Home » Diet and Nutrition News & Advice » 10 Homegrown Vegetables & Herbs with Serious Health Advantages

10 Homegrown Vegetables & Herbs with Serious Health Advantages

Growing your own vegetables and herbs has many health advantages. You don’t need to use pesticides, plus homegrown means they’re fresh and taste better than store bought because they’re chock full of vitamins and minerals that haven’t been stripped out through processing.  

Gardening encourages relaxation and reconnects us with Mother Nature, and it’s a great way to teach your children about environmental responsibility and where their food comes from. So let’s take a look at some easy to grow vegetables and herbs to get your garden started…

1. Green (Bush) Beans

These delicious, easy to grow vegetables are packed full of nutrition. They contain vitamins A, C, K, manganese, potassium, folate, and iron. Plus green beans are rich in fiber.

These plants like well-drained soil and plenty of sunlight. They grow all season long and can provide you with a continual supply of fresh beans throughout the growing season. Bush beans are great cooked and can be combined in a stir fry with other vegetables.


2. Beets

Beets are one of several tasty root vegetables you can easily grow in your garden at home. They get their luscious red color from a substance called betanin, which is thought to improve the immune system. Just like beans, beets are packed full of fiber and vitamins.

Did you know that ½ cup of beets contains only 29 calories yet provides you with 2 grams fiber and a whopping 19-percent of your daily requirement of folate (vitamin B)? Not only that, but you can eat the baby beet greens in salads or cook the larger ones as a side dish.


3. Carrots

This root vegetable is sweet and nutritious. They can be eaten raw or cooked, in salads, soups, and stews or steamed. They add color and variety to any dish. You’ve probably heard that carrots are good for your eyes. That’s because they contain beta-carotene, which our bodies convert to vitamin A.

Not only that, carrots are rich in vitamin A, which plays an important role in keeping our eyes, skin, and immune system healthy. To grow carrots you simply plant them in fertile sandy loam, add water, and let nature do the rest.


4. Cucumbers

Cucumbers have a unique crunchy exterior and a mouth-watering, moist interior. They are great on their own, in salads, or even cooked. These unique vegetables may not be the nutrient packed power-houses of the vegetable world.

However, cucumbers are champions when it comes to hydration. Did you know that cucumbers are 95-percent water? Plus as an added bonus, they do contain a whole lot of fiber.


5. Lettuce

Lettuce is another easy to grow vegetable. The nutrient content will vary depending on the type of lettuce you plant. Leafy greens are provide a good supply of vitamins A, C, K, folate, and fiber.

Leafy greens, like lettuce, grow best in cooler temperatures so be sure to plant it in the early spring and fall. Lettuce is great in salads or on sandwiches, in addition to offering vitamins and fiber, as well as being a low calorie food that helps you feel full and keeps your weight under control.

Washing lettuce

6. Sugar Snap Peas

These sweet green vegetables are delicious cooked in a side dish or eaten raw. You can shell them and eat the peas or leave them in the pod and eat the entire vegetable. Either way they are a treat.

One cup of sugar snap peas provides you with 1/3 of your daily vitamin C and 3 grams of fiber. These vegetables also like cooler weather and can thrive in soil temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit.


7. Radishes

Another root vegetable, radishes are unlike beets because they’re only red on the outside and white on the inside. Radishes have a strong, crisp flavor and are great in salads, stir fry’s, or eaten raw on their own.

And at almost zero calories (one radish equals roughly only one calorie), these flavorful vegetables are ready for harvest in just three weeks. Cooler spring soil produces milder ones and hot summer soil gives you spicier ones.


8. Basil

Basil is a great herb that adds flavor and pizzazz to many dishes including pesto and pasta. It grows best in rich, dark soil with exposure to full sunlight.

If you sow your basil regularly, you will reap a continuous harvest over the growing season.


9. Dill

This is one of the most versatile herbs you can plant in your garden. The entire plant, leaves, seeds and all can be used to season your food. The leaves give a sweet flavor while the seeds give a crunchy, bitter flavor with a hint of citrus.

Dill is a summer plant that thrives in higher temperatures. It grows best in the 75- to 80-degree Fahrenheit temperature range. One of the best things about this herb is that you can use it fresh or dry it and use it throughout the remainder of the year.


10. Parsley

This aromatic herb doesn’t just smell good, it’s full of vitamin A and C as well. Parsley tastes great as a garnish and is another simple to plant and easy to grow addition for your garden.

If you plan to plant your own parsley at home, remember that this herb loves fertile, rich soil with lots of fertilizer and moisture.


11. Thyme

This herb is also high up on the versatility scale. Widely used to add flavor to meats, stews, and soups, thyme can also be used a greater variety of dishes.

From use in hearty food such as meats, poultry and root vegetables to combining it with sweeter foods like apples and pears, any way you look at it, thyme is a great addition to your garden…and kitchen.


12. Mint

This herb is best known for its refreshing and sweet aroma. It’s easy to grow and can be used as a garnish or boiled into a tea. The peppermint flavor has been used to make candies for centuries.

Mint has a calming effect on the stomach and has long been used as a medicinal remedy to relieve heartburn, gas, and aid in digestion. In fact, did you know that race horse trainers feed their horses mints as it’s thought to help prevent stomach ulcers?



More on ActiveBeat
  • Medical Mysteries That Will Tingle Your Spine
    Halloween is just around the corner, and that means it's time for the scary and the weird to be put into the spotlight.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Possible Signs of Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome
    If you constantly feel run down and can't seem to find that extra step, you may have what some experts call adrenal fatigue syndrome.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Breathe Through These 6 Health Indicators Linked to the Diaphragm
    The website of Dr. Ginger Garner explains that your diaphragm "measures mere millimeters in thickness," but it has sweeping influence over bodily systems that can "ultimately...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Common Causes of Swollen Feet
    We've all been there before when our feet get a little puffy and swollen. It will most likely occur after sitting through a long flight, during pregnancy, or being on your feet all...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 6 Household Items that May be Negatively Impacting your Health
    Whether they list warnings on the label or not, some common household products may be doing harm to the health of you and your family.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 6 Nail Fungus Facts You Should Know
    Nail fungus (onychomycosis), which affects the toenails in particular, is a big reason why many Americans keep their socks on with their sandals (we assume this, there's no medical...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 12 Exercise Prescriptions for Chronic Disease
    Prescribing exercise for chronic disease management not only reduces symptoms of or prevents disease, but results in many positive side effects.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 6 Surprising Health Problems Revealed by a Simple Blood Test
    The last time your doctor sent you for a blood test it was likely to rule out a nutrient or hormonal deficiency or to diagnose high cholesterol.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 6 Reasons to Sing Your Heart Out for Health
    Do you sing your heart out whenever a favorite song comes on the radio? Or do you reserve belting out a ditty to the shower or confines of your car?
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 6 Ways to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
    We all live within our comfort zones to some degree by doing things that are familiar to us as well as relatively easy.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Read Up: 6 Fantastic Health Benefits for Book Worms
    I hear you; it’s tough to pick up a book after a long day. Many of us (myself included) would rather zone out to a sitcom marathon on Netflix and forget about our troubles.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Connect to These 7 Tips for Social Wellness Month
    These days, it seems the word "social" means jumping in front of a smartphone or computer to engage in social media. However, there are benefits to real human contact.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 6 Surprising Ways Sun Affects our Bodies
    The sun—without it, living things on earth wouldn't exist. The light and heat from the big ball of fire in the sky sets the stage for our planet's livable conditions.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 6 Beverages to Avoid on a Hot, Summer Day
    It's HOT outside! But before you reach for a favorite soda, iced coffee, or beer to help quench your thirst and cool down, consider that not all drinks are considered equal on a...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 7 Reasons to Love your Pajamas
    It's one of the last things we do before we go to bed is put on pajamas (or pyjamas, depending on your preferred spelling).
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice