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Farmer’s markets around the country are in full swing with local farmers and artisans selling everything from homemade soaps to fresh vegetables. Orange County is no exception with multiple weekly farmer’s markets in different cities for you to choose from.

Aside from being delicious, there are many benefits to adding more fruits and vegetables into your diet.

Improved heart health – Loading up on fruits and veggies vs. meats and other animal-based products may help lower cholesterol, blood pressure and your overall risk for heart disease. These benefits can also help reduce your risk of stroke.

Reduced cancer risk – Fresh produce is packed with fiber which is a key component to maintaining a healthy gut and reducing the risk of colorectal cancer.

Maintain a healthy weight – Fiber doesn’t only keep your digestive system running optimally, it also helps keep you fuller longer. Vegetables, especially leafy greens, pack a lot of nutrients and volume for less of a caloric punch. All that means you can eat more, feel full and satisfied longer without overdoing it on calories. A healthy weight comes with the benefits of more energy and a lower risk for Type 2 diabetes.

A healthy brain – According to a meta-analysis in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet is associated with a lower risk of cognitive impairment and dementia.

Reduce inflammation and support a healthy immune system – It’s no secret that all the delicious produce at the farmer’s market is packed full nutrients like minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. These nutrients can help your cells stay healthy and in turn keep your immune system performing it’s best. The same nutrients work to reduce inflammation in your body.

Whether you want to go completely plant-based or just swap a few meals a week for plant-based options, supporting the local farmer’s market is one of the best ways to get fresh, in-season produce and support the local economy.

Shopping farmer’s markets ensures you are getting the freshest product possible meaning you get the best tasting, most nutrient-packed fruits and veggies while also keeping money in the community.

You can find a list of all the farmer’s markets in Orange County and their operating hours here: https://orangetourism.org/explore/farm-fresh/weekly-downtown-farmers-markets/?fbclid=IwAR3kLpjwgEYlf6xVcii8Gs9St7V7-B5iZf1FgZMEh8S0KnF8QV68-ngIjLw