Research proves gardening helps seniors have a brighter outlook on life and live healthier.
As our population ages, everyone is looking for ways to stay and feel younger. From life enhancing supplements to fountain of youth drugs, people are looking for a magic bullet to extend a high quality of life into their older years. Well, maybe they should forget the fancy advertisements and gimmicks and try gardening.
Recent research at Texas A & M University suggests that gardening is the best way to get senior citizens eating more health supporting vegetables and enhance their quality of life.
Researchers interviewed 298 people over 50 years of age and divided them into two groups: gardens and non-gardeners. They were evaluated for quality of life characteristics such as zest for life, resolution and fortitude, congruence between desired and achieved goals, physical, psychological, and social self-concept, and optimism. It was found that seniors that indicated they were gardeners scored higher in all the quality of life indicators than non-gardeners.
Researchers also asked about vegetable and fruit consumption and found that gardeners consumed more vegetables (but not necessarily fruits) than non-gardeners. Interestingly enough, it didn't seem to matter how long someone was gardening to have the positive effect. This suggests that introducing gardening to seniors at any age will have a positive benefit.
I'm over 50 and can testify that most of the gardeners I know are happy, fun-loving people that enjoy life and enjoy good eating, friends, and family. So start vegetable gardening, or if you already are, get your grandparents, parents, or an elderly neighbor out in the garden. The magic bullet isn't a new scientific discovery, simply fresh air, healthy food, and good company.