It pays to be health conscious. These days, they’re getting addicted to a diet that includes homegrown vegetables and fresh fruit. There are a lot of benefits you receive from re-tooling your diet to include these, but you also get to help other people.

Not everyone will eat each vegetable they’re offered in a farmer’s market. However, you should start eating more of them and learn to love them. Here’s why.

Onions against Cancer (Lung and Prostate gland)

For people who love onions, this is good news. Onions are a good source of phytochemicals that significantly brings down the risk of lung and prostate cancer; that is, if you eat it raw, or at least, don’t cook it at high heat. It also makes for a fun dip—mixing it with tomatoes, avocado, and jalapeño peppers creates a health-friendly salsa dip to go along with your favorite chips.

Kale, White Bean against General Sickness

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Ever find yourself catching cold easily? Try some Kale and prepare White Bean in a soup or otherwise. These give you Vitamin K and Lutein, good for your blood and eyes, respectively. You also receive the added benefit of Vitamin C—you can eat it along other Vitamin C-rich food to create an effective barrier against sickness and other health problems involving the skin and, more importantly, your heart.

Peas against Cancer (Stomach)

The next time you think of spitting out that green pea in your mouth, think again. In a study done by the International Journal of Cancer, the daily consumption of green peas—along with other legumes, of course—significantly lowered people’s chances of contracting stomach cancer. Along with that, green peas are also a good ingredient to put in most soups and dishes.

Tomatoes against High Blood pressure

Tomatoes are mostly everyone’s favorite food and a main ingredient of ketchup. That being said, the red food that’s also a main ingredient in making Bloody Marys is a good source of Vitamin A. All those Vitamin A will do wonders for your vision, as well as give you a healthy immune system and a big boost to your reproduction. It’s also a good source of Vitamin C.

against Cancer-causing Oxidants

You’ve probably heard of anti-oxidants and cancer-causing free radicals. The former fights the latter, and the latter helps cancer cells multiply. Brussels sprouts—usually something people cringe at when thinking of eating—help a great deal in fighting off the Big C. It is also a good source of Vitamin C and helps fight against heart diseases—quite a resume for a leafy green.

Now that you’ve seen the benefits of these vegetables, it would be good to get into the habit of eating more of them and shirking away from avoiding them. It’s for your health and prolonging your life naturally, after all.

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Going Au Naturelle: Planting the Seeds of your First Organic Garden

What’s better than eating healthy food? That’s eating healthy food you’ve grown. City folks have it all wrong, so says our rural brothers. Whereas we’re planning gardens and having those landscaped, rural folks know how to landscape them and plan them to live. They have gardens where they grow farm produce instead of plants only […]

What’s better than eating healthy food? That’s eating healthy food you’ve grown.

City folks have it all wrong, so says our rural brothers. Whereas we’re planning gardens and having those landscaped, rural folks know how to landscape them and plan them to live. They have gardens where they grow farm produce instead of plants only used for decoration and looking pretty.

That’s the start of farm life for you. If you want to experience it even in the urban life you have, then you should try these tips out.

Prepare to Get Dirty

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Gardening is dirt; gardening is when you get your hands dirty. It’s when you dig deep into the soil. You should pay attention to the soil, as it is what you use to grow your plants. It should be healthy and rich with nutrients in order to get the most out of your crops. You should also avoid using chemical products on it; it takes away from the idea of the organic nature of things.

Create your own Fertilizer

If you’re not encouraged to use your own fertilizer, you’re going to have to create your own. One way of doing this is by composting. It’s a term most commonly heard from people who cultivate their own food and is usually a good way of keeping your soil healthy. When you create compost, you also help the environment; it’s usually made of left-over food, dead leaves, and organic garbage, so you get to recycle instead of throwing stuff away.

Crop Rotation

Crop rotation is a way of preserving or bringing back the health of your soil. Most local farmers use it to keep their soil’s nutrients replenished. It’s a simple chore; you usually plant something else instead of the crop that was harvested. When you’ve previously planted beets, the next time, you plant something like beans instead of the same crop. It keeps nutrients and refreshes the soil.

Combine Organic soil with Mulch

If you’re new to gardening, you’re going to have to invest in mulch and organic soil. Compost is what makes up the majority of organic soil; meanwhile, mulch is created by mixing organic soil with dead husks and straw without weed. This will help with two things—one, it prevents weed from sprouting, and two, it prevents fungi from the soil from transferring to your plants.

Keep your Garden Clean

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Cleaning your garden isn’t only for aesthetic purposes; it’s to remove plants that are long dead and use the soil for other plants. Always remember to dig up the soil too. You never know whether a diseased root or fungal matter is building up under all that dirt.

Remember to love your plants and always visit your garden! This way, you’ll be able to root out problems among your crops before they even start.

Organic Love: Shopping your Way to an Organic Lifestyle

Have you ever wondered why simpler lifestyles in the country or a rural setting has supported—or spawned—longer lives and healthier people? It’s because they live off the land and have better lives than us, despite the urban setting having statistically the best chance at modest living and because they usually have lesser problems stemming from […]

Have you ever wondered why simpler lifestyles in the country or a rural setting has supported—or spawned—longer lives and healthier people? It’s because they live off the land and have better lives than us, despite the urban setting having statistically the best chance at modest living and because they usually have lesser problems stemming from the modern life to think about.

Another added asset is they probably ate off the land too. Vegetables, leafy greens, and produce—animals and dairy—off the land is what they had. Here’s how you could emulate them too.

Local Staples

The best organic replacements for processed food come from your local farmers or, better yet, your own backyard. If you can’t afford the time to grow or cultivate your own food, you can start by buying local produce like free range eggs or chicken meat as well as farm-grown vegetables and fresh fruit. It’s a form of supporting farmers as well as creating a better diet for your body.

The Fine Print

The problem sometimes with people buying products is that they rarely read the labels—particularly the ingredients. Most of the products you buy on store shelves are made to last through the use of chemicals. If you’re shifting to organics, you should learn to read labels. Have someone with you that can read or have your reading glasses with you. If you probably don’t know some of the ingredients, then it’s not organic.

Weekend Market search

Most local farms sell their wares in weekend markets. These are often out of the way and mostly set-up in the outskirts. If you’re searching for organic food, though, your best bet in buying one would be to drive up to these markets. You shouldn’t mind the extra mile if you want your fill of locally-grown food; it’s your way of supporting these farmers and their lives, after all.

Talk to your Local Farmers

Farmers are anyone who grows or takes care of food that goes to your table. If you’ve got farmers living locally, you should go out of your way and talk to them. More often than not, they’re in weekend markets and, sometimes, have stores where they sell their wares near you. If not, their products might be at the shelves of your favorite store. You’ll never know until you manage to talk to them.

Cultivate your Own

It might require a lot of time on your part, but you should start growing something—anything—in your backyard. This is helpful if your work is particularly stressful. The joy of growing something, coupled with the thrill of harvesting your own food, can be a source of relaxation for most people.

There are different ways how you can start an organic lifestyle. In the process, you’re helping people; your local farmer is a prime example. You’ll also learn a lot about plants if you plan to grow your own garden. Either way, going organic gives you the benefits of a healthier life.

There once was a time when organic gardening got you labeled as someone who loved the environment too much or someone who was too health conscious. Being one of those two became a trend these days and everybody wanted to try out creating their own organic garden. Now, you can too, and reap the benefits of using your gardening soil for something better.

Before you start looking for the easiest crops to start growing, however, you need to understand how to start one properly.

Make the Soil your Target

One of the first mistakes of people who aim to own a garden—organic or otherwise—is paying too much attention on the plant. They begin buying plants without realizing that the soil needs checking or has to be healthy. The plants are fine; they can grow in the soil only if you make the soil healthier to support life. It is important for the soil to be checked first for nutrients.

Add in Compost

Compost is material made from mixing soil with organic waste. This means leftover fruits and vegetables that had gone to spoil are good stuff to mix into compost. There can be other stuff, but these are first and foremost what gardeners should go after. If you want to create a healthy mix of compost, the clue is to mix in dead stuff from plants.

The Right Plants to…plant

Creating a garden isn’t just picking plants and planting them into the soil. You soil can be healthy all you want, but if you plant something that doesn’t simply like the weather conditions in your area, it won’t grow no matter how green your thumb is. Remember to plant accordingly; some vegetables thrive in colder conditions while some like warmer climates. This leads to a high yield.

Choose to go completely Organic

If you start a garden, you’re going to be relying heavily on pesticides and plant ‘food’ that have been mixed in with chemicals. The very same plants in your garden that grow in the wild don’t need to rely on that kind of stuff. You should remember that, in organic gardening, it’s either you go completely organic or you don’t start a garden at all.

Choose your Vegetables

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The final—and most important—part of organic gardening is to choose which vegetables or plant-bearing plants you’ll cultivate. You may choose carrots, squash, tomatoes, and cucumbers. But just like growing them according to weather, you grow them according to the appetite your family has. Whatever your diet, though, there’s a different kind of rush eating food you’ve grown yourself.

We are all a product of what we eat and, if we eat what we’ve grown with love, then we’re all the better for it. Consider starting an organic garden to experience a different kind of accomplishment.

There are many reasons to support small town farmer markets. There are the benefits you get from eating vegetables; the support you’re giving these farmers and their families; and the different options available to buy which doesn’t include a single drop of man-made stuff. However, you do have to drive all the way out of town to buy some.

Here are a few more benefits you receive from buying from these small farmer markets, if you are still looking for a reason why you should buy from them.

Reason 1: True Flavors

Looking for something tasty and fresh? They don’t come any fresher than they do in farmer’s markets. Here, you get your pick of freshly-plucked fruit as well as newly-dug up or picked vegetables. They will look good as salads or ingredients and will taste nicely as a shake or as fruit juice. If you’re looking for healthy options with good taste, go organic and support small town markets.

Reason 2: Organically Grown

Gardeners and home-farm advocates usually take a page out of these small-scale farmers; most of their fertilizers are organically-made. When you go to a small town farmer’s market and you see a product labeled ‘organically grown’, you can be sure they’re saying the truth. The freshness of the fruit is likely a by-product of the naturally-sown seed, which is grown and produced with very little to no chemicals involved.

Reason 3: Naturally Ripe

Sometimes, mass production food is ripened out of their season for max profit. Using chemicals, these fruits and vegetables are grown forcefully. Farmer’s markets don’t feature produce like those in big commercial stores; instead, what they have are seasonally-grown fruits and crops. While these may be limited because of the way they are grown, you can be sure they’re naturally fresh.

Reason 4: Rare Finds

Being a natural market, you usually find great vegetables and food sold in farmer’s markets you don’t usually find anywhere. Examples of these are red carrots and purple cauliflowers. These are naturally-grown; they aren’t your chemically-grown variety. There are a lot of these that are normally sold there and they also are great if you want to mix up your diet.

Reason 5: Very Affordable

The best reason to go to these markets, perhaps, is the price you get for the produce you buy. Usually, these vegetables aren’t that costly and they also are healthy. What better combination can you ask for?

Taking the extra mile in going to these weekend farmer’s markets gets you the best of what nature has to offer. You get two-fold benefits here, by the way; aside from the support to families, you also get to support your health.

As the saying goes, ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away.’ Health advocates will always tell you to get in your required vegetables and fruits for the day. The problem is when you simply cannot because the grocer that sells it is simply out of the way.

There are a lot of alternatives, sure, but it’s better if you grow these fruits and vegetables on your own. If not, here’s what you can do to get your fill.

Farmer’s Markets

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Farmer’s markets are your best bet at getting fresh vegetables and fruits as if you’ve picked them from the tree. Aside from that, you’re also getting the benefit of helping a farmer’s family have food on their table. The prices are also significantly lower as well as healthier.

Ask your Friends

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There are a lot of times your friends are good for asking something; this might be one of them. If you have no idea where to buy cheaper and fresher vegetables, ask your friends, they might know something that you don’t.

Be a Farmer

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Designed by Freepik

Sometimes, the richer small farming communities have a scheme where you can volunteer your time and help in the harvest. Instead of asking for pay or anything, you can alternatively ask them if they’d pay you in produce. This is one way you can get your vegetables and fruits for free.

Start your own Home Farm

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Designed by Freepik

Even better, you can start your own organic garden! The small home farm craze is currently beginning to sweep the nation. It’s also a better alternative to creating gardens that are purely ornamental. Consult a book or read sources from the Internet to know how to properly start your home farm.

There are still a lot of ideas or places where you can get your fill of fresh fruit and vegetables. If you haven’t started yet, there’s no better time than now to get initiated on eating healthy.

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