Summer is a great time to take advantage of all that your local farmers' market has to offer. farmers' markets offer accessibility to fresh and local produce to its customers. Opting for the freshest and most nutritious foods is incredibly important when choosing ingredients for your kitchen. We have compiled a list of reasons why farmers' market shopping can be beneficial to your overall health and how best to navigate the farmers' market. This compilation is beneficial to all – whether you are an avid farmers' market customer or you are thinking about visiting one for the first time!
Benefits of Grocery Shopping at the Farmers' Market
- Fresh Produce - The fresher the produce the more nutritional value the food has. When it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, finding quality produce can sometimes be a struggle. However, due to the nature of the farmers' market, most produce comes straight from the farm that it was produced at, meaning you are going to get the most nutritional value for your money.
- Direct interactions with farmers - Not only do you have access to nutritional foods at a farmers' market, but you have direct contact with the individuals who grow the food. They will be able to answer any questions you might have about the product, and will be able to best recommend how to use the product.
- Seasonal foods - Since most farmers' market products are straight from the source, it most likely means that the food is in season. Eating foods in season is amazing for your gut and overall health, because it offers a wide variety of nutrients that will promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in your gut.
- Promotes social interactions - farmers' markets really promote a strong sense of community. If you are looking for a way to get involved with your local community, this is the way to do so. You meet individuals who are like-minded. This social aspect to the farmers' market can also offer a load of mental health benefits.
- Unique finds - Due to the nature of farmers' markets, it is likely you will find items that cannot be found elsewhere. This is great for someone who is looking to be adventurous in the kitchen or trying to find unique produce.
Gut-Friendly Kitchen Favorites to Add to Your Farmers' Market Shopping List
- Honey - Honey is a great natural way to get some sweetness into your dishes and beverages, all while being amazing for your gut health! It contains enzymes that help with the digestion process. It can be especially helpful for those that are experiencing diarrhea as it slowly works throughout your digestive tract.
- Nectarines - Nectarines are another great purchase you can make at the farmers’ market. They contain high amounts of fiber which can be especially helpful for those who are experiencing irregular bowel movements. Nectarines are in season during the summer making it especially amazing to purchase around this time.
- Hummus - Hummus – which is generally made out chickpeas – also contains high amounts of fiber. In addition to a supplement that helps with bloating, you should consider adding a fibrous item to your meals. Hummus is incredibly versatile as it can be a great snack or used as part of a larger meal. The vendors at markets also tend to create unique hummus concoctions that are sure to be flavorful and delicious.
- Different jams - Jams are usually made out of different fruits, and due to their pectin content can be very beneficial to your gut health. Pectin has a prebiotic effect on the body which is essential for being able to break down and consume probiotic supplements. Prebiotics feed the healthy bacteria in your gut, further supporting your overall digestive process.
- Eggs - Eggs tend to contain low amounts of fat and high levels of protein making it a wonderful addition to any diet. Farmers’ market tend to sell farm fresh eggs meaning you will be getting the highest quality of eggs one can find.
Tips and Tricks to Know Before Heading to Your Local Farmers' Market
- Bring Cash - While some places now have the ability to take credit cards, smaller vendors might only take cash. Be prepared and take some cash to avoid having to pay credit card fees or not being able to purchase what you want.
- Bring A Reusable Bag - If you are planning on making the majority of your produce purchasing at the farmers' market, a reusable bag is going to be your best friend. Some vendors might not have bags to offer, or you might need more space for all of your purchases. This is also a great way to practice sustainability in your day-to-day life.
- Dress for the occasion - farmers' markets are held outdoors and tend to be large in size. Be sure to wear comfortable clothes that will not restrict your walking abilities.
- Make your rounds - Sometimes, there will be more than one vendor selling the same thing. The best course of action is to visit the different vendors throughout the farmers' market before choosing which items to buy. This will help to avoid buyer’s remorse when you potentially might find a better deal deeper in the market.
- Bring water - A day at the farmers' market can turn into quite the excursion, but that is no excuse for getting dehydrated. Dehydration causes a host of different health issues such as constipation, irregular bowel movements, and fatigue. Bring your filled water bottle and avoid such complications.
- Make a List - Similarly to the grocery store, a list can help you stay on track with your purchases. This is especially helpful for those who tend to impulse buy. A list is also a great way to ensure you are not forgetting any essential needs that you might have.
- Get there early - Farmers markets tend to get packed as the day goes on; however, all farmers' markets are different. Try going to your local market at different times to better understand what time is easiest and most convenient for you. Keep in mind that the later you go, the higher the chance things will be sold out.