Much to the surprise of many people, gardening can improve the quality of life for people with diabetes in a number of ways. Here are the four standout reasons why we believe it would be a great move for people with diabetes to become green thumb advocates.
Vitamin D and Diabetes
According to recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, there could be good reasons to believe that a lack of vitamin D could increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. It should be noted that the study did not find conclusive evidence that vitamin D deficiency was the actual cause of diabetes development but they did find some level of association among those who participated. Regardless of how much of an impact vitamin D has, there are still other great benefits that one could obtain by doing some outdoor gardening. The vitamin D that comes from natural sunlight promotes a number of important health benefits such as bone and muscle maintenance. Even if it is not from gardening, you should always look to spend some time doing outdoor activities!
Exercise and Diabetes
Gardening could definitely be a stress-free way of getting your daily workout. This report found that gardening work could burn 250 – 500 calories per hour. This means 3 hours of gardening could equal the intensity of a one-hour gym session. The gym is not made for everybody but exercise is extremely important for diabetes prevention and care. The good thing about gardening is the fact that you can easily scale out the intensity of the overall session. For example, if you are aware that you could suffer from a condition like hypoglycemia then you could start off small and slowly work your way up to a comfortable-enough level. Gardening activities such as soil tilling and even some minor plant maintenance could provide valuable exercise opportunities for people with diabetes.
Reducing Stress Levels
Gardening could be a very effective way of reducing stress levels. The study found that those who participated in 30 minutes of outdoor gardening saw a notable drop in the level of cortisol, which is a stress hormone. As someone who does gardening on a daily basis, there is nothing as soothing as watching your plants grow and mature. Gardening requires a minor level of effort but the final rewards are astounding. Gardening could also provide great social opportunities, which could be an indirect cause of reducing stress levels. Connect with your local gardening communities and start getting the feel good factor of gardening.
Super Foods for Diabetes
The last benefit speaks for itself. Gardening gives you the opportunity to grow your own vegetables and fruits, especially ones that are known to be non-starchy. These days, it’s not so easy to trust where and what goes into supermarket goods so why not grow things on your own? Follow organic gardening principles and you won’t have to worry about ingesting unwanted chemicals.
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