Ok, so planting season’s over but it’s always a good time to eat superfoods! Today’s guest blogger, Kimberley Laws, lists 7 super healthy foods, loaded with nutritional value, for us to invest in at the supermarket, and plan on planting for next year.
Everything is better when it is preceded by the word “super.” Superhero, supermarket, super lotto—they are all far superior to their not-so-super counterparts. Why spend your time and effort growing ordinary food when you can, instead, populate your backyard garden with the healthiest foods on earth—superfoods?
Here are a few easy-to-grow foods that pack a mean nutritional punch.
Every gardener who has ever experimented with mint knows that this hardy herb is impossible to kill. A resilient perennial that requires little attention, mint has been known to reduce inflammations, improve respiratory problems, and set testy digestive systems straight—not to mention its power to eliminate a near-toxic dose of bad breath.
2. Swiss chard
This sun-loving leafy vegetable can be grown in your garden or in a container indoors. Just remember to harvest the leaves from the outside, so that the plant can continue producing new ones in the middle. Swiss chard is a master of magnesium—a nutrient that fights depression and boosts energy levels. It is also full of vitamins A, C, and K. Anyone who loves spinach or beet tops will likely add Swiss chard to their list of favorites.
Whether you opt to harvest baby carrots after just thirty days or you choose to let them mature to maximum capacity, these Bugs Bunny favorites are as healthy as they are crunchy. They contain carotenoids that protect your eyesight, antioxidants that fight against cancer, and a wallop of potassium and vitamin A. And they can be enjoyed raw or cooked, making them one versatile vegetable.
A fast-growing herb that thrives in lightly watered soil, oregano can be planted in your garden or a large pot. The potted varieties can be brought indoors, giving you access to this fresh flavorful herb all year round. But oregano packs more than just a pleasant taste. It can be used to treat a cold or flu, fix a finicky digestive system, and thwart exhaustion and depression. Its leaves also possess a myriad of healing benefits including anti-bacterial and anti-septic properties.
5. Cherry Tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes may be small, but their health benefits are huge. And they are extremely easy to grow, especially if you opt for the container method. Simply pop the plant into a large pot, ensure that the dirt covers the first row of leaves, place it in a sunny spot, add some water and you’re done. Tomatoes contain lycopene, a nutrient that fights depression, cancer, and artery damage. They are also full of beta-carotene, vitamin C, and potassium.
A fairly self-sufficient plant, parsley is unique among herbs in that it often plays the starring role in many dishes such as tabouleh. If you will be using it as a vegetable and not as a spice, you will want to plant about 30 seeds and keep adding more as you use plants up. The plants that aren’t finished at the end of the season can be brought inside in pots or allowed to go to seed, ensuring that you will have a crop the following year. Parsley is an excellent source of vitamin C, and iron.
Spinach is a tough plant that will thrive in even the wettest of summers. It can be eaten raw in salads or cooked, but if you prefer the cooked variety, be sure to be generous when seeding. Spinach is an excellent source of calcium, iron, folic acid, lutein, vitamins A, B, C and K, making it a great ally in the fight against cancers, anemia, dementia, heart disease, loss of sight, bone disease, and sun-related skin damage.
With just a few seeds, some dirt, and a little bit of love, you can transform your backyard into your very own farmer’s market—filled with tasty foods that will keep your family healthy for years to come. So, get planting.
What superfoods do you grow at home?
About the Author
Kimberley Laws is a freelance writer and avid blogger who regularly battles to keep her mint at bay. She writes on a variety of subjects including gardening, online reputations, and payroll services for small business.