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Seven foods for seniors from farmer’s markets

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The popularity of farmer’s markets seems to be on the rise. Some municipalities have built very nice accommodations for such, while others just set aside a designated area for the fresh fruit and veggies offered by local farmers and gardeners.

A trip to your local farmer’s market is a great excuse for an outing with friends and family. Even if you don’t buy anything, it is likely you will see others you have not seen in a while; get a little extra exercise as you move from booth to booth; enjoy the fresh, outdoor air; and, find some foods you may not have experienced before.

In the summer 2014 issue of Agingcare.com®, Taji Mortazavi lists seven senior-friendly farmer’s market foods which are affordable and can get them into the fruit and veggie groove. These are:

Arugula: Arugula is a peppery lettuce that is very rich in selenium, which is what gives it that peppery flavor. It is known for its antioxidant properties – and folate (an important B vitamin), making it a great base for spring salads.

Asparagus: Asparagus is rich in glutathione, an antioxidant that fights aging and potentially prevents cancer. Raw, chopped asparagus can be added to salads. After roasting spears of asparagus in the oven with a little olive oil, garlic and salt, you will have a crispy alternative to French fries that won’t cause a spike in your blood sugar.

Fava beans: Do not boil fava beans as that completely strips them of their nutrients. Instead, try sautéing them in a little olive oil, or mixing cooked fava beans with steamed basmati rice, chopped dill and freshly minced garlic.

Green onions: Green onions and scallions are milder in flavor and texture than white onions while still adding a punch to any dish. Adding a handful to a bowl of chili or soup is an easy way to instantly boost the flavor of the dish.

Peas: Green peas are rich in vitamins C and E, and the mineral zinc. They can be added to salads, soups and casseroles to reduce inflammation that causes indigestion, heart disease – and even Alzheimer’s.

Radishes: Radishes are one of the most fiber-rich vegetables; one cup can provide eight grams of protein. Radishes should be added to dishes gradually, however, as too much too soon might cause an upset stomach.

Strawberries: Strawberries are one of the sweetest fruits to feed your loved ones. They contain antioxidants which can assist with all kinds of health problems and ailments. Their high vitamin C content may alleviate the severity of bruises and promote quicker healing.

You can follow the author’s senior nutrition and health blog at: www.AgingCare.com/Blogger/Taji-Mortazavi.

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