7 Healthy Foods You Can Grow in Your Family Garden. Nothing is more fulfilling than growing your own vegetables and fruits in your backyard and harvesting them at the peak of freshness. After all, homegrown veggies taste better, and they are healthier than the ones purchased in grocery stores. And that is because the fruits and veggies at the store are not fresh and were harvested before ripening. Therefore, their nutritional value is a bit lower than the fresh ones from your garden.
Furthermore, these veggies and fruits have been transported from certain parts of the globe or the country, resulting in carbon emission. Therefore, if being self-sufficient is your main goal, planting your crops can help reduce your carbon footprint. But choosing the healthiest plants to grow in your garden can be quite challenging, especially with the numerous options available. So here are 7 healthy foods you can grow in your family garden:
Blueberries are superfoods that are packed with phytoflavinoids and antioxidants. Blueberries are also rich in vitamin C and fiber. And thanks to the high level of anthocyanins in these berries, they can help improve your cognitive function. Blueberries can enhance learning and memory function in older individuals. Blueberries can also reduce the risk of different types of cancer and heart attack.
So make sure you select the right type of blueberries that thrive in your region. EcoPeanut states that blueberries thrive in well-aerated, moist soil that is highly acidic. Therefore, you should do a soil test before planting some blueberries in your garden.
We all know that greens are highly nutritious and healthy for our bodies, and kale is one of the most highly nutritious veggies available. Kale is one of the best vegetables for absorbing free radicals that are associated with rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes. Kale is rich in vitamin K and A, calcium, and iron. A serving of kale has more iron than 0.0625 pounds of beef.
Kale is one of the most versatile veggies on the planet that can be braised, incorporated in your favorite meal, or added to your morning smoothie. And the good thing about kale is that growing it can be quite easy. All you have to do is sow its seeds in spring or early summer and water it regularly. You can start enjoying your leaves within three months of sowing its seeds. Kales can thrive in sunny areas and also under shade which makes it an easy option to grow in your family garden.
Quinoa is a highly nutritious grain that is high in protein, potassium, iron, and fiber. Quinoa has the highest amount of protein of any grain on the planet. A half a cup of this grain contains 6 grams of fiber and 14 grams of protein. Quinoa may resemble other grains, but it tastes differently. This grain has a fluffy texture and a mild nutty flavor. And the good thing about this grain is that it can be incorporated into several recipes. You can make muffins, burgers, salads, and pancakes using quinoa.
Even though it comes from South America, you can plant this grain in your backyard. The best time to plant these grains in North America is between late April and May.
4) Goji Berries
Goji berries have been part of Chinese medicine for centuries. And that is because they contain antioxidants that can reduce the risk of cancer and heart diseases and improve your health. These berries also contain selenium, iron, and vitamins B2, A, and C. Goji berries are also rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants that can improve the health of your skin and eyes.
Goji berries are consumed dried just like raisins, and they have a unique sour-sweet flavor profile. Goji berries can be easily grown in containers, and supporting them with a fence can be quite helpful.
Beet is a highly nutritious food that is ranked among veggies with high sugar content, and if consumed in small amounts, it can provide numerous health benefits. Beets can help boost your immunity, prevent cancer, fight inflammation, and lower blood pressure. Beet is rich in fiber, vitamin C, and numerous essential minerals like potassium and manganese.
This healthy veggie has been seen on salads for decades. Beets are planted for their edible leaves and taproots. Beet’s leaves are rich in vitamin B6, A, and C, copper, magnesium, zinc, fiber, and protein. The beets’ leaves can help boost your immunity, protect you against Alzheimer’s disease and help you fight off osteoporosis. Beets thrive in soil with temperatures ranging from 60°C to 65 °C. Make sure you sow the seeds about half an inch deep in places where they are protected from the wind.
6) Sweet Potatoes
These tuberous roots were the main source of nourishment for soldiers in the revolutionary war. Sweet potatoes are highly nutritious tuberous roots that come packed with calcium, potassium, and vitamins A and C. Sweet potatoes are naturally tasty, and they can be baked, mashed, and even incorporated into your favorite meals. Sweet potatoes are a great substitution for white potatoes.
These tuberous roots are easy to plant, and they thrive in loamy soil with a pH ranging between 5.8 and 6.2. So make sure you do a soil test before introducing sweet potatoes in your garden. Sweet potatoes need proper aerations; therefore, they should be sowed about 12 inches apart. And for better produce, you should add some manure.
Pumpkins are considered to be one of the best sources of carotenoids. Half a cup of pumpkins can provide you with more than twice your daily recommended dose of alpha-carotene. Plus, with pumpkins, you can eat the seeds, flesh, and even their leaves. Pumpkin leaves have been consumed for centuries in numerous parts of the globe, including Africa and Asia. Pumpkin leaves are rich in magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, water, and vitamins A and K and are easily grown in your family garden.
So, you can plant this superfood in your garden and enjoy all its benefits. Plus, there are numerous varieties for you to choose from. If you have a small garden, you can try the Wee B little pumpkins. This small-sized variety of pumpkins has a semi-bush behavior; therefore, they occupy a small space in the garden.
Being self-sufficient means, you can maintain your family by growing healthy food in your family garden. It means you get to enjoy fresh and highly nutritious veggies every day that taste better than the ones sold in grocery stores. So instead of relying on the grocery store for your veggies and fruits, why don’t you plant these highly nutritious foods in your garden? Plus, before they mature, you can enjoy other advantages of growing them on your farm, including regular workouts and less stress.