Eat Your Veggies!

I can’t begin to count the number of times I remember my mother telling me to eat my vegetables.  “They’re good for you,” she’d say. Boy, was she right. Veggies are not only good for us, vegetables help us reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and cancer.

Now I’m the one saying, “Eat your veggies!” because eating veggies will extend your life.

Last month, the Imperial College of London released a new study about the health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables. The Imperial College of London is a world-class research university, specializing in science, engineering, medicine and business. Their recent mega study reviewed the results of 95 worldwide studies involving more than 2 million people from populations around the world, including 43,000 heart disease patients, 47,000 stroke patients, and 112,000 cancer patients.

The Imperial College of London used this information to determine the portions of fruits and vegetables a person should eat to protect themselves against disease and premature death. The study found that every adult should eat at least five portions of fruits and vegetables a day–and that ten portions is even better. If a person were to eat ten portions a day, this research indicated they’d reduce many health risks, including a 24 percent reduction in the risk of heart disease, a 33 percent reduction in the risk of strokes, a 28 percent reduction in the risk of heart disease, and a 13 percent reduction in the risk of cancer.

Of course, some fruits and vegetables are healthier than others. According to the Imperial College of London study, the following fruits and vegetables all help prevent heart disease and stroke, and extend our lives: apples and pears; citrus fruits; salads and green leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce and chicory; and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower.

The study also showed that the following fruits and vegetables reduce a person’s risk of cancer: green vegetables like spinach or green beans, yellow vegetables like peppers and carrots, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower. People should also remember that fruits and vegetables help  reduce cholesterol and blood pressure, and boost the health of our blood vessels and immune systems.

Yep, eat your veggies, I say, because eating veggies really is an important way to improve your health and extend your life.

If you’re wondering where to pick up these health-boosting morsels, look no further than our Ukiah Farmers’ Market.

The Ukiah Farmers’ Market is held each Saturday morning in the Alex Thomas Plaza. As their website will tell you, the Ukiah Farmers’ Market was the first certified farmers’ market in Mendocino County, in operation since 1977. And although the Saturday morning market is the largest in Mendocino County, it continues to maintain a small, personal feel compared to similar markets in larger cities.

Community members who come regularly say they come because of the quality and taste of the fresh produce, created by our own local famers. Our temperate weather in spring and our hot summers provide local farmers with ideal conditions for growing delicious produce from May through June and flavorful fruits and vegetables from July through October. We also benefit from our proximity to the coastal climate, which provides cool weather crops throughout the season, as well as fresh seafood.

In addition to locally-grown food, the Ukiah Farmers’ Market hosts educational events for the whole family several times a month. Many of Ukiah’s residents also come to enjoy the friendly atmosphere where talented musicians entertain visitors weekly, and customers can relax and enjoy each other’s company while they savor beverages and fresh-baked pastries.

Rain or shine, the market is open each Saturday morning. If you’d like to know more, visit their Facebook page by searching for Friends of the Ukiah Farmers Market.

As always, our mission at UPD is simple: to make Ukiah as safe as possible. If you have suggestions on how we can improve please feel free to call me. If you would like to know more about crime in your neighborhood, you can sign up for telephone, cell phone and email notifications by clicking the Nixle button on our website:

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