Wellness

Shop the Local Farmers Market for Your Health’s Sake

Recognizing National Farmers Market Week, August 7-13, 2011

health-farmer's market

Fresh vegetables and fruits from the garden are the hallmark of the farmers market season. Across the country, amateur and professional farmers gather together under tents and around tables to sell the produce they have nurtured from seeds and young plants. Area residents flock to these outdoor merchants for farm fresh produce, incredible bargains, and a taste of the country.

Nutritionists and medical professionals frequently remind us to consume foods that enhance our overall health. Fresh produce helps improve our energy and performance as well as enhance the health of our eyes and brain activity. Consider the health benefits of popular garden produce:

  • Apricots, peaches, peas, butternut squash, red peppers – rich in vitamin A
  • Sweet potatoes – loaded with vitamins A and C
  • Kale, Swiss chard, turnip greens, collard greens and spinach – contain lutein and zeaxanthin antioxidants as well as iron, folic acid and vitamins A, B6 and E
  • Carrots – filled with vitamin A, iron and folic acid
  • Strawberries, broccoli, red chili peppers – rich in vitamin C
  • Citrus fruits, blueberries, cherries – high in bioflavonoids and vitamins A and C
  • Apples – loaded with vitamins A and C

How Vitamins Enhance Your Vision

If you’re wondering how vitamins in garden produce affect your vision, review the following information:

  • Bioflavonoids, lutein and zeaxanthin antioxidants – help to prevent cataracts and macular degeneration
  • Vitamin A – prevents night blindness by assisting the eye in adjusting between bright light and darkness; protects against the development of dry eyes and assists in reducing the risk of age-related macular degeneration
  • Vitamin C – reduces the risk of age-related macular degeneration and the formation of cataracts
  • Vitamin E – known to prevent or delay the growth of cataracts

Next time you stop at a farmers market, shop for fresh produce that will improve your vision and overall health!

How often do you shop at a farmers market? What is your favorite garden produce? – Karen Gustin, Ameritas Group

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