10 healthiest vegetables to grow, even on your windowsill
Now is the time of year to start thinking about what to plant in the garden, especially with the sharp rise in food prices predicted for 2013. The USDA and Farm Bureau are estimating up to a 4% hike, warning “This marks the strongest increase in food prices since September 2008.” Even if you live in an apartment, here are five of the healthiest and easiest things you can grow in your survival garden this spring.
1. Broccoli is incomparable in its disease fighting compounds, and requires little maintenance. Broccoli detoxifies, is packed with antioxidants that lower the risk of stomach, renal and lung cancers, and is rich in folate, vitamin C and beta carotene to boost your immune system. Broccoli is also an anti-allergen, and natural anti-inflammatory. It is also holds a unique and high concentration of vitamins A, K and D.
2. Spinach. Popeye certainly knew his stuff; researchers tout that adding fresh or lightly steamed spinach to your diet at least 2 to 3 times per week may be able to prevent everything from heart disease to colon cancer. Spinach claims almost every single vitamin and nutrient the human body needs.
3. Eggplant. Due to its unique concentration of nasunin, a compound that protects brain cells from damage, eggplants are said to reduce your risk for dementia and strokes. Plus their high fiber content makes it a heart health treat.
4. Tomato. I know it’s technically a fruit, but I had to add it here! And yes, even tomatoes can be grown in the sunniest window in your condo. Super simple to grow and chock full of the heart healthy lycopene, tomatoes prevent and fight cancer by eliminating free radicals from the body. Tomato consumption is also associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
5. Carrots. Hippocrates said, “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food”, and he introduced the thought that if a food resembles an organ or part of the body, it will be beneficial. Cut a carrot in half and the middle resembles an eye. He also prescribed carrot seeds to prevent pregnancy. During WWII pilots were fed carrots to improve their night vision. The beta carotene in carrots is converted by the liver into rhodopsin, a pigment that is necessary for night-vision. It is also necessary for the prevention of macular degeneration and elderly blindness.
6. Garlic. The advantages of garlic are too many to name! Garlic’s medicinal treatments include both high and low blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, asthma, low and high blood sugar, bronchitis, snakebites, liver ailments, athletes foot, fungal infections, and for the prevention of cancer, stroke and colds.
7. Onions. Onions are a very carefree plant to grow. And just like garlic, the health benefits could fill a book. Red and yellow onions are the greatest source of quercitin, an antioxidant responsible for lowering bad cholesterol while raising good, prevention of stomach cancer, diabetes and blood clots, and fighting bronchitis, allergies, and infections. Quercitin is a sedative, and with its high anti inflammatory, anti viral, and antibiotic properties cannot be beat as an anti cancer. There is no better source of quercitin
It’s also an anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, antiviral, thought to have diverse anti-cancer powers. quercitin is also a sedative. There is no better source of quercitin than onion skin.
8. Nasturtium. Last spring my son came home from third grade with a round leafed plant in a solo cup. It sported tall stalks with dragon looking flower buds. Not being familiar with this, I did a bit of research and found that not only does this plant sport some amazingly bright flowers, it packs a host of health benefits. Loaded with vitamin C and naturally antibiotic, all parts of the nasturtium are edible, and the leaves are used to treat bladder and kidney ailments, scurvy, colds, coughs, flu, sore throats and bronchitis. Nasturtium has recently gained the attention of the scientific community as a hair growth supplement.
9. Beans. Tiny beans pack a huge punch when it comes to health benefits and nutritional value. High in protein and fiber, beans prevent heart disease, diabetes and cancer, and helps you regulate your weight. Research the type of bean that will grow best in your location.
10. Lettuce. The darker the better. Fights cancer, heart disease and cataracts. Plus the frilly leaves make a great looking edible houseplant!
One of the most nutritional and healthy plants you can grow indoors and out is the Moringa Oleifera. Read more about this superplant here
Many of these can be started indoors 6 weeks before the danger of frost is over for your area if you can plant outdoors. Get a head start on your 100 Moringa Oleifera seeds” target=”_blank”>survival garden now, and reap the benefits!