Garden and greenhouse growers can avoid obesity and heart disease

New research has shown that garden and greenhouse fans who grow and eat their own fruit and vegetables could ward off obesity and heart disease.

According to the University of Florida study, broccoli and other leafy greens can boost phytochemical levels that prevent oxidative stress in the body.

This in turn helps battle weight gain and associated illnesses, the results revealed.

The researchers suggested eating leafy greens, fruits, nuts, vegetables and legumes at the beginning of a meal to kick-start the metabolic process using a boost of phytochemicals.

"We need to find a way to encourage people to pull back on fat and eat more foods rich in micronutrients and trace minerals from fruits, vegetables, whole grains and soy," explained lead author Heather Vincent.

She added that by eating such foods before a meal, it is likely to reduce hunger and therefore meal sizes and energy consumption.

Growing your own fruit and vegetables has become more popular recently, with first lady Michelle Obama establishing a kitchen garden at the White House and filming gardening tips for kids on Sesame Street.