Using the garden to save your life

A study published in the British Medical Journal has shown that over half of female deaths from chronic diseases could be avoided if people choose to eat healthily and exercise regularly.

Study author Dr Rob van Dam, of the Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Womens Hospital, told the BBC that small lifestyle changes can help.

"Its simple dietary changes like eating more whole grains and less red meat, walking to work and to the grocery shop, these really add up," he said.

Despite the fact that many people dont realise the hidden benefits of gardening, getting out into the garden and the greenhouse could prove to be a lifesaver in light of these recent findings.

Gardening provides gentle exercise, keeping the body healthy and the mind active, and these effects can be enhanced by growing your own food.

Growing fruit, veg, herbs or grains can provide entire families with nutritious food that not only keeps them healthy, but costs less too.