Farmers Markets help to make it a Healthy New Year

BY DEBRA J. MORRIS

Our health is of utmost concern right now. Fueling your body with healthy nutritious foods that improve your immune system and give you more energy and stamina will help you feel better and ward off illness.

Fresh local produce from your farmers’ market will give you the fuel your body needs to work in your garden, handle your errands, work a full day at your job, and take care of the kids without wilting. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein will give your body the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and energy for all kinds of tasks throughout the day. The farmers’ market is a better choice for better health because you know where your food is coming from.

Energy Boosters
Carbohydrates like whole grain pastas and breads, oats, fresh fruits and vegetables, and local honey will give you energy. Carbs are the body’s preferred source of fuel. They also raise serotonin levels, keeping your mood even. The body absorbs whole grains and beans slowly because they are full of healthy fiber, stabilizing blood sugar and energy levels and giving you sustainable energy.

Keeping You Well
Your immune system benefits from a variety of whole fresh foods like antioxidant-rich berries, dark leafy greens, garlic, onions, oranges, root vegetables, and beans. Yogurt helps your digestive tract and salmon has the much-touted omega-3 fatty acids.

It is also advisable to drink plenty of water. A body doesn’t work as well when it is dehydrated.

You’ll find all the ingredients you need to keep you healthy and energized throughout the day – and through the year – at your farmers market in Martinez. Visit Ken’s Top Notch out of Fresno with citrus, KEM Farm out of Santa Maria for beautiful strawberries, Funguys Mushrooms out of Stockton for a huge variety of ‘shrooms, J&M Farms in Gilroy and Tu Universo from Watsonville with leafy greens and root vegetables, and healthy olive oil from Atlas Peak in Napa.

Your farmers bring the best they can grow and harvest their produce just before bringing it to market to ensure it has the highest nutrient content and best flavor. To keep your interest in eating fresh and wholesome produce throughout the year, the farmers market offers a wide selection of produce and with different and unique varieties that you won’t find anywhere else. Importantly, you’re also helping small family farms keep on farming!

Celery & Orange Salad
• 2 – 3 orange varieties, peeled and sliced into rounds
• 3 full slices of red onion, 1/8 inch thick
• 1 tablespoon grapefruit juice
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted
• 1 full celery stalk, plus all stalks with leaves from the celery center, sliced
• Salt and pepper

Place the celery, oranges, onions and walnuts in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Dress with grapefruit juice and extra virgin olive oil, toss and serve. More recipes: pcfma.org/eat

Thank you for supporting your local farmers and farmers markets this past year !

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