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The Healthiest Vegetables You Can Buy at the Farmers Market

Summer is the peak season for fresh produce, so head to the farmers market! Fuel up on these veggie superstars that will keep your body healthy and strong. 

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yellow bell peppers for sale at an outdoor farmer's market; Shutterstock ID 1175188264; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHGregory Bombard/Shutterstock

Sweet and Hot Peppers

Capsaicin, the substance that gives hot peppers their punch, may boost your metabolism and heart health. And green, red and yellow bell peppers are loaded with vitamin C—even more than oranges. Peppers are also packed with antioxidants and fiber. Add peppers to your dinner, and you may lower your cholesterol naturally.

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Fresh green Spinach at the farmers market; Shutterstock ID 438669850; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHwjarek/Shutterstock

Spinach

Turns out Popeye was on to something. Calorie for calorie, spinach contains more nutrition than almost any other leafy greens. This vegetable is rich in vitamins A, C and K, plus folate, riboflavin and thiamine. It is also chock-full of minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc—not to mention antioxidants like beta-carotene and lutein. Spinach may help lower your blood pressure, as well as reduce the risk of cancer, stroke and heart disease. Here are more super foods that will help you feel healthier.

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Local produce at the summer farmers market in the city.; Shutterstock ID 301760819; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHArina P Habich/Shutterstock

Brussels Sprouts


These little guys have suffered a bad rap for too long. Brussels sprouts are off the charts when it comes to vitamins C and K, not to mention a good source of folate, vitamin A and manganese. Plus, cruciferous veggies may help prevent cancer. So we think you should learn to love them!

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Fresh Broccoli at Farmers Market Stall; Shutterstock ID 400292143; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHBaloncici/Shutterstock

Broccoli


Broccoli is bursting with vitamin C and vitamin K, which contributes to bone health and blood clotting. Folate, phosphorus, potassium and fiber, plus antioxidants lutein and beta-carotene are added bonuses. And did you know broccoli has properties that kill bacteria known to cause ulcers and some stomach cancers? It may even help protect and repair your skin from sun damage. More broccoli, please! Psst: Even your kids will like these tasty broccoli recipes.

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New York City, NY, USA. Farmers market.; Shutterstock ID 1285109050; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHDanita Delmont/Shutterstock

Tomatoes


So healthy and delicious! What’s not to love? Packed with vitamins A and C, tomatoes are lycopene powerhouses that may help prevent strokes and protect against some cancers. To top it off, a cup of raw tomatoes is a good source of fiber. And they’re easy to add to almost any dish. Learn how to store your tomatoes and keep them fresh.

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Farmers market goods display. Colorful winter squashes for sale in boxes at the autumn seasonal farmers market. Agriculture, farming and small business background. Harvest concept.; Shutterstock ID 1128537929; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHMarynaG/Shutterstock

Winter Squash


Want to keep your family’s colds and flu at bay this year? Give them dose of winter squash. It’s packed with beta-carotene, which helps build a strong immune system. And there’s more—winter squash provides calcium, potassium, magnesium and fiber, too. Find out which vegetables are in season right now.

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Sweet potato yams at the farmers market in Knoxville Tennessee; Shutterstock ID 645123172; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHCarol Mellema/Shutterstock

Sweet Potatoes


These delicious veggies are stuffed with vitamin A and powerful antioxidants like beta-carotene, which may help decrease age-related memory loss. Sweet potatoes are also a good source of vitamin C and vitamin B6, not to mention lots of other healthy stuff, like copper, fiber, manganese, potassium and iron. So make sure you dig some up at your local market! But first, make sure you know the difference between sweet potatoes and yams.

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Beautifully carrots in a farmer market; Shutterstock ID 1135238870; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHArnaldo Milano/Shutterstock

Carrots


Everyone knows carrots promote good eyesight. But how? Well, vitamin A boosts night vision. And some evidence suggests vitamin C helps prevent cataracts. Carotenoids found in carrots may decrease the risk of age-related retinal degeneration, a common cause of vision loss. Check out more health and beauty benefits of carrots.

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Organic asparagus for sale at farmers market; Shutterstock ID 78094342; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHAlison Hancock/Shutterstock

Asparagus


This green veggie contains plenty of vitamins A, C, E and K, plus minerals like iron, copper, potassium and manganese. And asparagus is a good source of folate, which is important during pregnancy and may reduce the risk of depression. It is one of many foods that are way more nutritious than you realized.

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Farmers market. Closeup of Cauliflower with other vegetable ready for sale at local food retail; Shutterstock ID 1346638691; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHMita Stock Images/Shutterstock

Cauliflower


Closely related to broccoli, cauliflower is a good source of antioxidants, fiber and vitamin C. And like other cruciferous vegetables, cauliflower may help fight cancer. Here’s an interesting fact: The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry says cauliflower can help clean your teeth, by boosting saliva and removing bacteria. Plus, it’s low-carb, too!

Originally Published in Birds & Blooms

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