Family Health, Nutrition and Fitness Tamar Raucher | 6 years ago

Unearthing Delicious Local Foods  

“I’m busy.” It's become a mantra for many of us, as well as a handy excuse for not taking the time to eat healthy foods. But being too busy to eat right isn't a great excuse, and it may prevent you from being healthy and active in the years ahead.

“Eating a well-balanced diet with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables is a wise choice,” says Erin Voss, MD, of Shiland Family Medicine-Rock Hill, part of Carolinas HealthCare System. “The choices we make in our diets have profound effects on our overall health. Taking the extra time to seek out non-processed foods as often as possible is something we should all make time for.” A Fresh Look at Eating Right Here are some ways you can track down and enjoy foods that not only taste great, but are great for you:

Farmers Markets

No matter where you live, there are bound to be an assortment of markets selling fresh foods (meats and fish, too!) from local farmers. Not only will visiting these places make you feel better about what you’re eating, it’s a great way to support the local economy.

Organic Restaurants

People are asking for more natural, local foods, and many restaurants are working with nearby farmers to satisfy these requests. “There are so many wonderful nutrients in fresh food. That’s something that you forget when you eat nothing but processed food,” Dr. Voss says. “Depending on the item, the food you get at the grocery store has lost up to 50 percent of its nutrients by the time you buy it.”

Fish Markets

Fish is a great option when you’re looking for something healthy and delicious to throw on the grill. To ensure you are buying the freshest catch, speak to the folks behind the counter at your favorite grocery store and the chef at your favorite local seafood restaurant. Sometimes, it can be upwards of two weeks between when your dinner is caught and when it’s served. Find out when and where your fish providers are getting their catch and always buy or order what’s fresh and in season.

From the Source

Where did you put that rod and reel, anyway? While fish markets are certainly a good choice for fresh seafood, there’s something to be said for doing the work yourself. Whether you choose an organized fishing trip or head out in your own boat, bringing home a fresh catch is as rewarding as it is healthy. “Trout, for example, has plenty of lean protein,” Dr. Voss says. “It can be an essential part of any healthy eating plan. A single 3-ounce filet of trout has 19 grams of protein. Fish is also an excellent source of healthy omega-3 fats.”

Your Backyard

You don’t have to work a farm to share freshness with your family. A recent survey found that 40 percent of U.S. households now boast vegetable gardens. “Fresh vegetables taste better and save you money,” Dr. Voss says. “A garden is also a great way to build community. Getting some sun and being social are added perks.”  

Download our area wellness guide for more places to find fresh food in the Carolinas.

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