Jul 12, 2016
5 healthy plants you need to grow in your garden
These veggies and herbs have proven health benefits and they're easy enough to grow in your own backyard.
KaleSource: Getty Images
Why it's healthy: Kale is known to be one of the healthiest foods on the planet. It is rich in minerals, vitamins A and C, and many antioxidants that have been linked to cancer prevention. It has also been shown to lower cholesterol and protect eyesight. How to grow it: Kale grows best in the spring and fall and can even withstand fall frosts, so its harvest period lasts until the first winter ground freeze. To plant kale in your garden, place seeds into moist soil, about a 1/2 inch deep, or buy small kale plants from your local garden centre. Make sure to keep them watered regularly, which keeps the leaves from getting tough. How to eat it: Use it in a salad, blend it into a smoothie or make kale chips. Try massaging a vinaigrette into your kale if you don't like the tough texture.
GingerSource: Getty Images
Why it's healthy: Ginger is known to calm an upset stomach, and it also eases muscle pain and arthritis symptoms. How to grow it: You can find ginger root to plant at your local grocery store. Look for a root with eye buds, which are the rounded points at the end of each piece. You can plant the entire root, or break the ginger up into pieces to plant— just make sure that each section has a bud on it. Find a shaded area in your garden and plant early in the spring after all chances of frost have passed. How to eat it: Fresh ginger is delicious grated or pureed in soup, or minced in a stir-fry. If you have a stomachache, pour boiling water over sliced ginger for a soothing tea.
MintSource: Getty Images
Why it's healthy: Mint aids digestion and eases indigestion and inflammation. How to grow it: Purchase a plant at your local gardening center. Plant in moist soil, about 15 inches apart. Make sure to place a mesh bag or pot into the ground first to keep the plant contained. Mint spreads quickly and invasively if you're not careful, and could take over your garden! Harvest mint leaves as you need them, but frequent harvesting is important to keep plants at their best. How to eat it: Mint is a welcome addition to salads, marinades and cold soups. Try muddling mint with lime and adding sparkling water for a refreshing summer drink.