The old saying, “you are what you eat” is truer today than ever before. Food has evolved since our grandparents were making meals, and not for the better. Today, convenience foods are filled with added sugars, unhealthy fats, additives, antibiotics, and pesticides. While it is easy to turn a blind eye, these foods are damaging our bodies and setting the stage for disease every time we eat them.
Food is directly linked to the major commonality between diabetes and all other chronic diseases, and that commonality is inflammation.
Foods that stress and damage your body force your immune system to send the cavalry to defend and repair you. Your defense system is inflammation, but when it happens with every bite, you end up sick.
Your diet can add to the runaway train of damage in your body, or it can help to cool it down and reverse disease. Controlling what goes into your body has many challenges, and finding quality food at the store can be difficult and expensive. When my patients get serious about kicking diabetes for good, one of the most effective changes they make happens in their yard. Even apartment-dwellers find creative ways to add personal gardens to their window sills and walls. This commitment comes from an understanding that growing highly nutritious and chemical-free food gives their bodies the extra boost to stop disease in its tracks and reverse the damage that has been done. These are my top 3 reasons why everyone committed to reversing diabetes should dig deep into themselves and their soil.
1. Outdo Yourself with Organic
Commercial pesticides are linked to every chronic disease, and they are known to cause insulin resistance and interrupt other related hormones. Pesticides kill pests–even the ones you want. That’s right, you have a community of microbes living in your gut that are working hard to keep you healthy. You owe them the same respect, but pesticides are knocking them out and leaving you sick. By planting your own garden, you can use healthy growing practices, reduce chemical exposure, and power up your healing.
2. Nicer Nutrients
The apple you pay $2 for today has half of the vitamins and minerals that your grandmother’s 10¢ apple had.
Not only have farming practices knocked out the nutrients in the soil that should pass into your food, but also much of the produce you buy today is held for weeks or months before it gets to the shelves. This means you are getting a tired and depleted product. Think of it another way: You must eat double the calories to get the same nutrients your grandparents did. By planting your own garden, you can enrich your soil with compost, grow nutrient-dense produce, and eat it fresh!
3. Conserve Some Cash
Eating well is spendy. There is no doubt about that. Organic produce is often double or more the price of conventional foods. Not only can organic food hit your wallet hard, but also many areas throughout the country don’t carry organics at all. The best part about growing your own food is getting to choose your favorite veggies and fruits and grow them at a fraction of the price.
If you don’t know how to get started, spend a little time online looking for beginner tips and ideas for growing gardens in small spaces. Get your family, friends, and neighbors involved, which will mean more variety and more motivation!