Do you still feel guilty putting your old containers into the recycling? Be rest assured your Bestow containers are made from the most commonly recycled plastic, but it’s still good to look at alternative options.
Reusing containers is a great way to reduce your environmental impact and re-purposing them as pots for growing herbs not only extends their lifespan but is also good for your health.
It has been recognised for quite some time that home grown herbs and vegetables are better for you than eating store-bought ones. This was believed to be largely because you use less chemicals and sprays. You also tend to pick and eat them fresh preventing the breakdown of nutrients that would otherwise happen if they were transported and stored. But it is now known that growing your own food has benefits for the health of your gut as well and it’s all because of the microbes found in your garden!
Healthy soil is one of the most microbally-rich ecosystems on earth. These microbes form a partnership with plants much like they do with humans when they populate our gut. They even play similar roles, making nutrients more bioavailable to the plants and boosting their defence systems.
These microbes can benefit us too. Simply working outside in the soil has great health benefits. It’s estimated that most of us spend at least 75% of our lives inside, so getting out in the fresh air is wonderful for your health. There are also microbes in the soil that produce serotonin – our happy hormone. This is why working in the garden can be quite therapeutic for people who suffer from anxiety and depression.
But the main benefit of eating home grown herbs and vegetables is the microbes that are found on the plant. When eaten, these microbes contribute to the vast diversity of life that exists in our gut and we want diversity! Each variety of microbe has the potential to do different beneficial jobs for our body so the more the better.
One of those jobs is the training of our immune systems. They teach our immune cells what they should and shouldn’t react to, and microbes that are found locally are even better at this than those transported in on food from far away. These microbes have local knowledge! They know what pollens and potential allergens are found in our immediate environment and they can use this knowledge to help our immune systems learn what is potentially dangerous and what is harmless. This information is invaluable for our bodies, helping our immune system react appropriately to the substances we come into contact with on a daily basis.
Herbs are a great place to start growing your own food. They are easy to grow and are small enough to live on your windowsill. You can’t get more local than that.