A new study shows that gardening can reduce the risk of developing serious illnesses, including cancer and mental health disorders. In the study, published in the journal The Lancet Planetary Health, researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder recruited almost 300 adults who had not gardened before, gave them an introductory gardening course, and allocated a small community garden plot, as well as seeds and seedlings. The researchers found that compared to controls who did not garden, the gardeners increased their intake of fiber by eating more fresh produce. They got more exercise tending the garden. And they felt more socially connected. All of these factors have been shown to be protective against cancer, mental health issues, and various chronic diseases.