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Our local Farmer’s Market officially opens this weekend and what’s not to love?

 

The food is as fresh as it gets since – it’s grown close to home (more nutrient dense), and supports our local growers and economy.  As you prepare to fill your basket with healthy choices for you and your family, allow me to offer a few of my favorite “fit” foods that you can find at the Farmer’s Market, and the characteristics that land them on the list.

Eggs

While fragile in structure,
eggs are nutritional powerhouses.   A large egg provides 90 calories of energy, most calories coming from the yolk, and more than 6 grams of quality pro
tein which helps in balancing blood sugar and cell repair.  Eggs are also a “fit” food being high in choline, an essential element in preserving a strong link between your brain and your muscles.  For your metabolism, eggs are one of the few non-meat sources for B-12, and are also a strong source of the cancer fighting agent lutein.  Please look past the brown color and put some in your basket.

 

Spinach
Popeye was on to something!   1 cup of raw spinach boasts 100% of your daily need for vitamin K, 84% for the anti-oxidant manganese, and only 7 calories.  But what really makes it a “fit” food is the high levels of iron, magnesium, and phosphorous which promote strong bones, muscle repair, and energy production.  Add in some potassium to help regulate body water levels and blood pressure, and you can see why Popeye was strong to the finish.

Sweet Potatoes

Not quite a low calorie food at 105 calories per average size ‘tater, but these roots provide a great kick of energy and are low in fat and sodium.  Need more fiber?  1 sweet potato provides 15% of your daily need for fiber, encouraging digestive health and triggering a satisfying “fullness” after your meal.  Solidifying its place as a “fit” food, sweet potatoes brag 400% of your daily need for vitamin A for vision and immune health, while also providing generous levels of vitamin B-6 and potassium to help your metabolism and cardiovascular health. Sweeeeet!

Broccoli

Looking for a “free” food?  This is as close as it gets.  With very little calories, fats, or carbs you can pretty much eat as much broccoli as you want…as long as you don’t drench it in cheese.  1 cup of steamed broccoli provides 20% of your daily fiber needs, and has amazing levels of vitamins A, C, E, and K.  Broccoli also supplies essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6, and a nutrient combo that helps prevent sun damage to skin and promote bone strength.  This impressive list places it as my favorite “fit” food.

As I mentioned, Indiana offers a generous list of wonderful foods grown right here at home, and these are just a few.  Please take advantage of your local Farmer’s Market and add local foods and produce to your grocery list.  You, your family, and your town will all benefit.