Just a Few Reasons to Buy Local

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Locally sourced food is not just a corporate ploy to charge you more. Buying local goods benefits you. It supports your community’s economy, conserves natural resources like water and oil, and reduces the carbon footprint.

Produce in the US is usually picked about a week before making it to the supermarket shelves, and it’s shipped 1,500 miles on average before being sold. And that’s only taking into account American goods. Now think about those stats when we consider all the food we import from places like Mexico, South America, Asia, and Canada. The time, distance, and resources required to get imported foods to your table is significantly increased when imported.

Plus, local foods are healthier and taste better! It’s important to buy locally.

Locally sourced food is healthier. Fresh produce begins losing nutrients when it’s picked. On its course from the field to your dinner table, plant cells shrink, sugars turn to starches, and the produce loses its overall vitality. Locally grown food spends much less time in transport and waiting, so you get fresher, higher quality produce.

Local food tastes better. Small-scale, local crops are picked at their peak because they can be delivered to buyers immediately without risk of going bad in transit or storage. Products like cheese are hand crafted for the best quality and flavor. The products of industrial agriculture and imports are older, lower quality, and simply don’t taste as good.

Local food is sustainable. Transporting food long distances wastes exorbitant amounts of energy and natural resources like water, oil, and electricity. The fossil fuels consumed in the food system contribute to global warming, acid rain, and smog. Buying locally grown and crafted foods reduces the carbon footprint and waste of these precious resources. Local food also benefits the environment and wildlife because well-managed, smaller-scale farms conserve fertile soil and clean water in their communities.

Local food supports small business. Farmers make little more than the cost of production through the wholesale of their goods. When local farmers sell their products directly to consumers, they cut out the middleman and get the full retail value of their food. This means they can afford to stay on their land and continue providing their communities with healthy, delicious food.

Local food builds community. There is a huge disconnect between you and your food when you buy from a supermarket. You don’t know precisely where your food comes from, the farmers who produce it, or the quality with which it is grown or raised. When we buy local foods directly from a farmer, we foster a more intimate relationship with our farmers and our food. We gain valuable insight into the land, the seasons, and the foods they produce. Farmers markets also bring neighbors and members of the community together, improving relationships, as well as reviving public spaces. Local food markets improve the quality of life in their communities.

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Avocados: The Skinny on Fat

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Avocados are a miracle food. How is it possible for a fruit to be so buttery, so hearty and nutritious? In addition to tasting UH-MAZING in everything, avocados are a good source of such nutrients as fiber, potassium, riboflavin, thiamine, niacin, folate, and vitamins B-6, E and K. They aid in digestion, help regulate blood pressure, reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease and support proper cell function. And they’re not just a nutritious addition to your diet; they provide a ton of benefits for beauty care, too! Avocados make for nourishing skin and hair treatments. So here’s to you, Avocado. May you always be by my side.

The Fat’s Phat

Avocado gets a bad rap for its high fat content. And it’s true: one cup of the creamy fruit contains 21 grams of fat! With 75-80% of its calories coming from fat, avocado is one of the fattiest plant foods on the planet. But the avocado’s naysayers don’t realize that all that fat is what makes it so healthy!

All fats are not created equal. The majority of fat in an avocado is oleic acid, a vital nutrient. Oleic acid is a monounsaturated fat, a “good fat” that benefits heart health. The fat in avocados has been shown to significantly lower LDL (“bad” cholesterol) and triglycerides, both known to cause heart disease. The healthy fats in avocados also increase HDL (the “good” cholesterol) by up to 11%, to improve our blood health and reduce our risk of cardiovascular disease. Avocados are virtually the only fruit that contains this healthy monounsaturated fat.

In addition to its high percentage of monounsaturates, avocado provides a unique group of fats called phytosterols. Phytosterols, naturally occurring in plant sources like nuts and vegetable oils, have anti-inflammatory properties that promote cardiovascular health, as well as brain function, joint health, and general wellness.

The fat in avocados also serves a very important purpose in our overall nutrient intake. Many nutrients we get through whole foods go unused because our bodies cannot effectively absorb them on their own. Some nutrients, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K and antioxidants like carotenoids, which are all found in healthy plant foods like leafy greens, carrots and sweet potatoes, are fat soluble and contain very little fat themselves. This means they need to be combined with fats in order to be utilized properly. So consuming avocado with your vegetables will enable effective vitamin and mineral absorption so you get the most out of your healthy diet.

Avocado is a healthy food that offers many benefits. But it is high in calories and fat, so eat it in moderation.

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Avocado’s unique properties make it a really versatile ingredient in all sorts of recipes, classic and unexpected. Of course, there’s always guacamole and avo toast. And yeah, it makes a great addition to salads and sandwiches. But avocado can be used for so much more. It’s wonderfully nutritious, and it’s great morning, noon, and night. You can use it in your breakfast smoothies and Raw, baked, frozen, grilled, pureed, chilled, mashed. You can do anything with avocado, if you just get a little creative.

Desserts: Avocado makes great bases for all sorts of desserts. You can make avocado popsicles and ice cream, you can use it in your baking for brownies and cakes and quick breads. You can make rich chocolate mousse and pudding. You can even turn it into a delicious smoothie or milk shake.

Healthy Substitutions: You can use avocado in place of mayo for creaminess and moisture, or you can make an avocado mayo. You can also substitute butter for mashed avocado in your baking for fewer calories, healthier fats, and more nutrients. Plus, avocado yields a softer, moister baked good.

Beauty

Use avocado in your beauty regimen for healthy skin and hair. You can use it as a facial cleanser or make a facial mask for every type of skin. Lay some slices of avocado under your eyes to reduce puffiness. Use the peel of your avocado as a humectant and oil-rich facial moisturizer. Mix an avocado with a little lemon juice and slather all over for moisturizing body cream treatment before you shower. Fight signs of aging like dry skin and wrinkles by combining some avocado and honey for a restorative face mask. Get silky, shiny locks by applying a mask of avocado, egg yolk and olive oil to your hair. Massage some mashed avocado into your roots to revitalize a dry and itchy scalp. Avocado is a truly luxurious health and beauty treatment.

Avocado is a gift to mankind. Savor its subtle sweetness. Revel in its sinful, buttery caress. Cherish its nourishing care. Love avocado the way it deserves to be loved.

A HANDFUL OF REASONS TO EAT A HANDFUL OF BERRIES

Berries may be itty-bitty, but they are powerful super foods. Sweet, but low in sugar, high in fiber, and jam-packed with age-defying antioxidants, they’re a little miracle of nature. Here are some reasons why you should enjoy more berries every day:

Sweet, but low in sugar: Unlike many other fruits, berries are surprisingly low in sugar. So you can satiate your sweet tooth without all the sweets.

Fiber, fiber, fiber: Because berries come packed with tiny seeds, their fiber content is higher than that of many other fruits. The high fiber content in berries improves digestion and keeps you feeling full longer. Fiber also helps regulate blood sugar levels, which can affect your health and even your mood. Raspberries boast 8 grams of fiber per cup, one of the best fiber-per-calorie ratios available on the planet.

Rehydrate: Berries are juicy for a reason: they’re loaded with water. Water is vital to our health and wellness, but it doesn’t always need to come from a glass. What we eat contributes to our hydration level, so up your intake of fresh berries to to stay hydrated.

Get Smart: Berries contain anthocyanins, potent chemicals that have been shown to support healthy memory and cognitive function. The polyphenols in berries help the brain function optimally by reducing toxicity, inflammation, and abnormal brain activity. They promote learning, memory, and cognitive function. In fact, eating at least two servings of berries each week can help delay age-related memory loss.

Prevent cancer: The antioxidants in berries can help decrease the risk of developing certain types of cancer, including colon and breast cancer.

Reduce inflammation: Quercetin, a powerful antioxidant in berries, can help reduce inflammation, which can cause illnesses such as arthritis and heart disease.

Love the skin you’re in: The powerful antioxidants and high water content in berries are not just good for your skin when you eat them. They also make for a really wonderful skin-nourishing face mask. Look up some recipes to turn your super food into a fresh facial.

Slim down: The anthocyanin found in berries make it more difficult to put on weight because it alters the activity of genes found in fat cells. Blueberries, especially, have been shown to reduce pesky, lingering belly fat, which is linked to an increased risk for diabetes and heart disease.

Love them: Berries are like natures tricky little way of getting us to take our medicine. Because they’re not just powerful health super foods; they are delicious. Eat more berries because they taste amazing, and just know that you’re also getting a ton of health benefits in the process.

Berries are some of the absolute best sources of antioxidants, which help your body fight oxidative stress caused by free radicals that can lead to illness. Eating more berries can help improve your health, protect and strengthen your skin and hair, and prevent certain diseases like cancer and heart disease.