Gardening the Key to Cancer Patients Healing

In an effort to find the connection between gardening and the overall health of cancer survivors, scientists at the University of Alabama took a look at survivors and those who garden, placing the two together, and then evaluating the outcome.

The study concluded that cancer survivors that got involved in gardening were much more inclined to eat the fruits and veggies that they were growing, got quite a bit of physical activity and gained an improved outlook on life. Each of these factors plays a role in helping persons who suffer from cancer heal.

Container Garden

Photo credit: bigstock

Self-esteem is not always an easy thing to measure, nor can science actually measure some sort of tangible benefit, but those involved in these studies state that gardening seems to lead to an improved quality of life as well of producing a sense of peace to the cancer survivors who participated in these studies.


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The Mayo Clinic suggests that the best things cancer survivors can do is to get more physical activity, which reduces anxiety and fatigue. Exercise will also improve endurance and overall self-esteem. The Clinic also advises eating a well-balanced diet that contains at least five or more servings of fruits and veggies every day.

Starting a vegetable garden might be the perfect catalyst that many cancer survivors need to improve their health. Not only do they get more exercise, but they tend to want to eat more of the things they are growing. Many people feel more empowered by their gardening work, and more in control of what they are eating. It also allows them to focus on something other than their cancer.


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It’s important to break the image of the cancer patient lying in bed, “resting”. Moderate physical activity, such as gardening, helps to reduce the impact of side effects, such as fatigue, depression, thinning of the bones, and heart damage.

Gardening can be a great teacher, also, as you need to learn patience to see results. Watching plants grow can help people to feel more positive about their lives, as well as give them a sense of control. Gardening is a peaceful activity that relieves stress and might just be the perfect healing activity for cancer patients. See also all natural remedies for anxiety.