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Gardening Is A Great Way To Get Older Folks To Eat Their Vegetables

May 10, 2011 by  

Gardening is a great way to get older folks to eat their vegetablesIn addition to being great exercise and promoting a sustainable lifestyle, gardening may also encourage vegetable consumption, according to researchers at Texas A&M University and Texas State University.

In an online survey of people aged 50 and up, it was revealed that those who gardened regularly ate more vegetables, regardless of how much time they spent with their hands in the dirt or what varieties of produce they grew.

Moreover, the participants who attained their daily intake of fresh produce were not necessarily lifelong gardeners.

“This suggests that gardening intervention programs late in life would be an effective method of boosting vegetable and fruit consumption in older adults,” said co-author Tina Waliczek.

The findings also imply that a person can gain the benefits of gardening even if he or she is restricted in mobility.

The team of scientists conducted the research in light of findings that many older Americans are not getting adequate nutrition, in part due to a lack of fresh fruits and vegetables in their diets.

The researchers used self-reported data of more than 260 participants to reach their conclusions.

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  • SS McDonald

    Cilantro, tomato, collards, kale & greens
    Hot pepper, Green pepper, green & lima beans
    cantelope, onion, broccoli, & garlic.
    cucumber, corn, mint, & blueberries
    zuccini, squash, grapes, & lemon leaf.
    loquats, kumquats, lime & Tangelo
    Mango, grapefruit, plus avocado.
    Whew, that’s a load of groceries.
    I may put this to music!

    • Tom

      I believe that song has already been written:

      … Broccoli! Celery! Gotta be
      Lima beans! Collard greens! Peachy keen!
      VeggieTales! …
      Cauliflower! Sweet and sour! Half and hour!
      VeggieTales! …

    • EddieW

      BUT….now they have made it against the law to share some of our garden spoils with others!! They demand that they continue eating monsanto garbage…fresh food won’t help make them sick, they of no help making big Pharma richer, and population control!!
      Amazing! Diabetes cure stopped by FDA…Big Pharma would lose money if a cure is found..Diabetes is big money!!

  • DanB

    Now if I just had a little land. Sure, I have a little over a decade before I fall into their study age group, but perhaps some of us younger generations could benefit too. The only trouble is that since getting married I have not lived in any one place more than two years and it looks like we’ll be repeating that this year as we hope to get pregnant and exceed what we are lawfully allowed for our current apartment.

    • Granny10

      It isn’t important to have a lot of land to raise your own food. If you have a yard, instead of grass, put in fruit trees, rhubarb, strawberries, other things like blackberries, asparagus. No yard? Use old buckets, pots, whatever … to plant in. Don’t give up on growing your own food. especially with the new e-coli bacteria that is making the news, the GMO foods that the government said doesn’t need to be labeled. use heritage/heirloom seeds, so you can save your seeds for the next harvest. Hybrids don’t save “true”.

  • Tom

    Probably another backwards study…

    Perhaps, just perhaps, instead of people aged 50+ are eating more vegetables because they are gardening… I suspect the cause-and-effect could very well be reversed:

    They are gardening BECAUSE they want to have more fresh & nutritious vegetables.

    • kodster5

      AND because they are aware of the coming hard times, since those 50+ are next-generation Great Depression babies. Their parents lived through the first Great Depression, and the stories resonate in their memories. I’m in my early 50s, and both my parents were born in the early 1920s, so they were in their teens during the depression years. If it wasn’t for them, I would have never learned how to garden, how to be self-sustaining, and frugal, because they passed it on to me. For my own children’s generation, they’ve not been exposed to those situations, so they’re not prepared for it. However, my own two girls were exposed to it, because my ex-b/f (who helped raise them) and I had our own vegetable garden, and grew our own food, and I was always making things from our produce, and sewing, knitting, crocheting, etc. So, they’ve learned to adapt as well. But with busy family life, and both parents working? Who has time to teach their children these things?

    • independant thinker

      I am definately 50+ and I garden because you cannot get anything in the store that is half as good as what I grow. The benefits of the exercise and eating more fruit and vegetables is a bonus. I suppose it helps that I grew up helping my father in the garden and my grandfather was a farmer.

  • CJM

    A better way is to decrease the cost of groceries so the senior citizens can afford the veggies…that would be a boon to families as well. Guess the solution is too easy because I can’t see that happening at all. And by the way, the average senior qualifies for $14 in food stamps because, by the government’s reckoning, the income is too high (Income: $900). Think medical costs play a part in qualifying? Think again.

  • KarenF

    I do not mind giving my age. I will be 60 this year. I began doing a garden when my husband retired from the military with only enough money to pay the mortgage. I got laid off after Clinton cut the military budget. We were told that we were making too much money with my husband’s retirement so we got no assistance at all. We were taking food out of garbage cans and what ever the food vendors wanted to throw out at the flee market.
    I got odd jobs and did what it took to get money enough in to pay other bills.
    I got a degree in 2006 but people look at my age. So I still do not work but do a garden every year to help. I do babysit my grandchildren and they enjoy helping me with my garden.


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