The American Cancer Society recommends eating at least two-and-a-half cups of fruits and vegetables each day to help lower cancer risk.
“These foods contain important vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and antioxidants and are usually low in calories,” says Gordon Hospital Nutritionist Judy Fehlenberg. “In general, those with the most color – dark green, red, yellow, and orange –have the most nutrients.”
She went on to say, “Compared with people who consume a diet with only small amounts of fruits and vegetables, those who eat more generous amounts as part of a healthful diet are likely to have reduced risk of chronic disease, including stroke and perhaps other cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers.”
She is often asked which is better, whole foods or supplements.
“Nutrients should come primarily from foods,” said Fehlenberg. “Foods such as fruits and vegetables contain not only the vitamins and minerals that are often found in supplements, but also other naturally occurring substances that may help protect you from chronic diseases.”
To promote the healthy benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables, Gordon Hospital will soon begin hosting a Farmers’ Market on its campus for farmers to sell their locally grown produce. All local farmers are encouraged to bring the fruits of their labor to the event to sell. There will be no charge for the farmers to participate.
“Depending on participation, we’re hoping to have our first Farmers’ Market on Thursday, June 14 in the parking lot of our Human Resources building,” Fehlenberg explained. “We’d love to host the market each week to give members of our community the opportunity to purchase locally-grown, fresh produce.”
Plans are for the market to be held from 5-7 p.m. due to the fact that work schedules for many people do not allow them to visit traditional farmers’ markets that are held during the morning hours.
All farmers wishing to participate should contact Fehlenberg by calling 706-602-7800, ext. 2074.
In addition to produce, juicing experts Julie Mittleider and Leslie Wurl will also be on hand to sell fresh juices and offer tips and recipes on how to make them yourself.
“Juicing is an excellent way to help ensure that you are getting your daily fruit and vegetable allowance,” Fehlenberg adds. “It’s a tasty alternative and very beneficial.”
If enough farmers wish to participate, the date will be confirmed and announced through local media outlets, she said.
“Each week our Farmer’s Market will feature a fruit or vegetable and focus on the benefits provided; we will also have recipes for that featured food for the week,” said Fehlenberg. “I feel this Market will be a wonderful way we can encourage healthy and nutritious eating choices for our community.”