I'm not a big fan of fruits and vegetables, but I want to be. I'm overweight and feel the effects of not getting enough of the nutrients available from fruits and vegetables. I've been thinking lately that I'd probably eat more fruits and vegetables if I had a hand in growing them.

According to this article from Babble, working in soil may also be the cheapest and safest anti-depressant known to man because it actually has a neuro-chemical effect on the brain similar to Prozac. That alone sounds like a great reason to consider turning my thumb green, but there are an additional nine benefits derived from growing your own food:

  • Focus: The gardening process requires kids (and adults) to utilize all of their senses, improving focus.
  • Flavor: Sun-ripening allows fruits and vegetables to retain natural flavors that chemical ripening does not preserve.
  • Work Ethic: getting kids involved with food growing helps children to develop a tangible sense of the relationship between hard work, goal-setting, and success.
  • Connection: Gardening and all it entails requires teamwork among family members, strengthening bonds over shared work and time spent together.
  • Climate: Home gardens can have a zero carbon footprint because their leafy plants absorb carbon dioxide.
  • Diet: Studies show that children increase their fruit and vegetable intake after their parents began growing food at home.
  • Safety: Foodborne bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella are frequently found on industrially-grown produce. Homegrown produce is free of these potentially-deadly illnesses.Budget: A recent study has shown that an average family spending $70 a year to maintain a home garden can grown roughly $600 worth of fruits and vegetables.

Click here to read the full article, with links to further information on each of the benefits of homegrown foods.