Thursday, January 26, 2023

People who garden have a lower risk of cancer and better mental health

People who regularly do gardening, horticulture, or similar activities have a lower risk of cancer and are more likely to have better mental health., as revealed by a team of researchers. study, published by the journal Lancet Planetary HealthThe center promoted by the ‘La Caixa’ Foundation is directed by a scientific team from the University of Colorado Boulder (USA) in collaboration with ISGlobal.

“These findings provide strong evidence that community gardening can play an important role in Prevention of cancer, chronic diseases and mental health disorderssaid Jill Litt, lead author of the study, an ISGlobal researcher and professor in the Department of Environmental Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Litt has spent much of his career finding affordable, scalable and sustainable ways to reduce the risk of disease, especially among low-income communities. “Wherever you go, that’s what people say There’s Something About Gardening That Makes You Feel Better“, explained the researcher, who verified Difficulty finding solid scientific data About its benefits.

A woman tends her plants in a courtyard in Córdoba. efe /room/file


Some small observational studies had already shown that people who garden prefer to eat more fruits and vegetables and to keep a healthy weight, but it was not clear whether it was the healthiest people who simply went to the garden or if it was the activity that affected their health. According to Litt, only three studies had implemented a randomized controlled trial, but none focused specifically on community gardening.

For this reason researchers have been recruited 291 adults In the Denver, Colorado, area who didn’t garden, the median age was 41, and more than half were from low-income households.

Consuming more fiber and less stress and anxiety

Half of the volunteers were assigned to the community gardening group, while the other half were a control group that had to wait a year to start gardening. both groups did Regular surveys on your nutritional intake and mental healthTook body measurements and wore an activity monitor.

People who garden have a lower risk of cancer and better mental health Pexels


Thus, the researchers found that participants in the gardening group consumed an average of 1.4 grams more fiber per day, which was a 7% increase over the control group. The authors note that Fiber has a profound effect on inflammatory and immune responsesAnd everything affects how we metabolize food, the health of our gut microbiome and susceptibility to diabetes and certain cancers,” said Jill Litt.

People who garden have a lower risk of cancer and better mental health Pexels


In addition, this group also Their physical activity levels increased by about 42 minutes a week. Study participants also noticed that their stress and anxiety levels decreased. “Even if you come to a garden with the intention of growing your own food in a quiet place, you start to see your neighbor’s plot and share techniques and recipes, and over time relationships bloom,” Litt highlights these benefits. Community gardening.

“It’s not just about fruits and vegetables. It’s also about being in a natural outdoor space with other people,” concluded Litt.

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Contact the Environment Section: crisisclimatica@prensaiberica.es

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