Not only is having a green thumb a great way to stay healthier and happier, but new research shows it can actually protect you from cancer.
Noted cancer treatment and research center M.D. Anderson, at the University of Texas, found in a study that time spent gardening once or twice a week can reduce the risk of cancer (http://www.wftv.com/health/27659764/detail.html) by 50 percent in lifelong nonsmokers. Moreover, researchers found, the same level of gardening activity by former smokers can reduce cancer risk by as much as 40 percent.
And while researchers said they weren't exactly sure if gardening reduced the incidence of cancer more than other physical activities, they did find that it was the most commonly shared trait among the study's participants.
The cancer-prevention benefits of gardening are also echoed by the American Institute of Cancer Research, which said that gardening is a physical activity (http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness_articles.asp?id=453) that not only helps prevent cancer but also contributes to overall health and endurance.
People who garden tend to eat better food - food that is untainted by chemicals and poisons and food that is much tastier than what you're used to buying in a supermarket.
Along those lines, gardening means exposure to the sun and its known vitamin D-supplying qualities that have been linked to the prevention of some cancers and a wide variety of other illnesses and diseases. Read more...
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