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Doctors’ orders: 10 reasons why growing food is good for you

Jim Sikorski has been an NHS doctor for 38 years, and is one of the cofounders of Sydenham Garden, as well as a keen gardener. Ahead of Capital Growth’s Big Dig Day (this year on 27 April 2019), we look again at his 10 reasons why you should grow food (and get down to your local community garden to do so).

  1. Food growing connects us to the natural world and makes us more concerned for our environment. A healthy planet is pretty important for our health as communities and as individuals!
  1. You know where it comes from. Low food miles (unless your allotment is a long way away!) make for  cleaner, healthier air which is particularly vital for our respiratory health and for our children’s development. Quite literally, local growing contributes to saving lives.
  1. You know what’s gone into the growing. So much of the food we eat has been subjected to growing methods with hidden chemicals and we avoid this by growing in our communities.
  1. Growing and eating our own food cuts down obesity which is a major cause of illness and premature death.
  1. Being, and working, outside makes our hearts beat for longer!
  1. Growers take in more vitamin D from their time outdoors and this helps to sustain bone health.
  1. Our risk of cancer is cut by eating a greater proportion of fruit and vegetables. So there’s definitely some truth conveyed in the phrase ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’.
  1. It’s not all about bodies. We can’t separate our minds from our bodies in any meaningful way so healthier bodies mean healthier minds.
  1. Growing your own food not only promotes health but can be part of recovering lives that have been damaged by illness or trauma. For the last 15 years at Sydenham Garden we have been helping people on their recovery journey from mental and physical.Time and time we have been moved by the change that we have accompanied.
  1. Healthier minds make for happier and more stable communities so growing communities make up part of the fabric of a healthy society. In short, growing changes things!

The Big Dig day takes place at 25 gardens across London and many more across the UK on Saturday 27 April. Check out the online map to find your nearest garden, or search for #BigDig2019.


First published 5 April 2018. 

Read more about the Big Dig or food growing in London

Published Wednesday 11 April 2018

Capital Growth: We believe everyone should have the opportunity to grow food as part of a healthy, resilient food system and we are working with our network of growers in London to make this happen.

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