For the Health of It!
by Cheryl Stoner -School Nutrition Director
June Celebrates Fresh Fruits & Vegetables Month!
Vegetables! Fruits! It seems that everyone is talking about them. However, we know that most people are not eating enough vegetables and fruits. What about you? Are you eating enough fruits and vegetables? It’s really important to eat a wide variety of vegetables and fruits. These foods contain vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals. Phytochemicals help strengthen the body’s immune system.
Different fruits and vegetables are rich in different nutrients. So you need to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.
Sources of vitamin A
• Orange vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin
• Dark leafy vegetables such as spinach, collards, and kale
• Orange fruits like mango, cantaloupe, and apricots
Sources of vitamin C
• Citrus fruits and juices, kiwi fruit, strawberries, and cantaloupe
• Broccoli, peppers, tomatoes, cabbage, and potatoes
• Leafy greens such as romaine, turnip greens, and spinach
Sources of folate
• Cooked dry beans and peas, and peanuts
• Oranges and orange juice
• Dark-green leafy vegetables like spinach and mustard greens, and romaine lettuce
• Green peas
Sources of potassium
• Baked white or sweet potato, cooked greens (such as spinach), winter (orange colored) squash
• Bananas, plantains, dried fruits such as apricots and prunes, and orange juice
• Cooked dry beans and lentils
All this fruit and vegetable talk brings to mind:
The health benefits of buying food at the farmer’s market!
Shopping at a farmer’s market is a pleasurable experience where you get to bask in the sun, chat with other members of your community, and feast your senses on the large variety of fresh produce surrounding you. The not so hidden bonus is, buying food at a farmer’s market also brings several health benefits.
Farmer’s markets are usually open-air affairs, where shoppers can enjoy the fresh air and sunshine instead of being in the confines of a supermarket with its recycled air and artificial lighting. Basking in the sun and being exposed to its ultraviolet B (UVB) rays helps our skin to synthesize Vitamin D3. This vitamin helps to maintain bone density, promotes healthy bone growth and contributes to a healthy nervous system. More importantly for women, Vitamin D also helps the body absorb calcium and prevents osteoporosis. Spending an hour or two shopping at the farmer’s market will provide plenty of sun exposure, but don’t forget the sunscreen.
Fresh Food—The fruits and vegetables at a super market are usually harvested weeks before they are ripe to facilitate storing and transportation, then gassed to encourage ripening before they end up on the supermarket shelves. This affects the produce’s quality, both in terms of taste as well as nutrition. The more time produce is allowed to ripen naturally in the field, the more nutrients it will contain. Riper fruits and vegetables have more concentrated vitamins, starches and sugars, making the fruit both tastier and healthier.
Good for you, your kids and the planet.
Here are the Farmer’s Markets in our area!
Galesville Farmer’s Market May – October
Every Saturday On The City Square 8:00 a.m. to noon
Trempealeau Farmer’s Market June – September
Every Thursday at Central Park – 4th and Gray Streets 3:00 p.m.to 7:00 p.m.
Holmen Farmer’s Market May – October
On the Square by Festival Foods 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Winona Farmer’s Market May – October
2nd and Main St N. every Saturday 7:30 a.m. – noon
HAVE A FANTASTIC SUMMER!!!!!!!