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Choosing the Best Foods to Buy at the Farmers Market

Now is the time to grab fresh and seasonal produce from your local farmers’ market. Farmers’ markets sprout up starting in May and often run until November, offering you an opportunity to buy fresh fruits and vegetables to supplement grocery store purchases. Buying fresh produce supports your health, and there is nothing like bringing home a bag of fresh produce to get you inspired to try new fruits, veggies, and recipes! What healthy foods are the best sources of vital vitamins and nutrients at your local farmers market? Let’s check it out.

Farmers Market Shopping Tips

Tomatoes
Local tomatoes from the farmers market will taste so much better than those from the grocery store. While some may think of it as a vegetable, this fruit is one to buy organic, or at least wash very thoroughly. A good source of lycopene, a carotenoid and antioxidants, it is versatile to use in summer salads and in main dishes.

Carrots
Don’t be afraid of the variety of carrot colors you can find at the farmers market — they’re all good for you! The orange carrot often seen today is only one that was cultivated commercially. Many other varieties exist to add crunch and color to a meal. Purple carrots, like purple potatoes, are higher in antioxidants than their commercially grown counterparts. Get colorful with your carrot creations, and take them on-the-go for healthy snacks.

Onions
Support local farmers by picking up a few onions at your next run to the market. This kitchen staple may make you tear up a little, but it is widely used in both raw and cooked dishes and may also be used in home remedies for seasonal allergies and more. Note: Red onions contain quercetin, which may reduce inflammation and help open up airways.

Salads
When it is too hot to cook, consider tossing together the produce listed above, in addition with your favorite fresh greens (such as romaine, baby spinach or finely chopped kale) with a simple oil and vinegar dressing. Need some protein? Try adding grilled chicken or chickpeas.

Marinated Tomatoes for Spaghetti and Pizza
Try marinated or fresh tomatoes and onions the next time you have a bunch of hungry kids on hand. You can cook up your favorite pasta and add marinated tomatoes with your favorite vinaigrette and some fresh mozzarella for a tasty meal.

How Eating Well Can Improve Your Health

Eating well not only tastes good but can even help build your immune system and reduce your risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. Eating whole foods in the form of fresh fruits and vegetables during the growing season — and frozen foods captured during the peak of the growing season for those winter months — gives your body the fiber and nutrition that might help it avoid the development of many diseases. If you start eating well, the chances are that those around you will, too. Start kids on the road to good eating habits for a lifetime of wellness.

Note: Certain foods may not combine well with prescription medications. Speak with a healthcare professional to discuss any foods to avoid when taking prescription medications. The best path to wellness begins with making smart eating decisions.