Useful Information for Better Health from the Western Maryland Health System

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Spring Signals the Start of the Local Growing Season.

Our Maryland mountains are coming alive. Trees are flowering and flowers are blooming – all announcing the birth of another sensational season!
Some seasonal delights include:
Strawberries – members of the rose family, strawberries are high in vitamin C, folate, potassium and fiber. According to David Grotto, RD, LDN, eight strawberries contain more vitamin C than an orange! They contain cancer-and heart disease-fighting phytonutrients, including flavonoids and quercetin.
Onions – members of the allium family, along with leeks, garlic and shallots.  While all onions are low in calories, young green onions contain vitamins A and C, folic acid, potassium and fiber.  Onions contain important phytochemicals, including organosulfur compounds that may fight against cancer, lower blood cholesterol and blood pressure.  They also contain quercetin, a flavonoid that helps fight cancer and heart disease. 
Asparagus - a member of the lily family, has been referred to as the aristocrat of vegetables. Asparagus, low in calories and fat, is a good source of folic acid, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. 
Eating fresh locally grown produce helps YOU:
• Save money – fresh, seasonal foods are less expensive
• Save energy – less gas used to move the food
• Support local growers – buying at local farmers markets
• Be healthy – fresh, seasonal foods are more flavorful, encouraging increased intake of fresh fruits and veggies, which increases your intake of healthy vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that fight disease and promote health
Consider planting your own garden this year. Gardening is a great form of exercise with healthy dividends. But even if you don’t plant your own, you can still enjoy the flavors of fresh, local produce.
To find farmers’ markets in your area, visit:
And here’s a neat map to find out what’s in season in your area:
Will you be planting a garden this year? 

Theresa Stahl, RD/LDN