Whether you are motivated by health, the environment or the economy, you can find a bounty of reasons to shop your local farmers market. Fruits and vegetables here may often be less expensive, tastier and packed with nutritious vitamins and antioxidants.
Katie Johnson, a registered dietician and board-certified health and wellness coach, shares her top five powerhouse vitamin-packed foods to pick up at your local farmer’s market this summer.
Tomatoes can be a feast for the eyes and the palate. Tomatoes contain potassium and vitamin C, plus they are a great source of fiber. They’re also rich in antioxidants, including lycopene.
Zucchini is a very low-calorie vegetable, which is rich in compounds that may play a role in healthy aging and have anti-inflammatory properties. It is also an excellent source of potassium. Potassium is a heart friendly electrolyte and helps aid in the reduction of blood pressure and heart rates.
“Homegrown zucchini is fantastic for grilling and baking. It’s so good, loaded with nutrition, lots of antioxidants, Vitamin A and Vitamin C,” Katie said.
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable rich in folate, plus vitamin C and vitamin K, potassium, calcium and is also linked to eye health.
“Broccoli and cauliflower (are) fantastic for heart health and your digestive system, and preventative for some types of cancer, as well,” Katie said.
Strawberries can be difficult to resist, and the delectable taste comes with a dose of fiber, vitamin A and vitamin C. In fact, one cup of strawberries has more vitamin C than an orange. The majority of health-promoting phytochemicals in strawberries are anthocyanins, which give strawberries their bright-red color.
Rhubarb is known for its signature rose-colored leafy stalks, which are tart in taste and often paired with strawberries. Rhubarb contains dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, B complex vitamins, calcium, potassium, manganese and magnesium.
“Make sure you check out your farmers market for what is in season,” Katie said. “When you buy fruits in peak season, you get the most nutritional bang for your buck.”
If you’re looking for a few simple recipes to use some of these healthier staples, UnitedHealth Group Executive Chef Calvin Benedict has two you can try at homeOpens a new window.