More than 2 in 5 American households have started farming their own food since 2021. One reason for doing so is to cope with the rising prices of fresh produce. It has been reported that fresh fruits cost 10% more than in 2021, and fresh vegetables have increased by nearly 6%.
Aside from saving money, growing your own food can also be an excellent opportunity to make healthier and more nutritious choices. This is especially important if you’re trying to lose weight by eliminating processed foods and instead going for a clean and well-balanced diet. As such, here are some foods with weight loss benefits that you can quickly grow at home, even if you’re still a beginner gardener.
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Known as a versatile herb, basil can be the main ingredient for hearty dishes like pesto or add aroma and flavor to salads as a garnish. Despite being low in calories, its high fiber content can make your stomach feel fuller and prevent unnecessary cravings. Basil is also an excellent source of nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin K, and calcium, so you can still meet your nutritional needs while losing weight.
Basil can be grown from seeds or cuttings. If you’re growing it indoors, just ensure it gets about four to eight hours of sunlight daily. Among the basics of harvesting basil is to collect it in the morning for maximum juiciness and quality. Picking the young leaves from the top of the plant also encourages further growth.
Like basil, green peas are relatively low in calories. Yet, one cup can contain about 8 grams of fiber and protein, which helps serve as a natural weight loss aid since both nutrients help you stay full for longer while also improving your metabolism. Whether you eat green peas as a snack or incorporate them into your meals, combining them with beans and lentils can help you quickly meet your daily recommended fiber intake.
Even if you don’t have enough garden space, don’t worry–– peas can be grown indoors using pots or containers, making them ideal for those living in a condo. Since peas are cool-weather plants, planting them early in the spring is essential for the best possible harvest.
Rich in vitamin C and iron, Bok choy is a leafy green vegetable with weight loss properties. It contains quercetin, a flavonoid that alleviates body fat accumulation and helps reduce cholesterol’s ability to block arteries. In essence, this vegetable simultaneously aids in losing weight and improving cardiovascular health.
Bok choy is easy to farm since it is one of the vegetables that can be grown from scraps. You can simply submerge the hard base in a dish of warm water, store it in a sunny spot, then wait for new sprouts to grow from the center. Alternatively, you can replant the Bok choy in potting soil once new leafy growths and roots have appeared.
Maximum respect to spinach! It is the only vegetable ‘left standing’ in my kitchen garden during this dry spell. All the other veges including indigenous vegetables (cowpeas, spider plant, nightshades, slender leaf) have dried up #climatechange pic.twitter.com/cQdgR75XVA— Prof. Jane Ambuko (@ambuko) March 8, 2023
Spinach is another leafy green vegetable that’s loaded with nutrients and antioxidants. Its effect on weight loss can be linked to its thylakoid content; this active membrane helps reduce hunger and cravings throughout the day. When combined with calorie restriction, a study found that spinach-derived thylakoid intake can significantly decrease body weight, waist circumference, and insulin resistance.
Spinach is another cool-weather plant that’s quick and easy to grow in moist but well-drained soil or compost. After planting spinach during spring and the cool weather of fall, expect to enjoy its leaves within six to eight weeks. It’s also essential to consider spacing. Properly spacing the plants three inches apart will yield baby spinach greens, while leaving about five inches of space will give you enough room to grow mature spinach plants.
Gardening is a great way to improve your physical health and overall well-being, and it can help you burn calories and offer a range of other benefits, such as reducing stress levels and improving mental health. By growing your own food, you can save money and enjoy fresh produce and ensure that you know exactly what you are consuming.
In addition to helping with weight loss, gardening can improve your mental health. Studies have shown that gardening can help reduce stress and anxiety levels and improve mood and self-esteem. This is partly due to the physical activity involved in gardening, which can release endorphins and other feel-good chemicals in the brain.
Furthermore, growing your own food can help you adopt a healthier lifestyle by ensuring that you are consuming fresh, organic produce that is free from harmful chemicals and pesticides. This can be particularly important if you are concerned about the quality and safety of the food you buy from supermarkets and other stores.
If you are new to gardening, many resources are available to help you get started. Two Peas in a Condo offers a wealth of tips and guides, from choosing the right plants to setting up a successful garden in a small space. By taking advantage of these resources, you can learn the skills and knowledge needed to grow your own food and enjoy all the health benefits that come with it.