Farmer’s Market Options Have Major Health Benefits
When it is local Farmer’s Market season, there are many opportunities to cash in on the health benefits that the produce has to offer. From broccoli to swiss chard, these plants provide major benefits in the form of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. While visiting your local market this weekend, be sure to check out these finds and more.
How to Prepare Some of the Best Farmer’s Market Options:
- Rich in antioxidants which help prevent diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
- Dip slices into Greek yogurt
- Homemade applesauce
- Sprinkle slices with cinnamon and bake
- Excellent source of Vitamin K, which plays a role in blood clotting and bone health.
- Sautee with olive oil and garlic
- Combine florets, chicken and whole grain pasta for a fresh meal
- Good sources of vitamins B1 (thiamine) and B2 (riboflavin). Riboflavin keeps blood cells healthy and helps with metabolism.
- Sautee, roast or steam
- Season with celery seed, tarragon or thyme
- Add to sandwiches or soups
- Excellent source of Vitamin C which helps to boost the immune system and lower hypertension.
- Cut into cubes and roast in the oven with canola oil or wrap in foil and grill
Swiss Chard Excellent source of vitamins K, A and C. Vitamin A is essential to vision and immune system health.
- Sauté in oil with garlic for a few minutes, until wilted
- Add to soups or enjoy as a side
Produce sold at farmer’s markets is often picked the same day it is sold. This keeps nutrients locked in, to provide you with the most health benefits.
Don’t be afraid to try new things from your local market. Get expert advice from growers on how to best store and prepare produce. I find they have great tips for getting the most of your farmer’s market haul. See even more farmer’s market finds.
Ellen Thomsen, MS, RD, LMNT, CDE is a clinical dietitian at CHI Health, working in Oncology and Functional nutrition. Ellen helps patients improve nutrition habits during cancer treatment and beyond. She is a group fitness instructor at the CHI Health Lakeside Wellness Center and enjoys helping people of all fitness abilities be active. Ellen is passionate about helping patients improve their lives through nutrition, activity and stress management.