News and articles from the Ohio Department of Aging.
By Ashley Davis MA, RDN, LD
Population Health and Nutrition Manager
Aug. 5-11 is National Farmers’ Market Week. Ohio’s farmers’ markets link older adults to fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables, that not only help older adults and the people who care for them maintain a delicious, nutritious diet, but provide so much more.
As we age, our bodies change, and so do our nutritional needs. Our metabolism may slow down and, while we still require a variety of nutrients, we may need fewer calories. Whole fruits and vegetables are rich in important nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and low in calories, which make them a perfect (and crucial) part of older adults’ diets. People who eat more produce as part of a healthy diet are likely to have reduced risk of chronic diseases, including stroke and other cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and various cancers. Good nutrition has been shown to help support a healthy and active lifestyle, reduce frailty and disability, improve health outcomes and reduce health disparities and health care costs.
Shopping at farmers’ markets gives you access to the growers, who are generally knowledgeable about their products. They can explain how to prepare and store your food and can also discuss how their crops are raised and what (if any) chemicals are used. Markets also provide opportunities for socialization and entertainment. They often provide the chance to mingle with your neighbors and learn more about your community and its residents. Some markets also offer entertainment and classes.
If you need another reason to shop at your local farmers’ market, consider this: When you do so, you are supporting your local farmers and keeping the money you spend on food closer to your neighborhood.
Right now in Ohio, a variety of produce is available at farmers’ markets, including:
People with limited incomes may benefit from programs designed to help them access fresh fruits and vegetables:
Learn more about these and other resources to help you or your loved ones maintain a well-balanced diet as you age. And, be sure to explore local farmers’ markets all summer and fall.
National Farmers' Market Week is sponsored by the Farmers' Market Coalition.
Government Outreach Division
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Ohio Department of Aging