11 Superfoods You Could Grow in Your Garden
Superfoods are foods that provide your body with a high level of vitamins and minerals, as well as an abundance of antioxidants. These nutrient-dense plant-based foods can be found at farmer's markets and grocers. Superfoods include things like blueberries, broccoli, kale, quinoa, and more. In addition to buying superfoods at the store or market, you can also grow them in your own garden!
Here are some of the most popular superfoods that you can grow in your garden:
-Arugula is a peppery-tasting leafy green vegetable with high levels of antioxidants. It’s also rich in vitamins A, C, and K. Choose from seeds or seedlings when shopping for this plant at your local nursery.
-Blackberries, one of the most popular berries in North America. However, this fruit is also surprisingly high in vitamins C and K (as well as a whole host of other beneficial nutrients). Blackberry bushes can grow up to six feet tall and require little maintenance; just trim back any errant shoots after harvesting your blackberries for the season.
-Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable, meaning it’s one of the few plants that contain high levels of glucosinolates and sulforaphane — two compounds proven to ward off or slow down cancer. You can plant broccoli seeds in your garden during the winter months as they require cold temperatures for germination.
-Cacao plants are the mother of all chocolate, containing high levels of iron and magnesium. These trees require a warm climate with plenty of rain in order to grow well; as such, they’re best suited for areas bordering the tropics or subtropical regions like Florida, Texas, and California. If you do live in such an area, buy a cacao pod and plant it alongside your other plants.
-Cauliflower is another cruciferous vegetable with high levels of glucosinolates and sulforaphane — the compounds proven to ward off or slow down cancer. Plant cauliflower seeds during the winter months as they require cold temperatures for germination.
-Kale is a leafy green vegetable with high levels of vitamins A, C, and K — as well as an array of other beneficial nutrients. Plant kale seeds in the garden bed during winter months; these plants require cool temperatures for germination but can tolerate warm or cold weather once they’ve begun to grow.
-Pineapples are an oddity in the plant world, a fruit that is classified as both a berry and a vegetable. These plants also contain high levels of vitamin C and manganese and they’re surprisingly easy to grow; just buy one from your local nursery or grocery store for planting purposes. (Note: these plants require a hot, moist climate.)
-Tarragon is an herb that has been used for hundreds of years in the culinary world due to its flavor and smell. This plant also contains high levels of antioxidants as well as vitamins A, C, and K — making it another great superfood you can grow in your garden. Plant tarragon seeds or seedlings for optimal growing conditions.
-Turnips are the root vegetable that French fries and mashed potatoes can’t live without. These plants contain high levels of vitamin C, potassium, and calcium — as well as other beneficial nutrients like folate, iron, zinc, and manganese. Plant turnip seeds in your garden during the winter months or buy seedlings at a local nursery.
-Watercress is a peppery-tasting leafy green vegetable with high levels of antioxidants and vitamins A, C, and K . This plant also contains higher concentrations of healthy phytochemicals than many other common vegetables, making it yet another superfood you can grow in your garden. Plant watercress seeds or seedlings to avoid pests.
-Zucchini is a summer squash that can grow up to two meters (six feet) in length and requires little maintenance, making it perfect for gardeners with limited space. This plant also contains high levels of vitamin C, potassium, and calcium — as well as other beneficial nutrients like folate, iron, zinc, and manganese. Plant zucchini seeds or seedlings in your garden during the winter months for optimal germination.
So Why Grow Superfoods?
Superfoods can be classified in a number of ways. For example, we could group them by their nutritional makeup: cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower contain high levels of glucosinolates and sulforaphane; grains such as quinoa are rich in protein, iron, and calcium; fruits like pineapple and bananas are high in vitamin C.
Another way to classify superfoods would be by how they’re prepared: kale, for example, is eaten raw or cooked while cauliflower can be boiled, steamed, mashed, or roasted. Some people prefer their foods fresh from the garden while others may want to purchase these foods from the store.
Some of our favorite superfoods are kale, cauliflower, pineapple, and zucchini — but this is not an exhaustive list; there are many other vegetables you can grow in your own garden that fall into this category. If you like gardening or simply want to try something new, we recommend checking out your local nursery for these plants.
Growing superfoods in your garden is a great way to get the nutrients you need and also enjoy some fresh air. Here are three easy tips on how you can grow these foods at home this year. First, start by researching which plants will work best for your climate so that they won't die before harvest time. Second, plant them far enough apart from each other so that their roots don't compete for water or food sources--and research what type of soil mix would be most suitable for them to grow well in if they're not native to your region. Third, make sure you have plenty of sunlight throughout the day; it's important that any leaves are exposed to direct light as often as possible because many vitamins (including A and C) are made in the leaves.
The benefits of eating these plants go well beyond flavor and nutrition; they may also have potential therapeutic effects on cancer cells, inflammation, mental health disorders like anxiety or depression, cardiovascular disease risk factors like high blood pressure and cholesterol levels—and more!