Nourishing New Market is a blog series brought to you by Down to Earth Nutrition in conjunction with the New Market Green Team.
Vol. 3 was guest-written by Dietetic Intern Emily Stefforia, edited by Cristina Luibil, MS, RD, LDN
This season the New Market Green Team will be working in conjunction with New Market Grange No. 362 and Grow Frederick Inc. to revitalize the New Market Community Garden! You can read more about it here.
As a member of the New market Green Team, Down to Earth Nutrition has volunteered to write a blog series about the seasonal food you’ll be able to grow in your community garden plot, tying in the nutrition of the food that you have grown yourself! A HUGE thank you to the amazing Dietetic Intern Emily for writing an amazing Volume 3 of Nourishing New Market!
Down to Earth Nutrition practices under the premise of "Sustainable Nutrition for Lifelong Wellness™️" or the act of being able to sustain an enjoyable way of eating for the long term as a part of maintaining lifelong wellness. Food, nutrition, and eating should not induce apprehension, and should always be sustainable in that we do not have to take a break from our eating habits in order to enjoy ourselves, our food, and our life.
Sustainability with food also ties in agriculture, the environment, and a way to ensure our food supply for generations to come. This includes, but is not limited to: eating seasonal and locally procured foods, gardening, and supporting local farmers, bakers, and other local food artisans.
According to the Maryland Agriculture Guide, cherries are the perfect crop to plant from mid-June to mid-July. While there are over 1,000 types of cherries grown across the globe- most of them can be classified as either sweet cherries or sour (tart) cherries. No matter your taste preference- there’s sure to be a cherry that you love. On top of their diverse and delicious flavors, cherries are packed with vitamins and minerals to help nourish your body.
Both sweet and sour cherries contain fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C (see Nourishing New Market Volume 1), and vitamin E. These three vitamins all belong to the antioxidant family. Antioxidants help protect our cells from being damaged by harmful molecules- things like tobacco smoke, radiation, and other toxins. Did you know that these antioxidants work better in our bodies when they are combined with other antioxidants and phytochemicals found in foods? Yup! That means that getting our antioxidants from foods rather than from supplements or pills is more effective. A great way to get a variety of antioxidants and phytochemicals is eating a variety of fruits and vegetables!
Frozen, pitted cherries are a great addition to add to smoothies year round, and fresh, pitted cherries are great to add to salads, oatmeal, and smoothies when in season and straight from the garden!
Another of Down to Earth Nutrition's fabulous summer interns - Paige - contributed a recipe for a Summer Market Smoothie, in which you can incorporate any variation of cherries:
Next up on our garden tour is cabbage. I know what you’re thinking- “oh no she’s gonna tell me to eat more salads.” Well, not quite! While cabbage does make for a great salad base- it can be used in a multitude of other ways like- steamed, sauteed, or even caramelized! And it’s actually quite an interesting Cruciferae vegetable. Did you know that it’s reported that Babe Ruth would keep a cabbage leaf under his cap while playing baseball? Or that there’s an old tale told to children of babies emerging from cabbage patches- aka where Cabbage Patch Kids© originated from!
According to the planting calendar- now is a great time to plant cabbage in order for it to be harvested in the fall. Harvest to Table recommends placing the cabbage seed into the soil or transplanting it from an indoor pot once the stalk is at least 3-4 inches.
So back to nutrition- what makes cabbage such a great vegetable? It turns out cabbage is a great source of potassium, fiber (see Nourishing New Market Volume 2), vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and iron!
Folate (folic acid) is a type of B-vitamin that our bodies need. Folate helps our cells grow and divide, which is why those who are pregnant need some extra- they are growing another human! The amount an average person needs depends on their age and whether or not they are pregnant or breastfeeding - pregnant and breastfeeding mamas need 50% more! Other folate-rich food sources include spinach, asparagus, oranges, and peanuts. For some people, getting additional nutrients from supplements is necessary when they cannot meet their needs from food. However, most people can meet their needs by eating a wide variety of foods that nourish our bodies and bring us joy.
Iron is essential for our bodies because it has a very important job. It helps take oxygen from our lungs and transports it to our cells. There’s two types of iron- non-heme and heme. Non-heme iron is found in plant foods (cabbage, spinach, beans, peas, fortified cereals and breads, and nuts). Heme iron comes from animal foods (poultry, lean meats, and seafood). Our body can use both types- but adding in a source of vitamin C (citrus fruits, peppers, and tomatoes) can help our body absorb even more! Menstruating, pregnant, or lactating persons typically need more iron than those who are not.
Most people can meet their iron needs by eating both heme and non-heme sources of iron, plus vitamin C foods. If you find out you have iron-deficiency anemia the best thing to do would be to talk to your health care provider about the best plan for you.
If you haven't heard, the New Market Farmer's Market has started on June 11 and runs through October 22, 2022 at New Market Elementary School! You may be able to grab some cherries and cabbage there this season, if you didn't already plant some in your garden. The next Market is Saturday, June 25 from 10am-2pm!
Would you like specific produce featured on the blog and/or in a recipe? Leave your thoughts in the comments and we will follow up in future volumes of Nourishing New Market.
Want to keep talking nutrition with Down to Earth Nutrition's Registered Dietitian? Contact Cristina for a free discovery session here.
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While I am a registered dietitian, I may not be your dietitian, personally. All blog posts are for informational and educational purposes only and may not be the best fit for your personal situation. Information shall not be construed as medical nutrition therapy. Any recipes you try from DTEN blog posts are tried at your own discretion. The information and education provided here is not intended or implied to supplement or replace professional medical treatment, advice, and/or diagnosis. It is not intended to replace individual nutrition care or nutrition counseling with a registered dietitian. Always check with your own registered dietitian and physician or medical treatment team before trying or implementing any information read here.
If you choose, Down to Earth Nutrition would be happy to help you in your own, individualized sustainable nutrition journey.