Gardening and Sunshine, Just As The Doctor Ordered

by Susan
on 05 May 2017

When most people think of gardening, the think of the benefit of either beauty or future bounty. However, we challenge you to take a look at gardening from a different perspective. Gardening has some unique health benefits that it offers its enthusiasts including stress (or anxiety) release, exercise, antidepressant qualities, and even increased vitamin D. All of which have a variety of health benefits on their own. Today we are going to focus on one of those examples in particular… vitamin D. 

 

There Are Several Different Types of Vitamin D!

While vitamin D is found in a variety of sources, the most important come in two forms. The vitamin D that we intake the most is vitamin D2, which is from plants or fortified sources. The other vital form, vitamin D3, is created my our skin when it’s exposed to the sunlight. The main sources of naturally occurring vitamin D2 are fish, eggs, and mushrooms. Due to the limited amount of naturally occurring vitamin D2, it is often added to milk, orange juice, cereals or are taken as supplements. Some research suggests that vitamin D3 is more efficiently absorbed by the body, regardless of whether it was taken orally or sourced through our skin’s natural process. This factor, along with the limited resources for naturally occurring vitamin D2, logically makes vitamin D the “better” choice.

 

Why Vitamin D Is Important

Vitamin D plays a couple roles in the human body. It’s most notorious role is assisting the boy in absorbing calcium, which is why a majority of store-bought milk is fortified with vitamin D. Calcium is also a vital for healthy body functions, as it improves bone health and decreases the risk of fractures. According to a study in the United States National Library of Medicine1, vitamin D may also protect the human body from heart disease, hypertension, obesity, diabetes (type 2), depression, Parkinson’s disease and a variety of cancers. 

In fact, there is even a condition known as vitamin D deficiency. This condition is due to inadequate exposure to vitamin D either consumed or sourced from sunlight. However, for most patients, it’s inadequate exposure to natural sunlight. One of the common consequences of vitamin D deficiency is osteoporosis and muscle weakness. 

 

Where Does Gardening Come Into the Picture?

The typical person doesn’t get the amount to sunshine they should each day, this is why many Canadians take vitamin D supplements or consciously purchase fortified products. However, there’s an easier (and much more efficient) way to get your daily dose of vitamin D (at least during the warmer months)… by spending some time in the sun! What’s an easy way that anyone can do this? Gardening! No to mention that gardening has a variety of other added benefits. For many Canadians, exercise and active sports may not be a  realistic option for getting out in the sun. However, gardening offers these people the opportunity to absorb a little vitamin C while enjoying the great outdoors. 

 

Gardening truly does offer participants so much fruit for their labor, both physically and metaphorically! It gives people the opportunity to not just experience the outdoors, but to be an active part of cultivating the natural beauty around them. If you are interested in learning more about gardening or to discover where you can purchase Pefferlaw Peat and Delicious Dirt’s organic products, please feel free to contact us today.

 

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