fitnessIssue 16

More Vegetables for the Future

IN-SHAPE HEALTH CLUBS
BY KATELYN GOYETTE

 

The valley is an abundant source of fruits and vegetables, but many are unaware of just how much is here. Just in the San Joaquin Valley alone, there are about 24 farms and 12 farmers markets. The great thing about living in the center of an agriculturally rich county is the access to fresh and locally grown foods.

Today, it’s all the rage to turn away from foods that have been mass produced, sprayed with chemicals, shipped hundreds of miles and sold to local grocery stores. Alternative sources of food support local communities, like shopping at a local farmers markets. At a farmers market you will find a wide variety of fruit, vegetables, nuts, and meat, depending on what is in season.

With summer right around the corner, some of the best fruits and vegetables will be ripe for the picking at these local farmers markets. There are numerous benefits to eating food produced by local farmers and sold at farmers markets.

Americans grow up knowing that they need to eat a certain amount of fruits and vegetables to maintain health, but statistics show a decrease in consumption of these vital foods. In order to change the trend, here are some helpful tips to eat more fruits and vegetables!

Go on a shopping spree at the nearest farmers market. When fresh fruits and vegetables are all around you, you are more likely to buy them.

Not only do farmers markets have lots and lots of fruit and vegetables, but also they are more likely to be organic and you are less likely to be tempted to buy that bag of chips.

Don’t be afraid to buy too many fruits and vegetables. Most people forget that if you buy extra, and you do not think you will eat them before they expire, they can be frozen. Fruit and veggies will keep in the freezer for up to two months!

It is easy to have fruits and vegetables all throughout the day. Simply make vegetables and greens a main meal the day, or have a piece of fruit or a small bag of veggies for a mid-morning or afternoon snack.

Incorporate more natural foods into a vegetable stir-fry, salad or add fresh vegetables to every meal you eat. You would be surprised at how much you can spice up a meal just by adding some vegetables. Take snack baggies to work filled with peppers, cherry tomatoes, or any other vegetable you wouldn’t mind eating by itself.

Vegetables can be eaten in various ways. Try raw, steamed, or grilled. Don’t forget to vary your fruit and vegetable choices to keep meals interesting. The more fruits and vegetables that you keep in your home or around you, the more likely you are to eat more of them and less of those prepackaged foods.

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