Farmers Market Finds
Shop at your local farmers market for optimal health
By WAC Nutrition & Health Coach Melissa Petrichko
When looking at food quality, unprocessed fruits and vegetables purchased closest to their picking source—the farm where they were grown—are the healthiest options we can choose.
Although a healthy diet consists of various fresh fruits and vegetables no matter where you purchase them from, you can reap additional health benefits while supporting your community by buying from local farmer’s markets. Locally picked fruits and vegetables are generally better than store-bought because they ripen naturally in the field, are typically in-season, organic, grown in eco-friendly environments, and non-GMO. Any produce bought from a farmer’s market will provide more optimal health benefits than those brought in from far away.
A few seasonal fruits and vegetables you will find at the local farmers markerts this time of year include:
- Broccoli (June–September): Part of the cruciferous family of vegetables, broccoli is beneficial for heart and eye health, bone strength, and the prevention of certain cancers. Broccoli is also a good source of fiber and protein and contains many health benefits, such as: iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and a wide array of vitamins like A, C, E, K, and specific B vitamins.
- Arugula (May–December): High in various vital nutrients and powerful antioxidants that support the immune system and maintain healthy lung, heart, and kidney function. It is very high in nutrients and low in sugar, carbohydrates, and fats.
- Basil (June–November): An excellent source of various vitamins and minerals, as well as omega-3 healthy fatty acids that are beneficial for brain health and have anti-inflammatory effects.
- Beets (June–January): An excellent source of vital minerals and fiber. The dark pigment provides a phytonutrient called betalains, which are a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
- Blueberries (June –September): A superfood because of the many health benefits they provide. They help lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of certain cancers, heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressures. They can even boost your mood! Packed with antioxidants that prevent or slow down cell damage caused by free radicals, blueberries are high in potassium and vitamin C. One half-cup serving of blueberries daily is recommended as part of a healthy diet.
—Posted July 14, 2021