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Summer is the perfect season to tap into the “power” of buying fresh! Farmer’s markets are all around and bursting with fresh produce and organic protein sources like chicken and lean beef. Some grocery stores are also able benefit from the summer season and by purchasing produce from neighboring farms instead of farther distances, fresh, local, unprocessed food is as close as your next shopping trip.
Why is there so much “power” in choosing fresh food over pre- packaged and frozen? The biggest advantage is simply quality. Fresh food that has not been treated or altered tastes better and is better for you. When food must be preserved to make a long trip to the grocery store from all over, the difference in the nutrient value, appearance, and the way your body processes those nutrients is significant.
Think about your favorite fruit or vegetable. A tomato just plucked from the plant is vibrant red, juicy and has that earthy sweet tart flavor that wakes up your senses, compared to the one bought at the store that was harvested a month ago that is still hard, waxy, and dull in color. A peach harvested yesterday has a gorgeous yellow orange color and adds a burst of vitamins and fiber to snack time or your salads instead of one raised in chemical laden orchards sprayed with dangerous pesticides that has been sitting on a truck or in a warehouse before finding its way to your fruit bowl.
It’s not just the produce that is far superior when fresh right from the farm to your table, but also meat. Meat that is purchased at the store, even some of the cuts labeled as organic, are filled with things like preservatives to prolong freshness, added hormones and artificial colorings to keep their appeal. The nutritional benefits are reduced too, so you get less bang for your buck, and you might also notice these cuts are harder on your system than fresh, grass fed organic meat.
And don’t forget the herbs! Fresh herbs can completely transform a dish and can just easily be grown on a windowsill or patio as purchased at the outdoor market. Herbs are not only a way to punch up the flavor, but many also have medicinal powers that can help you heal and stay healthy naturally.
Make a commitment to recreate at least one of your favorite recipes with all fresh ingredients and see if you notice a difference in how it looks, how it tastes and how it makes you feel. Seek out new menu ideas using fresh fruits or vegetables to add some variety and excitement to your dinner table. Strawberry or mango salsa Bari Girls – Hen House added on top of chicken breast, zucchini “fries” as a side for your chicken burger Bari Girls – Hen House and baked tomatoes with a sprinkle of a good quality parmesan cheese are all delicious ways to incorporate the “power” fresh ingredients into your healthy diet.
You’ll be much happier and much healthier when you embrace the “power” of buying fresh!