Farmers Market season is here! In Michigan, you can easily find farmers markets open between the months of May until October, and I can only imagine they are more readily available year round in Florida. One of my favorite weekend activities in the summer includes spending the day at the local farmers market. There I get to chat with farmers, sample tasty fresh produce, and can pick up most of my groceries for the week. Michigan fresh produce season is super short, so I need to take advantage of it as much as I can! You should too! Not only do farmers markets help to support the local growers and economy, but it can help your waistline too. … Yup, that’s right, farmers market picks can help you to stay slim during the summer months & year round. Grab your reusable tote, sun hat, and shopping list because here are 5 FRESH reasons the Farmers Market is the newest weight management destination.
Produce – That one word says it all. The majority of picks at the market are produce. “Nature’s Bounty” as it’s sometimes called, is one of the best things you can put into your body. Whether it’s citrus, root veggies, leafy greens, berries, or herbs. Each contain phytochemicals, antioxidants, nutrients and other big science-y words that our bodies need to run as efficiently as possible. Low calorie, high nutrient value is the best formula for helping to fight off, and keep off, belly bulge.
Fiber – An adequate daily fiber intake from whole grains, produce, and other sources such as flax seed, help to lower cholesterol levels. It also helps to keep you ‘regular’, and it fills your tummy up without filling you up. So go ahead, reach for that extra carton of strawberries, your waist will thank you.
Seasonal Selection – Farmers markets don’t have the selection that a super-sized grocery store does, and that’s ok. In fact, it’s better. It’s important to vary the foods that we eat for a few different reasons. 1. We need a variety of nutrients to stay healthy. Choosing seasonal produce, ensures with the changes of the seasons we are getting different nutrients and not always eating apples for example (although, they are delish.) 2. Some research suggests we actually have a metabolism memory. If we eat the same foods every day, even if it is fruits and vegetables, after time, our body doesn’t burn calories as effectively as it could with a varied diet.
Minimally Processed Items – The mega stores also contain something most markets don’t, and that’s pre-packaged goodies. Ever wonder why there’s candy and chips at the check-out aisle? Or why you have to walk through the entire store, past the bakery or cracker aisle, to simply grab a carton of yogurt? These are all strategies to tempt us into buying foods manufactures know we will be craving. Americans crave salty, sugary, fatty foods. If we are standing near it in line, or have to walk past it to buy our healthy items we are more inclined to purchase it. Good news: at the market you can avoid temptation!! This helps you to stay slim all summer long. …The only temptation you might have, is whether you should purchase 1 or 2 different varieties of squash.
Beyond the Market -Take your summer health habits and roll them into the winter. Absolutely love blueberries? Is your family loving the fresh salsas you are now making? Try purchasing products in bulk and freezing or canning. The products at the market are the freshest, and having it available year round will allow you to enjoy it month to month. Savor the flavor on your lips, but not the extra luggage around your hips.
Feel free to visit your state’s farmers market website for all of the information you need on locating a market near your home.