Fresh Produce at Billings Hardware and Garden Center

Some say food is medicine, and great fresh produce certainly nourishes our bodies for optimal health. This weekend is the 8th Annual Produce Sale, Friday and Saturday, September 8th and 9th at the Billings Hardware Garden Center. Local growers will have the best fresh produce for you. Get there early as things sell out quickly.

The recommended daily serving of fruit is 3-5 servings and vegetables 5-7 servings, according to Superfoods RX: The Basics  by Steven Pratt, MD and Kathy Matthews. These numbers vary some depending on which source you read, but these appear to be supported by other sources also.

Understanding serving sizes makes it a little easier to work this much produce into your diet.  For vegetables, one serving equals one-half cup cooked or raw vegetables, one cup raw greens, or one-half cup vegetable juice.  One serving of fruit is one-half cup chopped fruit, one-half cup fruit juice (juice your own or buy 100% juice), one medium piece of fruit, two tablespoons raisins, or three prunes.

Pratt and Matthews identified twenty-three fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans and grains that they consider super foods. Let’s look at fruit and vegetables today:

Here are some superfoods to look for at the produce sale.

Super Fruit

Apples – good source of polyphenols, fiber, vitamin C and potassium.

Blueberries – polyphenols, salicylic acid, carotenoids, fiber, folate, vitamin C and E, potassium, manganese, magnesium, iron, riboflavin, niacin, and phytoestrogens. Reads kind of like a multivitamin!

Kiwi – vitamins C & E, folate, potassium, fiber, carotenoids, polyphenols, chlorophyll, glutathione, and pectin.

Oranges – vitamin C, fiber, folate, limonene, potassium, polyphenols, pectin.

Pomegranates – vitamins B6 and C, polyphenols, and potassium.

Pumpkin – alpha-carotene, vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, potassium, high fiber, magnesium, pantothenic acid.

Super Vegetables

Broccoli – sulforaphane, indoles, folate, fiber, calcium, vitamin C, beta-carotene, Lutein/zeaxanthin, vitamin K.

Garlic – oganosulfur compounds, saponins, polyphenols, selenium, arginine, vitamin C, potassium.

Spinach – lutein/zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, omega-3 fatty acids, glutathione, alpha lipoic acid, vitamins B, C, and E, minerals, polyphenols, betaine, and coenzyme Q10.

Tomatoes – lycopene, Vitamins B and C, alpha-and beta-carotene, lutein/zeaxanthin, potassium, chromium, biotin, and fiber.

Kale – vitamin A, B6, B2, B3, C, and E, manganese, copper, fiber, calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, omega-3 fats, phosphorus, protein, and folate.

Beets – folate, manganese, potassium, copper, fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamins B and C, and iron.

Cauliflower – vitamin C, K, and B6, folate, pantothenic acid, choline, dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, manganese, phosphorus, and biotin.

Leeks – vitamins A, B6, C, and K, manganese, copper, iron, folate, carotenoids, fiber, magnesium, vitamin E, calcium, and omega 3 fats.

Look at all the healthy nutrients you are probably getting and didn’t know it.