Thinking about setting up a kitchen garden? Or already have one and thinking what to add to it next? I have a few really cool suggestions. Not only are these an absolute must to grow in your kitchen garden as you set it up (or add, if you already maintain an organic garden) because you will probably require them every day, but also, they are packed with healthy benefits which will be great for you and your family's overall health. The key to good health (and of course, a rewarding and effective vegetable garden) lies in carefully choosing the essential healthy plants to grow in your garden. So if you don't have these in your kitchen garden you might want to add them immediately! And for all the beginners, here's a good way to start. So here's a checklist of plants to grow in your kitchen garden and their health benefits.
Who doesn't love lemons? It's the ultimate taste enhancer, at least that's what I think. The numerous health benefits of lemon include treatment of indigestion, constipation, throat infections, dental problems, and fever, rheumatism, burns, internal bleeding, obesity, respiratory disorders, high blood pressure, and cholera. It also is a boon for your hair and skin care. Lemons are known for their therapeutic properties since generations; lemons help to keep your stomach clean, strengthen your immune system, and are considered a blood purifier.
Lemon juice, especially, has many health benefits associated with it on its own. It is widely known as a good treatment for kidney stones, lowering body temperature and reducing the likeliness of strokes. How can I not mention lemonade? As a refreshing and instantly uplifting drink, lemonade helps you in the deadly summer heat to stay calm and cool.
These benefits of lemons are mainly because of its many nourishing elements, namely, vitamin C, vitamin B6, A & E, folate, niacin thiamin, pantothenic acid, copper, riboflavin, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus potassium, and protein. Lemon is a fruit that contains composites that contain antioxidant and cancer-fighting properties known as 'flavonoids'. It helps to prevent constipation, high blood pressure, indigestion, diabetes, fever, and multiple other problems.
Studies conducted at the American Urological Association foreground the fact that lemon juice by forming urinary citrate can eliminate the occurrence of kidney stones. This averts the formation of crystals.
Lemons or lemon juice can also be used as an effective washing agent, because of its ability to remove stains. Did you know that the scent of lemons can repel mosquitoes? I didn't! You can drink lemon juice with olive oil as a home remedy to get rid of gallstones. Lemons are well known for their many medicinal properties and are used in many different ways.
Tomato is an important part of almost all Indian cuisines, and also of cuisines all around the world. Tomato comes under both categories a fruit as well as a vegetable. If you consume tomatoes every day, not only will it enhance the flavor of your food but it'll also give a great boost to your health. Tomatoes will come in handy while cooking various different kinds of foods, be it pasta, pizzas, salads, Indian cuisines (obviously!), in making various healthy beverages, as an added flavor element in dishes from breakfast to dinner. You can also use tomatoes in many home made face packs too!
Tomatoes are pretty easy to cultivate and they grow very quickly, which makes them a quickly replaceable food source.
Various health benefits of tomatoes include good stomach health, improved eyesight, and reduced blood pressure; it also provides relief from skin problems, diabetes, and urinary tract infections (UTI). Tomatoes can also enhance your digestion, reduce cholesterol levels, stimulate blood circulation, improve fluid balance, detoxify your body, protect the kidneys, prevent premature aging, and reduce inflammation and conditions related to it. Tomatoes consist of a huge number of antioxidants that have been proven helpful to fight different forms of cancer. It is a good source of minerals and vitamins and has a protective effect against heart diseases.
Aah, Mint! I love the taste of mint in ice cream and tea. But that's not why I am recommending you to grow it in your kitchen garden. It's a popular herb and has several benefits such as proper digestion & weight loss, relief from nausea, fatigue depression, and headache. Mint is used in the treatment of asthma, skin care problems, and memory loss. It is a well known breath and mouth freshener and is scientifically known as Mentha.
It has more than hundreds of varieties and two dozen species. It has been used for hundreds of years for its amazing medicinal properties. You must be aware that the market is flooded with products which have mint as their main element, products like toothpaste, breath fresheners, chewing gum, sweets (candy)and inhalers.
Isn't it amazing that just a sniff of mint leaves instantly brightens your mood? Mint is a natural stimulant, which means that the smell alone can be enough to recharge your batteries and get your mind functioning at an optimal level again. So whenever you are feeling anxious, sluggish, depressed, or simply just exhausted, you can step into your lovely kitchen garden and sniff a few mint leaves. Better yet, you can pluck a few mint leaves and add them to your tea can enjoy the blissful taste while relaxing your mind.
It can be ingested, applied topically (on the skin) in an ointment or balm form, or inhaled as vapor, all of these techniques can provide you with a much needed boost!
Mint juice is an excellent skin cleanser. It helps to cure infections and itchiness, soothes your skin, is a good way to reduce pimples, and it can also relieve some of the symptoms of acne. It has antipruritic properties which can be used for dealing with insect bites like those of mosquitoes, hornets, wasps, honeybees, and gnats. The cooling sensation provided by mint leaves' juice will relieve you of the irritating sensation which makes you watch to itch, and the anti-inflammatory property of mint will bring down swelling!
Curry leaves or commonly known in an Indian household as 'Kadi Patta' is used as a flavor enhancer in many dishes. But you should not grow it in your kitchen garden just because it adds special flavor to your dishes. It is loaded with rich nutrients such as carbohydrates, calcium, phosphorous, irons fiber, and vitamins A, B, C and E. Curry leaves help your heart in functioning better, fights infections and can boost your hair and skin's health by adding vitality.
As Curry leaves are a good source of folic acid and iron, they are beneficial in keeping diseases like anemia at bay. Folic acid mainly takes charge of carrying and helping your body absorb iron. Since curry leaves (kadi patta) are a rich source of both of these compounds it makes these flavorsome leaves as a natural remedy to beat anemia.
Curry leaves help with your blood sugar levels by affecting the insulin activity of your body and reducing blood sugar levels. Also, the amount and type of fiber which is present in the leaves play an important role in lowering blood sugar levels. So, if you or anyone in your family suffers from diabetes, curry leaves are the best natural method to keep your blood sugar levels in check.
Curry leaves are commonly known to help improve digestion. But did you know that they assist in altering the way your body absorbs fat? That, in turn, helps you in losing weight! Curry leaves also assist in lowering your cholesterol levels and is great for your hair's health. They effectively treat damaged hair, hair fall, and dandruff, curry leaves also prevent premature graying of hair and the best part is that you can either apply it on your hair by making a paste or simply eat it.
Carrots are one of the most commonly used and enjoyed vegetables in the whole world, probably because they grow rather easily, and are used in a number of Indian dishes (Gajar ka halwa!) as well as other cultural cuisines.
Out of the many benefits of carrots, most can be attributed to their valuable content in beta carotene and fiber. This root vegetable is also a very good source of antioxidant agents. Moreover, carrots are rich in vitamin A, vitamin B8, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, pantothenic acid, potassium, iron, copper, folate, and manganese. Now, let me tell you how this impressive list of organic compounds and nutrients are beneficial for you and your family's health.
The various health benefits that you receive from of carrots include reduced cholesterol, improving vision, prevention from heart attacks, reducing the signs of premature aging and warding off of certain cancers. Besides that, carrots have the amazing ability to improve the health of your skin, boost the immune system, increase your heart's health, detoxify the body, improve digestion, and boost oral health in many ways. They also provide a comprehensive influx of minerals and vitamins.
A healthy immune system is important for each one of us, as it helps build defense against invading diseases and getting rid of bacterial and viral infections. Carrots also contain a number of antibacterial and antiseptic abilities that make it ideal for boosting your immune system. Not just that, carrots are a good source of vitamin C, which assists in stimulating the activity of white blood cells in your body and is one of the most important elements in your immune system.
I'm sure that you must have basil or tulsi plant in your home whether or not you have a kitchen garden. The basil plant is an essential part of the Indian household. It is worshiped and used in many religious ceremonies. Holy basil has acclaimed the title of the 'queen of herbs' and rightly so because its benefits are innumerable! Its health benefits include relief from respiratory disorders, as well as treatment of fever, lung disorders, asthma, heart diseases, oral or dental care, and relieves stress.
By simply standing close to a Tulsi plant alone can defend you from various infections. Drop a few leaves of tulsi in your food and drinking water, it will purify them and will kill germs as well. Just by inhaling the fragrance of basil or keeping it planted in a pot indoors will protect your entire family from bacterial infections, cough & colds, and other viral infections.
Try taking a daily bath with a decoction of Basil mixed with your bathwater, or washing your face with it, or just applying a paste of basil leaves on an infected area of your skin in case of skin diseases. You can also simply consume basil leaves, and you'll still be able to keep your skin free from all kinds of infections.
The next benefit that I'm going to tell you is my absolute favourite. Rubbing Basil leaves (or its extracted oils) on your body keeps mosquitoes and other insects away! What's more to this herb is that it cures skin disorders both externally and internally, without any side effects.
Coriander, commonly known as Dhania (goes by Cilantro in America and parts of Europe) is the most common garnish that we use in cooking. Its leaves and fruits have a pleasant and recognizable aroma and are commonly used raw or dried for culinary applications.
It is a herb that is used extensively all around the world as a garnish or decoration on culinary dishes. Honestly, I love its taste and I add it while cooking almost anything. No kidding, I add it in Maggie too! But why should you grow it in your kitchen garden when your vegetable guy puts in a chunk of it for free when you buy vegetables? Here's why Coriander is loaded with potential health benefits that most of us completely miss when we toss this garnish into the garbage. It consists of eleven components of essential oils, minerals, and vitamins, each having a numerous beneficial properties, and six types of acids (including ascorbic acid, known as vitamin C).
Health benefits of this awesome herb include its use in the treatment of skin inflammations, diarrhea, mouth ulcers, high cholesterol levels, anemia, indigestion, smallpox, conjunctivitis, menstrual disorders, skin disorders, and blood sugar disorders. Also, it is beneficial in eye care.
Coriander is a good source of calcium, therefore is of great value if want to protect the integrity of your bones. Other essential minerals along with calcium present in coriander are important components of bone re-growth and durability, as well as beneficial in the prevention of bone degradation which is commonly associated with debilitating diseases such as osteoporosis. By adding even a small amount of coriander to your diet will help to keep your (and your loved one's) bones healthy and strong for years to come. Calcium is present in the center leaves of coriander, so you should aim for that part of the plant if you want to focus on your bones' health.
There are many more healthy foods that you can grow in your kitchen garden. I will continue with the list of beneficial foods to grow in your kitchen garden in the next blog!
Hi! I’m Gunjan, a self-proclaimed tea fanatic and intrigued with alternative ways to lead a healthy life. I firmly believe that we should take care of our bodies because it’s the only place we live in.