Bring on the “In Season” Produce!

By Anna Jones, Heartland Spa’s Registered dietitian

Fruits & VegetablesThe summer months provide a great opportunity to fill our meals and snacks with fresh “in season” and locally grown produce! Corn, peppers, apples, berries, carrots, tomatoes, lettuce, peas, cabbage, radishes, peaches, and melons are just some of the fruits and veggies that are produced and available in Illinois during the month of August.

To view a complete list of all produce grown in Illinois, and which fruits and vegetables are in season during which months, please click on the following link. You won’t believe how much is grown right here in Illinois! www.agr.state.il.us/wherefreshis/whatsinseason.pdf

I also encourage you to click on another link, which provides a wonderful list and map of all the farmers markets throughout the state.  There’s nothing better than fresh, home-grown produce. 
http://www.agr.state.il.us/gis2/googlemap/agrihappenings/farmers.php

One of the many reasons we are encouraged to include a wide variety of fruits and vegetables in our diets is to meet our daily vitamin and mineral needs.  In addition, fresh fruits and vegetables provide antioxidants that help protect against free radicals that damage our bodies. Fresh fruits and vegetables also provide fiber, which benefits digestion and help with weight management, contribute to heart health, assist with fighting a variety of diseases, and reduce our risk of cancer, just to name a few.

So the next time you’re roaming the kitchen in search for a snack, think “fruits and vegetables.” You’ll be glad you did!

Click for Tips for Meeting Your Daily Fruit Requirements