Lower Risk of Heart Disease at Your Local Farmers Market

Growing up in the Peach State of Georgia, Bayhealth Family Medicine Physician Resident H. Kendall Barton, MD, has always enjoyed the summer season and all the fresh fruits and vegetables that come along with it. As a fan of cooking, Dr. Barton says the healthiest ingredients can be found right in your neighborhood – at a local farmers market.

“Fruits and vegetables are key components to healthy eating,” said Dr. Barton. “Studies show that people who eat more fruits and vegetables lower their risk for chronic illness, such as heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.” And you won’t find fresher produce than at a farmers market.

Beware that not all fruits and vegetables are equal. Some stores use methods like gassing to ripen produce that was picked too soon. For example, strawberries that are bright red on the outside but white on the inside were likely gassed. Look for bins that sell local produce.

Dr. Barton has come to know and love Delaware since starting his residency in Family Medicine. He says taking a stroll through local farmers markets offers fresh air, a time to connect with neighbors, a way to support local families, and the place to find the freshest produce and other items.

The Riverwalk Farmers Market in Milford is one of Dr. Barton’s favorites. He says that along with fruits and veggies, you will find fresh from the farm meats, eggs and honey. There is seafood, baked goods, sauces and spices all fresh and ready to be used in your favorite healthy meal. But that’s not all, there are also fresh flowers, goat milk soaps and lotions, crafts and even treats for your pets.

“Farmers markets are not just good for your nutritional health. They are also good for your mental wellness,” said Dr. Barton. “They are outdoors, which in itself can boost your health. They also give you an opportunity to socialize. Farmers love to share tips and insight on their products and will likely introduce you to a variety of produce that you may not even find at the grocery store.”

Here’s a list of some of the local farmers markets in Delaware::

Ficner Farm – Dover
New Castle Farmers – New Castle
Riverwalk Farmers Market – Milford
Co-op Farmers Market – Newark
Rehoboth Beach Farmers’ Market – Rehoboth Beach
Fifer’s Farm Store & Kitchen – Camden Wyoming
Willey Farms – Townsend
Historic Lewes Farmers Market – Lewes
Dutch Country Farmers Market – Middletown
KP & Jerrie’s Farm Market – Harrington

The American Heart Association in Delaware is proud to partner with Bayhealth to provide Delawareans healthy food options.  A healthy diet is a key ingredient in the organization’s Life Essential 8, which include diet, physical activity, nicotine exposure, sleep health, body mass index, blood lipids, blood glucose, and blood pressure.