Benefits of an Organic Home Garden for Cancer Patients
In an attempt to improve their nutrition – and consequently improve their overall health – lung cancer patients may consider planting a home garden.
The experience offers a number of benefits. Not only does it provide patients with a mentally stimulating hobby and a gentle form of exercise, but it also gives them easy access to fresh fruits and vegetables that can boost their diet during recovery.
Although store-bought fruits and vegetables are a healthy choice, homegrown vegetables can be even healthier. Patients can choose their own organic fertilizers to reduce the number of toxic pesticides that they consume.
Patients can also harvest the vegetables at the peak of their freshness, when the concentrations of cancer-fighting vitamins are the highest. Instead of buying vegetables that were picked weeks prior to hitting store shelves, patients can reach straight into their backyard to get the ingredients for dinner.
What Should Cancer Patients Plant in their Organic Home Garden?
Depending on the amount of space in their yard and the amount of time they can dedicate to the project, patients may consider a variety of plants for their home garden.
While all fresh fruits and vegetables provide cancer patients with vitamins and minerals that are essential to recovery, certain plants offer specific benefits to cancer patients. For instance, blueberries contain high quantities of antioxidants that may help escort cancer-causing free radicals out of the body, while mushrooms are excellent immunity boosters.
Other fruits and vegetables that are especially beneficial to cancer patients include:
- Carrots (rich in beta carotene, which may be effective for cancer patients wishing to prevent recurrent disease)
- Garlic (a natural antibiotic and immune system strengthener)
- Leafy greens such as kale or spinach (high in carotenoids, which may be effective at preventing cell growth for certain types of breast or lung cancer)
Patients may want to start with one or two small, easy-to-care-for plants to make sure they have enough energy to adequately tend to their garden. If their energy levels are high enough throughout treatment, they can easily add additional fruits or vegetables to their garden. The more produce on a patient’s plate, the better!
Author bio: Faith Franz researches and writes about health-related issues for The Mesothelioma Center. One of her focuses is living with cancer.
Source: American Institute for Cancer Research: (http://preventcancer.aicr.org/site/PageServer?pagename=foodsthatfightcancer_leafy_vegetables)
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