The Fresh Focus team consists of registered dietitian nutritionists from the Marion VA Health Care System. This episode is hosted by Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Loran Morris and features guest appearances from her grandparents. Their message for this post? Give gardening a try.

Listen in as Marion VA registered dietitian nutritionist Loran shares her experience with growing colorful produce at home.

How many plants are we eating on a routine basis? How many colorful varieties of fruits and vegetables are we consuming on a daily basis? Eating a diet rich in vegetables and whole fruits has countless health benefits. These plants are packed with vitamins and minerals that our bodies need on a daily basis.

The more color you eat, the better. Each color of vegetable represents a different phytonutrient. A phytonutrient is a broad term for compounds that are produced in plants that are beneficial for our health.

Eat a rainbow

It is so beneficial to literally eat the rainbow of colors and, in terms of gardening, to grow a rainbow of produce.

  • Red: The red color of tomatoes, strawberries and beets is called lycopene, and it protects your body against free radicals, which can ultimately help prevent cancer, heart disease and lung disease.
  • Blues and purples: Blueberries and blackberries contain anthocyanins, which slow aging and help with heart health.
  • Green: Lutein, which is found in greens, can help prevent macular degeneration.
  • Whites: Allicin, which is found in white plants like onion and cauliflower, has anti-tumor properties.

If you have ever considered whether gardening is something you could give a try, you might just find the more you grow the healthier you eat.

Health and food savings

Gardening can provide your family with healthful and cost saving food options. You don’t need to be an expert gardener or have any experience to start.

First, think about why you want to garden. Knowing the “why” you want to start will help you stick with your plan in the long run. As you experiment with your first gardening season, don’t be discouraged if you have some mishaps.

Remember that gardening is a learning experience and will take time to master. The more experience you gain, the better gardener you will be.

Listen in to Fresh Focus episode 37 where Marion VA Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Loran shares her experience with growing colorful produce at home.

By Loran Morris is a VA registered dietitian nutritionist

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Published on Oct. 23, 2021

Estimated reading time is 2 min.

Views to date: 359

One Comment

  1. Nannette October 27, 2021 at 12:09 pm

    Great info, timing no so much. This would have been better provided in early Spring- Summer, since it is talking about Summer eats, food nutrition gardening. Growing season is now coming to an end. We had our first frost the day before this was published!

    These pod cast have excellent content on nutrition, diet, healthy lifestyle topics, but hardly any vets are aware of their existence.

    Having topics or links attached to Myhealthevet homepage n not buried back under several tabs to get to it would help. My email is so bogged down it’s hard to find these resources, rich with information on how to get healthier by gaining knowledge n practice of eating nutrition dense foods and foods to stay away from, even though I am on virtual appointments with providers at the VA at least 2xs a month including nutrition, mental health, women’s health, etc. In fact, they have made no mention of these available pod casts as an available resource through Whole Health agenda at their facilities.

    Even having these pod casts running on screens near the pharmacy, cafe area, several waiting room areas would be nice n help veterans access this information and empower them to utilize this information to improve their health and longevity through healthy lifestyle changes instead of relying on medications and invasive procedures to avoid , improve, treat or diminish chronic medical conditions.. ( because quite frankly I have been down that medication route with military medicine since I was 18, now 56, and it only causes problems elsewhere).

    I’d love to see every VA provider team promoting and offering access to Lifestyle Medicine /Whole Health Agenda on intake, just like they do with safety, food insecurity, and immunizations.

    Just a thought,
    Nannette Sander

    Thank you

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