Do you want to beautify your indoor living spaces and purify your air without spending a ton of cash? The solution is simple: add a ficus or a forsythia to your life. Plants are glorious for improving your environment, mood and health for many reasons.
You don’t need a green thumb to reap the benefits. Some varieties, like succulents, thrive best with minimal care. Others provide many raw materials humans need to live — you could survive from foliage alone.
Are you ready to explore how a little more Mother Nature could enhance your life? Here are five reasons plants are good for your health.
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1. They Get You More Time in the Sun
Many modern humans don’t spend enough time in the sun. Our celestial neighbor and source of life is vital for multiple body processes. For example, spending time outdoors prompts your body to produce natural vitamin D, in actuality, a hormone that plays a crucial role in your immunity. It works so well that Dr. Anthony Fauci recommends it as one of two key nutrients for boosting your immune response during COVID-19.
In the winter, those above 37 degrees parallel don’t get enough sun to manufacture it by going outside and need to add a pill. However, you won’t need a supplement if you spend enough time outdoors in the summer.
Plants such as bird of paradise, peacock flower and ponytail palm thrive in direct sunlight, so consider planting them around your home’s periphery. You’ll have to venture outdoors to water and trim them, increasing your vitamin D production.
You’ll also get a psychological boost. Studies show that spending time in nature eases various mental disorder symptoms, decreasing anxiety and alleviating depression.
2. They Keep Your Body in Motion
Did you know that an hour of gardening can burn up to 300 calories, making it comparable to riding a recumbent bike at the gym? However, you don’t have to pay a monthly fee to sweat it up with strangers. Plants are good for your health because they keep your body in motion — although you might not notice that you’re working out.
Gardening can also be as mindful as practicing yoga. Lose yourself in the sensation of digging your hands into the rich, loamy earth. Let an earthworm squirm between your fingers before returning it to the soil to do its work of aerating your plants.
What if you live in an urban studio? Here are some ways to get active and nurture your health with plants, even if you don’t have much space:
- Use containers: If your apartment has a balcony or stoop, line it with containers. Some species, such as tomatoes and green beans, take naturally to such conditions. You can also select beautiful pottery to further enhance your environment.
- Join (or start) a community garden: Community gardens give you the farming experience in the city by assigning you a plot for an annual contribution. You’ll meet others who share your interest in growing things and have a convenient place to donate your countertop compost for a worthy cause.
3. They Supply Your Body With Magical Healing Nutrients
Have you heard about the many benefits of a plant-based diet? Nature’s gifts are naturally low in calories and chock-full of the stuff your body needs to function at its best.
For example, vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that strengthens your immunity and whisks damaging free radicals out of your body before they can damage your cells. You can find it in citrus fruits like the following, some of which might grow in your yard if you live in a warm location like California:
- Kiwi Fruit
However, the magic doesn’t stop there. Consider these other impressive healing substances you can find in many plants:
- Chlorophyll: Research suggests the stuff that makes plants green could help your body prevent DNA damage and cancer.
- Fiber: Many plants are high in filling fiber that nourishes your intestinal microbiome, the healthy bacteria you need to aid digestion. It keeps you full longer and helps you manage your weight.
- Water: Staying hydrated is essential, and some varieties of fruits and vegetables, like watermelon, help you meet your daily quota.
4. They Help You Breathe More Comfortably
Way back in the 1980s, NASA scientists wanted to explore the possibility of living on Mars in a contained environment. They decided to see what houseplants could do to keep indoor air fresh. They found that nature’s powerhouses not only take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen — they also clean toxins like formaldehyde from contained environments.
The COVID-19 pandemic drove home the importance of keeping your indoor air pure. Houseplants beautify your environment while doing the dirty deed, making them doubly beneficial.
5. They Help Ease Stress
Finally, research shows that even gazing at pictures of nature lowers stress levels. That matters. Too much pressure contributes to chronic disease by raising your cortisol levels, which in turn affects other bodily processes like your weight, appetite and blood pressure.
Therefore, add a few plants to increase your happiness and contentment. When the pressures of the work day get too much, take a 5-minute mindfulness break and stare at your peace lily.
Why Plants Are Good for Your Health
Have you added more plants to your life? Doing so could benefit your health.
Plants are good for your health for all the above reasons. They are a part of life — let them help enrich yours with beauty and improved well-being.