Written by guest blogger Anna Roe, a dietetic intern at the UK Markey Cancer Center.
Sunshine, vibrant flowers, sweet smells and tasty produce are easily found at Kentucky’s own kind of paradise: local farmers markets.
Whether you’re looking for new foods to try during cancer treatment or just looking for a fun local place to explore, the farmers market has you covered. Here are five health perqs of checking out the farmers market in your free time:
1. A new experience
Exploring a farmers market can be a great break from your daily routine. Even if you have been before, vendors and foods often change from week to week. Nearly every visit offers a fun, new experience.
2. An introduction to alternative foods
If your tastes or food preferences are changing due to your cancer treatment, or you are looking for some outside-the-box produce ideas, the farmers market is the place for you!
Farmers markets usually have a mixture of common and unique foods. This variety can help keep your taste buds happy while offering a beneficial mixture of nutrients.
3. A chance to try before you buy
Many growers and harvesters offer samples of their food to try before you purchase. This can be helpful when your tastes change and you’re searching for foods with unfamiliar flavors and textures.
When you find foods you like, ask the grower or harvester for recipe ideas that incorporate their products. They usually have great ideas that they love to share.
4. A resource for top nutrients and flavor
Produce and other foods from local growers are usually at prime ripeness and flavor while being minimally processed. This translates to the foods retaining most of their natural vitamins and minerals, which can help promote good nutrition through cancer treatment and beyond. Many individuals find that local foods also offer richer flavors, which can make them more enjoyable.
5. A way to sneak in exercise
Depending on the size of the market, a bit of walking is usually involved. Farmers markets often have a good mix of walking areas and seating areas for your convenience. You can aim for the recommended 30 minutes of daily activity while scouting out food stands. And don’t forget that seating areas are great places to snack on a recent purchase!
Farmers markets are wonderful places to explore pleasant atmospheres and enjoy a variety of new or classic foods. Visit the National Farmers Market Directory to find more information about your local farmers market, including location and hours of operation.