Find a ‘win-win’ at the farmers market

Published Jun 24, 2018 at 9:00am

Everybody wins at the farmers market eating from the ground up, trying and eating new foods, eating colorfully and enjoying talking with the farmers (growers) about their crops in the field.

You can learn something new every time you go. There are other changes happening to the chain restaurants across the country.

Going to the farmers market to buy fresh produce, meat, fish, vegetables, fruit and baked goods is more tasty because everything is fresh. 

Not only is eating healthy foods good for things like cardiovascular and digestive health, but also brain health.

Medical treatments for age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease have had limited success. Adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle has been among the most consistent recommendations to maintain brain health over the long term. Healthy dietary patterns make a person less likely to experience age-related decline in memory and other cognitive skills. 

Brain Productive diets vary, but tend to have certain elements in common. Dietary patterns associated with lower risk of age-related cognitive decline and dementia are higher in non-starchy vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, legumes and seafood while limited in red or processed meats, sugar-sweetened foods and drinks, refined grains and added salt.

A diet specifically for brain health and mild weight loss is the Mediterranean DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet. MIND trial will provide older adults with more specific nutritional guidance to maintain their cognitive health. 

The MIND diet is a hybrid of the Mediterranean diet pattern and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, combined with mild
caloric restriction. Approaches have shown potential to support brain health with aging.

Dr. Dennis Steindler, director of Tufts’ HNRCA Neuroscience and Aging Laboratory, believes this diet has many positive benefits for a disease such as Alzheimer’s that we have limited interventions for. 

The MIND diet includes the following components: 

Whole Grains: at least three servings per day 

Green leafy vegetables: at least six servings per week 

Other vegetables: at least one serving per day 

Berries: at least two servings per week 

Fish: at least one serving per week 

Poultry: at least two servings per week 

Beans: more than three servings per week 

Nuts: at least five servings per week 

Olive oil as primary plant oil 

Alcohol/wine: one serving per day

Limit intake of butter/margarine, cheese, pastries/sweets, fast/fried foods, and red/processed meats. 

This summer while in attempt to better your brain and physical health, try going to the local farmers market to pick up some fresh produce to try this quick and easy recipe. 

Kale Salad with Fennel
and Radishes: 

Dressing 

3 Tbsp. lemon juice 

Zest of one lemon 

1 tsp chopped fresh parsley 

Salt and pepper, to taste 

6 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 

Salad 

2 bunches kale, washed, stemmed and sliced 

1/4 tsp salt 

1 fennel bulb, sliced 

4 radishes, sliced 

3 oz. goat cheese 

Whatever fresh fruits and nuts you have on hand

Whisk together lemon juice, zest, parsley, salt, pepper, and olive oil 

Place the kale in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt (about ¼ teaspoon). Massage the kale leaves with your hands, until kale turns a dark, shiny green. 

Toss kale with fennel, radishes, cheese, fruits and nuts, and vinaigrette. 

Makes 8 servings