The Summer and Fall months are a great time of year to meet your maker. Your local farmers, I mean.
This past growing season has been spectacular, despite the drought. A drive to local Vancouver-Island farms will prove this point. My own personal farm-ette has an embarrassment of tomatoes this year (whose idea was it to plant 72 tomato plants?).
The point is that we’re lucky to live in a part of the world where small-scale farmers still make up part of our population. Do YOU know where your local farms are? Do you know when and where the farmer’s markets are held?
If not, it’s time to meet your local food makers and harvest your health!
Strong bones, energy, amazing poops (yes, amazing) – who’s in?
One of the best things you can do for yourself is get in the habit of adding dark leafy greens to your diet on a daily basis. Step aside iceberg lettuce!
Dark leafy greens such as spinach, beet greens, kale, collard greens, and the crucial cruciferous – broccoli – are part of a bone-building posse, which include calcium, magnesium, and vitamin K.
There are several key nutrients that allow your body to absorb calcium: magnesium and vitamin K. Dark leafy greens are high in magnesium (which is dandy) and the vitamin K in greens supports the proteins involved in creating bone mass. What a team!
Did you know there is a B.C. authored cookbook just for kale? I know!
I know it’s fun to carve a pumpkin and shove a candle in it – but what about actually eating one? There is a jaw-dropping variety of squash and pumpkin available – check out McNab’s farm in YellowPoint for a start.
Did you know that cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage and broccoli contain a nutrient that helps block the growth of cancer cells? It prevents them from metastasizing, and even promote cancer cell death (called apoptosis – your fancy word for the day).
Mushrooms, such as shiitake and crimini, contain chemicals that stimulate the immune system and have been very well researched. Perfect for the colder months of the year. Immunity – well up yours!
Garlic, onions, and leeks rank very high among the most effective foods for several types of cancers.
Beta-carotene rich vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and yams are known to be antioxidant, a substance that protects cells from chemical damage.
Try to get at least 8-10 servings per day. Think of it as eating a rainbow everyday!
I know, those pre-portioned and pre-prepared meals are undeniably convenient for the busy parent/chauffeur… but at what cost?
Well, it’s at least double the cost (if not triple or more) of purchasing whole food ingredients and making your own lunchables. You get more for your dollar and you know exactly what has gone into the food you are eating and serving to your family.
But what about the nutritional cost? Ever noticed that there isn’t a 2-inch long list of ingredients on a zucchini? How about on that “just microwave and eat” meal? Yeah.
Try to make more time for being in the kitchen – it’s better for your health AND your wallet.
Hardly a day goes by when we don’t hear about some new substance in a vegetable for fruit that has been shown to have some kind of protective quality. Superfood this, superfood that.
Food in its whole form contains thousands of phytonutrients along with other life preserving substances such as antioxidants. Never mind all of the substances not yet discovered!
But scientists cannot create a pill containing all of these incredible substances. Isolating one or two of the most recently “discovered” ones ignores and oversimplifies the synergistic qualities that these compounds require to be properly absorbed and utilized. The flag is not the ship! (I love an analogy, don’t you?)
So back to my point about whole foods and harvest season. The prescription is nutrition and it’s written on the back of your mother’s hand… Mother Nature to be more specific.
Check out what she has created for you at your local grocer or farmer’s market!
“Harvest your health” was written by Nutritionist & Orthomolecular Practitioner Tricia Pearson. Thanks for reading!
Tricia Pearson is a Certified Nutritionist specializing in cancer and diabetes. Check out Tricia's services and find out how to harvest the best of your health.
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