Have you ever wondered if homegrown vegetable are more nutritious than the ones you buy at the supermarket?
Would their health benefits really justify spending time in the vegetable garden?
In this article I will cover all these aspects and more.
Lets dig in!
In this article I will discuss:
The reasons to grow your own vegetables
In another article I’ve discussed the reasons, in general, of why you should grow your own vegetables.
As we’ve seen, there are a whole range of reasons ranging from the choice between spending more time outdoors, to the convenience of having fresh vegetables on hand.
I want to spend more time, though, on the nutritional aspects of homegrown vegetables.
Are they more nutritious?
Except for the 18 great reasons to grow your own vegetables, is the nutrition advantage worth the work in the vegetable garden?
Just keep on reading and find out!
4 Reasons homegrown vegetables are more nutritious
The nutritional value of vegetables obviously depend on how they are cared for.
In this article, we work on the assumption that the homegrown vegetables are looked after well, nothing extreme, as they would be by an average person.
Better control over soil and plant health
I’ve touched on this aspect in this article about the reasons to grow your own vegetables.
When you grow your own vegetables, you can be more precise in controlling nutrients in the soil and the plant itself.
We all know about nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K), the three major nutrients in plant nutrition.
But there are SO many other nutrients, including micro-minerals, that play very important roles as well.
To manage these nutrients more precisely on a smaller scale is much easier compared to large commercial scale farms.
It is, therefore, only logical that, with a little effort, you as a gardener can grow more nutritious vegetables than larger scale farms.
By no means do I say commercially grown vegetables aren’t nutritious. There are very precise methods of applying fertilizer and other nutrients.
However, when you give personal attention to a few vegetables plants, you can be more precise with both plant nutrients as well as soil health management, and also be quicker at picking up on nutrient deficiencies in plants.
The choice of more varieties
Different varieties of any given vegetable specie has different nutritional values.
On large scale commercial farms, the varieties that are cultivated are the ones selected for traits that make large scale production and transport easier.
Because there are certain criteria, many varieties aren’t produced on that larger scale farms.
In your own vegetable garden, though, you can choose what varieties to cultivate.
You therefore have the option to grow even the more nutritional varieties that would otherwise not be grown on a commercial farm.
Fresher vegetables are more nutritious
This is especially true for leafy greens.
When these types of vegetables are picked and not consumed fresh, there’s a possibility that wilting can occur.
Some nutrients, like Vitamin C, are also prone to breaking down on it’s journey from a farm to your kitchen.
Homegrown vegetables are picked in season
According to this article by Harvard Medical School, freshly picked vegetables that ripened in the garden has more nutrients than some vegetables that you buy from shops that has been picked early.
When you grow your own vegetables, you have all the control over when they are picked.
You can also monitor the vegetables more precisely to see when the perfect time comes to pick them.
This becomes more important when you love to eat your veggies raw.
There are almost countless reasons for you to grow your own vegetables.
The advantages are plentiful, especially when it comes to your health.
And like I said in this article, you don’t need to start off big.
So pick some seeds, do some research on those types of vegetables, and give it a try.
Once you enjoy the first vegetable you’ve grown, you’ll never look back.