vegetables have been raised can give you confidence that they are the best for your health. Growing your own can also help you avoid the high price tag of organic fruits and vegetables.
Try It Out
Vegetables and fruits are packed full of essential vitamins. To get the nutrients you need to feel well, and reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease, it is important to include fruits and vegetables in your meals and snacks. Having vegetables growing outside your door in a patio planter will increase your access to fresh vegetables and make them more a part of your daily routine. These vegetables can be free from pesticides and as fresh and ripe as possible. You will also benefit from the extra exercise that come from caring from vegetables. Many different types of vegetables can be grown in containers such as tomatoes, cucumbers, salad greens, peppers, eggplants and herbs. Check with your local cooperative extension office for the varieties that will grow best in containers in your climate zone. With a little work and patience you can eat fresh and have attractive patio planters. What are your favorite vegetables to grow?