Healthy Body, Healthy Mind: How Your Brain Benefits from Natural Food

It shouldn’t come to a surprise that eating healthy and natural food will improve your cognitive skills. After all, isn’t that what your parents have been telling you since you were a kid refusing to eat your plate of broccoli because they taste gross? By now you already know the physical benefits of a healthy all natural diet but are you aware of the mental benefits of eating healthy

Eating healthy will not only make you look better. But, you’ll also feel better too. Think back to the last time you ate at a fast food joint. After your highly saturated meal, you most likely felt sluggish, bloated even. Perhaps you felt heavy the entire day and wanted nothing more than to sleep the moment you got home. Whereas when you eat a healthier, greener meal, you’ll feel more awake and energized. You’re able to focus better and even more motivated to achieve your goals for the day. 

Natural foods like fruits and vegetables are necessary for our body, but with the rapid urbanization of most communities, it can be a little tricky and frustrating to find fresh produce. For a lot of people, eating natural food is too much trouble for what it’s worth especially for those living in the middle of the city. Processed foods might be easier to come by but, make no mistake, compared to natural food, they’re devoid of essential nutrients and vitamins that your body needs. Fresh and raw fruits and vegetables are as close to as nature intended for us to consume them so obviously they are insanely rich in health-giving nutrients. 

There’s a reason why health junkies always seem so perky and optimistic. Their diet of natural food boosts their cognitive functions and greatly improves their overall mental and emotional state. What you fill in your stomach impacts your brain in more ways than you can imagine. It doesn’t stop there either. Healthy eating can also benefit your hair, no matter what type it may be, be it straight, curly, long, or short. However, for those looking to straighten their naturally curly hair, here are simply straight reviews for hair maintenance

Natural Food for Mental Health

Recently experts have discovered the strong correlation between good nutrition and mental health Studies and surveys conducted have revealed that healthy and natural food is vital for maintaining a balanced and healthy psyche. 

Research has even shown that there seems to be evidence that supports the idea that natural food can aid in the recovery of people with mental health issues. While dietary changes won’t completely improve one’s anxiety or depression, they can reduce symptoms of mental illnesses. 

What and how people eat seems to be a factor in whether a person will develop depression or anxiety, or exacerbate the symptoms. Since the food that we eat impacts our neurotransmitter levels and functioning, it makes sense that choosing a healthier diet can lead to an improved mental state. Serotonin, for instance, the hormone that controls your mood, is manufactured in the gut. Treat your gut poorly, and your serotonin levels will decline. 

Did you know that people are eating a Japanese or Mediterranean type of diet, which mainly composed of fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants as well as clean and healthy whole foods, are less likely to get depression than those on a more Western diet (red meat, carbs, and processed food)? 

The majority believe that natural food provides more micronutrients which could improve a person’s mental well-being. Studies revealed that those who eat raw fruits and vegetables reported better than those who eat cooked or processed meals. Processed foods cause degradation of nutrients, so they make poor diet choices for anyone looking for a mental boost.

Boosting Your Brain Power

Besides constantly reading and learning and getting into spirited debates with your peers, you can also improve cognitive functions with the right diet Proper nutrition will improve the blood flow to your brain, keeping your body’s most important organ safe and in good shape. Additionally, a healthier diet will guarantee that your brain will have enough energy for peak productiveness. 

Here are a few recommended foods that will keep your mind healthy and sharpso you’ll always be working at your best.

Green and Leafy Vegetables

First, up is, to absolutely no one’s surprise, vegetables. That’s right, and those leafy greens are your ticket to a stronger brain. Vegetables like spinach, beets, turnips, broccoli, lentils, and the like are rich in folic acid which is crucial for brain development. Folate deficiency has been known to cause higher levels of fatigue, insomnia, even mental disorders like depression. No wonder your parents kept forcing you to eat broccoli all those years ago. 

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Or fatty fish like salmon and mackerel. Fatty fish are quite known as brain boosters. Your body can’t naturally produce essential fatty acids that our brain needs. Therefore, you need to include omega-3s in your diet as much as you can. 

Omega-3 fatty acids support the synapses of our brain, boosting your ability to learn and retain new information. Not only that, but omega-3s also affect the production of neurotransmitters which researchers have found can reduce symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety, and other mental disorders. Fatty fish seems to have a mood-stabilizing effecttoo which can be helpful for people recovering from depression.

Lean Protein

Protein is actually one of the most abundant substances in one’s body. The building block of protein, amino acid tryptophan, produces the neurotransmitter serotonin which can influence a person’s mood. An imbalance of serotonin levels can severely affect one’s mental healththat’s why lean protein like chicken, fish, turkey, eggs, and beans are so important. 

Whole Grain

Lastly, we all know that the brain’s source of energy is from the sugar glucose. This comes from carbohydrates, but it should be noted that not all carbohydrates are equal. Simple carbs (like processed and refined sugar) are broken down quickly which, rather than energize one’s brain, can actually cause a decline in mood levels. Not to mention, it can create spikes in one’s blood sugar. Complex carbs (whole grain), on the other hand, break down and release glucose gradually, which means that it’s a steadier source of energy for your mind and your body. Whole wheat products, oats, wild rice, soy, and beans are excellent sources of complex carbohydrates. 

Being Mindful of Your Mental Health Diet

Additionally, there are a few foods and drinks that you’re better off avoiding if you wish to improve your mental health Keep these important tips in mind when you are setting off to formulating your next diet.

Stay hydrated all the time. Drink the recommended number of glasses of water each day since even mild dehydration can make you lose focus, drain your energy, and alter your mood.

Cut back on caffeine. For coffee addicts out there, it is highly recommended to lessen one’s daily consumption of coffee especially for those with anxiety disorders. If you must have caffeine, drink tea instead of coffee. Not only does tea have a lower amount of caffeine than coffee, but it also has antioxidants which can protect your body tissues from toxins. 

Avoid sugary drinks as well. Sodas and juices might be sweet, but they’re simply empty calories that do more harm than good. Moreover, they can damage your teeth because of all that sugar in the long run.

Spend time out in the sun for ten to thirty minutes at least twice in a week. Vitamin D is crucial for our muscles as well as our immune system, and our body can naturally produce this vitamin as a result of being under the sun. Of course, you shouldn’t spend too much time exposed in the sun. Otherwise, you’d get sunburned. A brief walk or jog early in the morning will do the trick just fine.

Speaking of early mornings, never forget to eat a healthy breakfast meal. Remember, breakfast is the most important meal of the day since it will fuel your body after so many hours of going without food. Not only that, breakfast jumpstarts your metabolism so skipping this crucial meal will lead your body to feel weak and sluggish.

Eating Healthy, Looking Good:
 How To Improve Your Complexion with the Right Diet

Growing up, you may have heard of the old saying “Health is wealth” countless times over. It was either your parent’s reprimand when they see you eating sweets and junk food or your teachers and doctors advising you to be more mindful of what you choose to eat. Of course, many of us chose to brush off their words and carry on with our haphazard diet as kids. 

Now that you’re older and wiser (and most likely more aware of the consequences of unhealthy eating), the adage “Health is wealth” makes so much more sense. Junk food and fast food may still be delicious, but all that oil and fat are definitely not doing you any favors. Not only do you feel heavy and sluggish after such an unhealthy meal, but you’ll also suffer breakouts and other skin blemishes that you desperately hide every time you go out.

That’s right. One of the most significant indicators of good health is beautiful and glowing skin If you don’t provide the right vitamins and nutrients to your body, your skin (the most significant and most visible part of you) will suffer the most. For adults especially, pimples, dry skin, and acne are unseemly since it’s a sign of neglecting one’s health.

While there are countless ways of treating skin blemishes (such as a strict skincare regimen or even a salicylic acid peel), the best way to really get that beautiful glowing skin is to eat healthily. A good diet composed of leafy greens, fruits, and the right amount of protein will do wonders for your skin. Moreover, it takes around 30 days for the outer layer of your skin (the epidermis) to shed and to entirely replace itself, so if you stick to a healthy diet, you’ll see results after only a month.

Healthy Skin 101

Contrary to what some people might believe, eating healthy is quite simple. Really all you need to do is stick to your diet and avoid indulging too much on food that’s unhealthy for you. It might seem impossible at first – especially if you’re a long time fanatic of salty, greasy food and sweet treats – but with time and dedication, you can turn your life around.

Adopting a healthy nutritional habit is entirely achievable if you put your mind to it. What you need to do is consume more healthy food than junk food. Here are the vitamins and nutrients essential to healthy skin:

Zinc This is arguably the most critical mineral for achieving that healthy glow on your skin. Zinc regulates the natural oils in the skin and balances hormones that cause breakouts. Basically, this mineral is very beneficial for those who suffer from frequent acne. Studies have even proven that those who have low levels of zinc are more prone to breakouts.

Food enriched with zinc:  almonds, Brazil nuts, shellfish, seeds, turkey, dark chocolate

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) This antioxidant vitamin is crucial for our overall health, but when it comes to caring for our skin, vitamin C plays an even more significant role. It’s vital for collagen synthesis and has even shown to be able to aid in preventing UV skin damage. Vitamin C also has anti-aging properties and can help one avoid wrinkles.

Food enriched with vitamin C: orange, lemon, papaya, grapefruit, tomatoes

Vitamin E Like vitamin C, vitamin E is vital for skincare. It’s uniquely positioned to keep your skin’s integrity and appearance. Not only does it prevent premature signs of aging, but it also keeps your skin hydrated, reduce the appearance of scars, and protects you from sun damage. There’s a reason why most skin care products and supplements include more vitamin E than any other nutrient.

Food enriched with vitamin E: nuts, avocados, broccoli, leafy green vegetables

Vitamin A This vitamin has more profound effects on your skin. Vitamin A stimulates cells that keep your skin young and firm and generally encourages healthy skin cell production. And since this vitamin promotes cell production, it also helps protect your body from harmful irritants. Moreover, vitamin A clears up acne and blemishes as well as evens your skin tone so you can achieve that healthy glow.

Food enriched with vitamin A: carrots, spinach, fish oil, salmon

Omega-3 Fatty Acids. This nutrient supports normal healthy skin cell turnover which prevents breakouts and blemishes. Omega-3 fatty acids also prevent certain types of molecules that lead to skin inflammation. A deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids can lead to dry skin since this nutrient is what keeps skin supple and moisturized.

Food enriched with omega-3 fatty acids: herring, mackerel, salmon, and other fatty fish

Selenium Lastly, this antioxidant mineral protects your skin from free radical damage and from harmful UV rays. Selenium also keeps your skin youthful and elastic as well as prevents acne breakouts.

Food enriched with selenium: eggs, brown rice, nuts, tuna, garlic, salmon

Eating Healthy Do’s and Don’ts

Now that we know the minerals and nutrients necessary for healthy skin, it’s time to talk about the habits you need to adopt. Health isn’t a one-step process where you can just consume the suggested types of food and expect good results. There are guidelines you need to follow for your healthy diet to really kick in.

Drink water.

Keeping hydrated is so important for your health, especially if you want healthy skin. Many people tend to forget to drink the recommended amount of water every day while others assume that their sodas, juices, and coffee are useful enough for hydrating their body. The truth is that caffeinated and carbonated drinks can actually cause dehydration in excess.

Proper hydration can lead to plump and healthy skin since water can flush out toxins and aid in skin regeneration. However, it should be noted that there is such a thing as drinking too much water. Overhydration has its adverse effects too, one of them is as severe as being at risk for seizures.

Experts suggest that people drink five to eight glasses of water.

Stay active.

Eating healthy is one thing. Staying healthy is another. You can’t just rely on your diet to reach your health goals, no matter how good you are at avoiding unhealthy food. Even when it comes to caring for your skin, exercise can be really advantageous. A good exercise regimen will help your body flush out toxins through sweating. Toxins can manifest themselves as pimples or other skin blemishes, so that’s one-way exercise can help clear your skin.

Another benefit of exercise is the proper bowel movement. A symptom of constipation is breakouts so by exercising and improving your bowel movement, and you’d be avoiding pimples from appearing on your face.

Listen to your body.

This basically boils down to: if your body is hungry, eat. This might sound overly simplistic, but a lot of people tend to ignore their body’s signs of hunger. They’ll let their stomach rumble and complain until, eventually, they’ll forget to eat altogether. Satiating your hunger at the right time is essential.

Additionally, it would help if you didn’t let your moods and emotions dictate your eating habits. Don’t binge just because the mood strikes. Your mind might be telling you to go all out, but your body will be the one to suffer so you need to be disciplined.

Don’t overeat.

Speaking of, a common misconception when it comes to healthy eating is that you need to eat a lot in order to enjoy the vitamins and minerals fully. However, overeating can be detrimental to your health, even when you’re consuming leafy greens and such. Eating more than your stomach can handle will cause you to bloat and feel sluggish. It also slows down digestion. Overeating can then worsen your skin condition, no matter how healthy your diet supposedly is.

Experts recommend that you stop eating once you already feel full. You might be tempted to eat more, especially if there’s still a lot of food on the table, but exercise self-restraint. Your stomach needs room to digest your food too so don’t stuff yourself too much.

Remember the foods you need to avoid.

Just as there are foods that health experts recommend for healthy skin, there are also foods you must avoid. This list of foods might be a bit difficult to swallow for many but, rest assured, once you get into the habit it’ll get much easier to avoid them.

Here are the foods commonly suspected of causing skin problems: caffeinated drinks, alcohol, sugar, dairy, salt, refined bread, and processed foods (instant ramen, dried fruits, canned food).

It should also go without saying that fast food and junk food should be avoided too. Basically, anything with too much oil and preservatives is good to stay away from.

Cheat day.

Lastly, give yourself a cheat day at least once a week. Allow yourself an “unhealthy” meal or a sugary snack on your planned splurging day. Dieticians recommend this strategy not only to reward you for your work but also a way of jumpstarting your metabolism and regulating your body’s hormones.

Of course, like with everything else, it’s not wise to overdo it on your cheat days.

Eating Healthy and Raising Kids Right:
 What Your Child can Learn at the Farmers Market

It’s never too early to be teaching your kids valuable life lessons. A child’s formative years should be spent learning new things as well as bonding with their family. Unfortunately, with the rapid advancement in technology and the rise of fast-paced lifestyles, people may be starting to forget that children need care and attention. Too many parents believe that they can rely on television or smartphones to entertain and perhaps even teach their young ones certain basic subjects. 

While some programs and applications can teach a young child their 1-2-3s and a-b-cs, people shouldn’t encourage their kid to depend on online entertainment from such a young age. Parents have the all too important task of spending quality time with their young ones, teaching them the wonders of the world firsthand. And with technology taking over our lives, parents need to see to it that their child isn’t just glued to the TV or the computer all day long.

That’s why a lot of people highly advise parents to bring their children to the farmers market every once in a while. Besides getting the fresh air that growing kids need, they’ll also learn so much more out in the market than they could ever hope to gain in front of a computer screen. Moreover, parents will be more motivated to eat healthier when they shop at the farmers market too, and healthy living is always a good thing.

You’re probably hesitant to bring along your energetic little tyke because you’re afraid of losing control of them and causing a scene. Don’t worry. You’re not alone. Anyone who has ever had a kid knows how much of a challenge it is to shop with their child in tow. They get bored quickly, can be too curious for their own good, and don’t have a developed sense of self-control. Basically, a recipe for disaster.

Fortunately for parents everywhere, there are plenty of fun and educational activities you can have your child do at the farmers market instead of just merely tagging along with the trip. Here are a few simple but effective exercises you can try on your next trip to the farmers market.

Meet the Farmers

One of the benefits of going to a farmers market instead of a commercial grocery store is the opportunities to meet the people who grew and handled and your food. At the market, you can stop by as many stalls as you can and befriend the farmer or grower. Encourage your child to ask the farmer some questions so they’ll learn about what goes on in growing food. This will not only be very educational for your kid, but it will also make your kid appreciate the agriculture sector and nature in general. By meeting actual farmers, your child will have a better understanding of where food comes from. You can also encourage your child to try samples of unfamiliar fruits or vegetables while you’re stall-hopping.

Farmers Market Adventure

There are numerous sources online where you can find printable activities for your kids. One favorite activity is the scavenger hunt where you can turn your ordinary produce shopping into an exciting adventure. Give your child a list of fruits or vegetables or (to make it really challenge) just a description of a particular type of produce. This can be as simple as finding a vegetable with a particular color or a fruit with seeds on its outside instead of in. It’ll be your child’s task to find all the produce on the list. This is a fun game for your kid that will really challenge them to learn about their fruits and veggies.

Planning a Meal

You can also have your child be more involved in the actual meal preparation process. Before you hit the farmers market, tell your child the ingredients needed for their next meal and give them the responsibility of finding particular ingredients. Alternatively, you can give your child the freedom to choose the main ingredients for your meal. This will really encourage your child to be more proactive during your shopping trip. And if they’re the ones choosing what goes in their next meal, they’re more likely to eat it regardless of what vegetable is in it.

Future Farmers

If you’re a regular patron of the farmers market, you probably already know how important growing one’s own food is. You can foster this type of attitude at home too. Buy vegetable seeds at the market and have your kids plant them in your garden. This might be a little complicated, and it requires dedication from your child but, with the right encouragement and support, your child will learn to love their own vegetable garden. This activity will teach your child about growing food, not to mention patience and diligence.

Mini Farmers Market

This one is for younger kids who aren’t ready for the real deal just yet. Set up a play area that resembles a farmers market (with stalls, tables, and crates) and takes turns playing farmer and customer. For added effect, you can even get the best outdoor speakers to play music just like at the market. You can either use real fruits and vegetables for this game or pretend ones. If your child has been to the farmers market before and has talked to some farmers in the past, you (as the customer) can ask your child questions about how they “grew” their produce and tested their knowledge on farming. These types of pretend games are particularly fun for imaginative little tykes.

Picnic Day

Farmers markets aren’t only for selling and buying produce or homemade products. It’s the perfect place, so there’s really no need to rush in and out of the market. Most markets have plenty of space for a picnic. You can pack snacks in advance or buy homemade goods at the market. If you’re planning to eat the fruits and vegetables, make sure to give them a thorough washing. No matter how clean and organic it claims to be, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Quick Tips on Navigating the Farmers Market with Young Kids

Bringing your kids along to the farmers market requires a certain amount of effort, but it is doable. It’s well worth the trouble too since your child can benefit so much from such an enlightening trip. But if you’re still a little apprehensive, keep these things in mind on your shopping trip.

Let your children know what you expect from them while at the farmers market. Tell them that a market is a fun place, but that doesn’t mean that they can run around and roughhouse like at the playground. A farmers market is a place where people can sell produce, so the kids need to respect that. Make sure your child knows what to expect at the market too so they’ll get an idea on how to act. Your kids can have an enjoyable time there as long as they don’t overdo it. While you’re at it, make sure your kids wear appropriate clothes to the market like cotton shirts and knee socks, so they’ll be protected but also relaxed and comfortable.

Speaking of setting up their expectations, explain to your child ahead of time that a lot of stalls at the farmers market offer free samples, but they need to be courteous and respectful to the vendors too. Teach them that samples are only one per person and vendors only offer them to entice customers to buy their product. Kids and even some adults have a tendency to take advantage of free samples. So, even before you reach the farmers market, be sure to explain free sample etiquette to your little one fully.

Know your own child’s limits when it comes to field trips to the market. Even if they’re playing a game or preoccupied with an activity, they will eventually lose interest if you’re at the market long enough. Every child has their limit, so if your kid starts whining that they’re tired or bored already, you can give them a break. Buy them a treat perhaps. Or let them play with your smartphone for a little bit.

Encourage your kid to ask farmers questions but be sure that they’re respectful too. Kids are naturally curious, and when you let them talk to a farmer, they’ll ask a barrage of questions. They can’t help it. However, when it seems like your kid is getting too caught up or is already holding up the line, it’s time to move on. Remember, the farmers there are busy trying to sell their produce and, as much as they would have like to, they don’t have the time to answer all of your child’s questions.

Lastly, the farmers market is a great place to try new things like unfamiliar fruits and vegetables or foreign baked goods. Persuade your kid to try out something they’ve never tried before. A lot of kids are picky eaters so by introducing them to a wide array of food at a farmers market, and you might just cure them of their culinary fussiness. Let them try new flavors and textures and give them a chance to experience wholly unfamiliar food. They might not appreciate it now but they will when they’re older.

Bringing Kids to the Farmers Market:
 Fun Activities and Game Ideas

Spring has come, and farmers markets are open for business! Finally, you can enjoy high-quality fresh produce made by your local farmers and growers. And if you’re a health nut with tiny tykes, the nearest farmers market is going to be a treat for you and for your kids. After all, one of the main benefits of farmers markets is that they’re the perfect places for socializing with your neighbors and for bonding with your loved ones. Good food tends to do that.

However, as a parent, you know that kids and shopping areas don’t really go together. They can’t stand still and get bored within seconds. With your rambunctious child’s ceaseless energy and the busy atmosphere of a regular farmers market, it might seem like a catastrophe waiting to happen. There’s a lot of stimuli at such a colorful and bustling place like the market, so kids are bound to get excited.

Forcing kids to be still and behave the entire shopping trip is impossible and, more to the point, goes against their nature. But leaving them at home would either be impractical or a missed opportunity. So what can you do?

Well since you can’t – and shouldn’t – try to suppress your kid’s frantic energy, why not channel their energy to something productive and fun? If you give your kids something to do, they’ll not only be entertained at the farmers market, and they’ll stay out of trouble so you can do your own shopping in relative peace.

In this article, we’ve collected a few fun activities you can try out on your kids the next time you head to the farmers market. With these ideas, your kid will have a blast at the market and maybe even learn a thing or two about food and farming. Plus you’ll be able to spend more quality time with your precious children.

First Things First: Preparation

Before you even head out to the nearest farmers market, you need to do a little bit of prep work to make sure that everything will go swimmingly. When it comes to kids, you can never be too prepared.

Research. Most if not all farmers markets have their own social media page somewhere. Check their page for basic information like their opening and closing times, and also if they have some exclusive kids’ activities organized (which some markets tend to do) and if the bathroom is nearby. You can even look at photos of the market to see what you’ll be dealing with.

Gear up. Chances are you will be spending a lot of time at the market, so you need to bring the essentials. Make sure that your child wears something cute and comfortable. Your kid is probably going to spend the entire trip running around, maybe even dancing to the music at the market, so be sure they’ll wear comfortable hip hop shoes Then you’ll need to pack sunblock, water bottles, a change of clothes, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, snacks – basically the kind of things you would typically bring to an outing. It might seem unnecessary, but when you’re out at the market with your kids running around and exploring, no matter how careful you are, your child is going to come back a mess.

Give your kid their own basket Farmers markets don’t offer patrons with pushcarts and baskets like in commercial stores. You need to bring your own while you’re shopping. This is an excellent opportunity to teach your child some responsibility. Giving them their own basket to carry around produce with will give them a sense of obligation and trust. They’ll know how it feels to be responsible for something and will learn to be more careful.

Carry some change. Speaking of teaching kids responsibility, you can also give them a small purse of change which they can use to purchase their selection of produce. They won’t be carrying with them a lot of money, of course, but just enough to buy a pear or an apple. Not only will they feel grown up, but they will also learn firsthand what it’s like to budget one’s money. Plus, if they buy a fruit or a vegetable on their own, they’re more likely to eat it.

Go with a full stomach. You know what they say, never shop for groceries on an empty stomach. If your kids are feeling peckish while at the farmers market, they might buy things on impulse with no real intention of eating their selected food. It’s best you go to the market after a meal or a hearty snack.

Games and Activities

The Shopping Game

A classic and effective game is the “shopping game” where you’ll have your little ones look for produce that matches the colors of the rainbow or, better yet, fruits and vegetables that start with the letters of the alphabet. To make it more fun, you can even challenge your child to find food that starts with the letters that spell their name. If your kids are competitive, you can also reward the first one to finish first. They’ll be having a blast and might even get to know some new fruits and vegetables.

Play with Your Food

Another funny game is this original food finding game. The gist of this one is that you tell your children to find a fruit or a vegetable they can make a fun character off. They can even get smaller food to serve as facial features or limbs. At the end of the trip, your kids can put together their character, using toothpicks to stick on the parts. Make sure they’re well supervised though.

Produce Photography

In this modern era, kids know how to use tech almost better than some adults. If your kid is obsessed with a smartphone, you can suggest this activity. You challenge your child to take photos of specific fruits and veggies. You can even write a list of the types of photos they need to take like close-ups of the produce, profile shots, etc. Who knows? You might ignite your child’s creativity with this game idea.

Free samples!

At most farmers markets, stalls would often offer samples of their produce or product. This is an excellent chance for your kids to try new and healthier food. You can challenge them to try as many new foods as they can. If your child is a picky eater, now’s a great time to encourage them to overcome their fussiness and expand their palate.

Scavenger Hunt

Now this game is going to take a little prep work beforehand. You can either list the items your kids need to find or print photos of the produce. This will be fun for kids looking for an adventure.

Finding the Best Organic Farmers Market Vegetables

Healthy eating and an all-natural lifestyle have been everyone’s obsession nowadays. However, as many quickly learned, funding such a green way of life isn’t easy on one’s budget Thank goodness farmers markets exist! People now have better access to better and healthier food without breaking the bank.

If you haven’t heard of a farmers market by now, you’ve probably been living under a rock. There are thousands of farmers markets spread out across the country, with more popping up as time passes by. Consumers are much more attentive to where their food is coming from so being able to buy produce directly from the farmer or grower has been a real game changer. Not only are people eating better and healthier, but farmers and other people in the agriculture business are being given a boost which, in today’s rapidly growing economy, is much needed.

Another significant trend that’s gripped the public as of late is choosing to buy and consume organic food or fruits and vegetables grown without the use of chemical pesticides, fertilizers, or the like. Yes, there’s a ton of benefits of eating organically grown produce instead of the ones you can find at a supermarket. Researchers have proven that conventionally grown produce – which uses chemicals to help the fruits or vegetables grow – contain chemical residue even after thorough washing. Consuming this contaminated produce could risk your health in the long run.

However, make no mistake. Not everything that’s available in a farmers market is organic. Most, if not all, the produce and other food products may be locally grown or made, but not all of the produce is guaranteed to be organically grown.

Lucky for you, there’s a quick way to determine which stall sells organic food. The proper authorities certify organic farmers before they can sell their produce and they’ll definitely have a sign advertising their organic fruits or vegetables. But sometimes even a simple sign isn’t enough. If you’re really particular about your food or if you’re just starting to give farmers markets a try, it’s best if you keep these food safety tips in mind before you make a purchase: 

1. Talk to the farmer or seller

Besides as a safety precaution, this is also one of the main benefits of shopping at a farmers market. You can get to know the person or persons involved in growing and harvesting your food. Not only will you be more aware and appreciative of your food, but you’ll also be connecting with people in your community.

Don’t be afraid to ask the farmer questions about themselves and their farm. Sometimes sellers will buy produce from other farmers (or even from a supermarket) and pass it off as their own. You can easily tell if the seller is legitimate with a few simple questions. Of course, it should go without saying that you need to be polite and friendly.

2. Be aware of what the signs and statements mean

When you get to a farmers market, you’re going to find yourself surrounded by these signs with buzzwords that may not know the meaning of. It’s easy to get swept into the spirit of things, but it’s important to understand what you’re buying. For instance, stalls that sell “certified organic” produce mean that they have all the right verification from food authorities. So if you’re looking for organic fruits and vegetables, look for stalls with that sign. On the other hand, some stalls might bear signs saying that their produce is “pesticide free” which can be confusing and need further clarification. Both organic and conventional produce use pesticide (the former using natural pesticide instead of chemical), so if a vendor claims that they don’t use pesticide, you can ask what they use to prevent pests from infecting the fruit or vegetable instead.

3. Take your time

Although it depends on the area, most farmers markets are quite huge, with several stalls selling similar products and produce. Don’t just visit a couple of stalls while you’re there. Take your time and really explore the place. You might find better or more affordable produce

4. Don’t judge a produce by its cover

Lastly, even though certified organic produce doesn’t use chemical pesticides, that doesn’t mean that you can eat the fruit or vegetable raw or unwashed. No matter how clean and spotless a fruit or vegetable appears, you need to give it a thorough washing before you can consume it. You never know what microorganisms are on the surface of that produce, so it’s wise to wash it before taking a bite.

Speaking of cover, fruits and vegetables are essential in helping your skin get that healthy glow. But if you’re interested in taking things one step further, you can check out Nerium reviews for the best skincare products.

Best Organic Vegetables to Buy

Onions

If you’re really into cooking, you know how essential onions can be. However, did you know that most onions are shipped from other countries? Those onions you get at the grocery store most likely come from as far away as South America. Plus, they’re treated with chemical pesticides. That’s why farmers market organic onions are so much better. They’re safer to consume, and they taste better too.

Asparagus

Here’s another vegetable that’s commonly shipped from overseas. What’s more is that the authorities actually require all imported asparagus to be sprayed with a specific type of pesticide that researchers suspect can cause cancer. All the more reason to buy asparagus at a farmers market. Organic asparagus is so much healthier, and you can even find different kinds of asparagus like the purple ones which, by the way, have disease-busting properties and anti-carcinogens. And as a bonus tip: get asparagus stalks that are still stiff and straight. The ones that droop are already old and have lost their essential nutrients.

Tomatoes

Grocery store tomatoes are often chosen to be identical with one another. They’re harvested before they’re ripe and then refrigerated so they can be transported easily. As a result, the tomatoes you buy at a supermarket aren’t nearly as juicy and delicious as the ones you get at a farmers market. Organic tomatoes are picked when they’re fully ripe, so you get them when their taste and texture are at their best. Tomatoes are packed with nutrients and vitamins too so getting them at a farmers market is absolutely essential.

Bell Peppers

When you buy conventionally grown bell peppers, they tend to have a lot of pesticide residue. That’s why organic bell peppers are the way to go. Not only can you find organic bell peppers at a farmers market, but you can also bet that you’ll find a wider variety of bell peppers too. Green peppers, in particular, are wonderful since they have a ton of antioxidants.

Carrots

Speaking of variety, did you know that there are actually purple carrots? You probably have never seen them in that color if you’ve only bought your produce at a grocery store. But you can find them at a farmers market. These colorful carrots have more nutrients than the typical orange carrot.

Radishes

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try out other varieties of radishes at the farmers market too. There are a lot of types you can’t find in a regular grocery store. What’s more is that these radishes are much more flavorful than your average red radish so you might find yourself a new favorite vegetable at the farmers market.

All Natural and Organic: The Best Fruits to Buy in a Farmers Market

One of the rising trends of the decade is the conscious decision to eat and live healthier. There’s been an enormous push for natural and organic ingredients everywhere these days, most likely in part because people are just more aware. Because of the digital revolution, just about everyone knows the perils and dangers of conventionally grown produce. People are now obsessed with knowing where their food was grown, how it was grown, and what was used to make it grow. 

That’s why farmers markets have experienced a massive increase in regular patrons. Most people don’t want to subject themselves to synthetically grown fruits and vegetables. Farmers markets are the answer to the public’s demand for better, safer, and organic produce.

Organic Fruits and Pesticides

If you’re new to farmers markets, you might not know what it means for fruits and vegetables to be considered “organic.” One common misconception is that any produce grown locally. While organic foodcan be grown in your local area, not all local produce is organic. Of course, there are benefits to buying local produce, but farmers need to be certified by the proper authorities first before they can proclaim that their produce is “organic.”

But what are the requirements farmers need to follow to be certified? First, they are prohibited from using synthetic pesticides and fertilizers to grow their produce. Chemical pesticides might keep fruits and vegetables safe from pests, but countless studies have shown just how even low doses of pesticides increase a person’s chances of several types of cancer.

Organic farmers do, however, use naturally-derived pesticides which are much less toxic than chemical ones. 

Another condition farmers need to meet is that they must take extra measures to protect their farm’s soil and water quality. Because of these specific conditions, organic produce tends to be more expensive than conventionally grown produce. But considering the risks that involve non-organic fruits and vegetables, the price is definitely worth it for most people.

However, if you do want to switch to a healthier, more natural, more organic lifestyle but still remain conscious of your food budget, there are some fruits that you can prioritize over other fruits. Certain types of conventionally grown produce are treated with more pesticides than others, so it’s best to buy the organic alternative. Other produce isn’t as heavily treated and are thus safer to consume. 

Here’s a list of natural and organic fruits we highly recommendbuying in a farmers market instead of commercial stores. Typically, these fruits have the highest pesticide levels so you’d do better to get them organic. 

Top Organic Fruits to Buy

Apples

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? Organic apples, in particular, are much safer and much healthier. This fruit is famous for being packed with vitamins, but it’s actually the most nutritious when it’s fresh. Grocery stores tend to keep apples in storage for months so when a customer buys them, the apples aren’t nearly as nutritious anymore. Plus, conventionally grown apples are one of the more heavily treated fruits. If you buy an organically grown apple at a farmers market during peak season, you’ll get not only a more delicious apple but also a more healthy one.  

Grapes

On the one hand, grapes you can find at a commercial store are bigger, and you can even get seedless. However, those grapes have been modified and have undergone heavy pesticide treatment. Organic grapes might be smaller, but they are safer. Plus, they’re tastier too. They also have a richer flavor that’s also much more nutritious than store bought grapes. Organic grapes are better for desserts too since they’re so flavourful. They also make for delicious homemade jams.

Peaches

According to recent studies, peaches are treated with more chemicals than any other fruit. They’re summer fruits, so they’re mostly imported from other countries, that’s why they’re so heavily treated. Our advice is to get organic peaches and stay away from the grocery store ones. Farmer’s market organic peaches tend to be sweeter too, so there’s an added bonus. They’re delicious, no doubt, but considering the number of chemicals that go into conventionally grown peaches, it’s not worth the risk. 

Watermelon

Another summer fruit on this list. One could even say that watermelons are the essential summer fruit since they’re so sweet and refreshing, perfect for those hot summer days. Watermelons you find at a commercial grocery store – especially after summer – aren’t very flavourful. You also won’t see much variety in grocery stores. That’s right, and there’s more than one kind of watermelon. You’re probably more familiar with the green-and-red type of watermelon, but in a farmers market, you can find different types of watermelon of all shapes and sizes. You’ll be surprised to see that there are watermelons with white flesh and yellow flesh. Expand your summer palate and give them a try!

Nectarine

This smooth-skinned peach is also one of the more heavily treated fruits, mainly since they’re typically imported from other countries. Suffice it to say, and organic nectarines are the better option. 

Cherries

For such a small fruit, cherries pack quite the punch. Organic cherries are especially delicious and healthy. Moreover, cherries have cholesterol-reducing properties but only if they’re fresh. If you’re a health nut, you’ll want to get yourself organic cherries fresh from the farmers market.   

Berries

People love berries because they’re so sweet and full of antioxidants. Raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries are most people’s all-time favorite fruits. While these berries might appear fresh when you buy them in grocery stores – their bright colors are definitely alluring – they actually come from other countries. Which means they’re very chemically treated to maintain the appearance of freshness. On the other hand, organic berries are much healthier and sweeter. 

Benefits of Buying Organic Fruits at a Farmers Market

If you still need a bit more convincing to give farmers markets and organic fruits a try, here are just a few benefits of choosing to go organic.

Safer

As mentioned previously, organic fruits aren’t treated with chemical pesticides and fertilizers which makes them inherently safer to consume than conventionally grown fruits. Babies and toddlers are particularly vulnerable to pesticide contamination since their immune system is still developing. However, fruits are crucial to a growing baby’s diet so giving them organic fruits is the more advised option. And once you do start feeding your baby delicious fruits, you might want to start looking for the best baby toothbrush 

Organic fruits are also GMO-free. Genetically modified organisms (GMO) are plants that have been genetically altered in some way that wouldn’t have occurred naturally. While the topic of GMOs remains to be controversial (with companies insisting that GMOs don’t cause any health damage), studies have indicated that they might be linked to specific health problems. 

Fresher

Organic fruits don’t use preservatives, unlike the ones you find in supermarkets which can be stored for weeks and months before they see the light of day again. If you buy organic fruits at a farmers market, you’re guaranteed to be buying fresh fruits. Farmers also don’t gas their produce to stimulate the ripening process. 

Tastier

And because they’re so fresh, they’re also much more palatable than your average grocery store fruit. Organic fruits you find in a farmers market are harvested during their peak season which means that the fruits’ natural sugars are at their highest. Not only are the fruits sweeter, but they’re also more nutritious. Store bought fruits pale in comparison to farmers market fruits. There is a vast difference in flavor, texture, and nutrition value. You don’t even need to know much about fruits and farming to know which fruits are the more superior in quality. 

Environmentally-Friendly

Farmer’s market fruits don’t just benefit the individual consumer. Organic farmers don’t use chemical pesticides and fertilizers on their produce, so they help to keep the environment much cleaner. Frequent use of chemicals in the soil is harmful to the ecosystem, so natural pesticides are really helping out our environment. Commercial farming can often do more harm than good. Produce companies often grow monocultures (fields with only one type of fruit or vegetable being grown) which strips away the nutrients in the soil, resulting in the whole barren earth. Local organic farmerspractice more responsible farming, and if you support farmers markets, you’re helping sustain a more environmentally-friendly system. In this day and age, it’s more important than ever to be aware of our carbon footprint.

Supporting Local Economy

Additionally, by supporting your local farmersmarket, you’re helping your local community’s economy. If you buy from local farmers (instead of giant supermarkets), your money stays close to your local government which will be reinvested in other projects and services within your community. You’d also be helping local farmers, growers, and sellers maintain their jobs which boosts the agriculture sector. 

Promoting Community Solidarity

When you buy from large retail stores, you don’t really know whose grown the produce you’ve selected. You can’t ask anyone from the store how the fruit or vegetable was grown since the produce most likely came from farm miles and miles away. In a farmer’s market, the person selling the produce has most likely helped grow the fruits or, at the very least, knew how it was grown, so you can ask whatever question you want. This makes farmers market a great place to connect with the people who grew your food. You’re not just a passive consumer; you’re an active member of your community.