Harvard Heart Letter

Better ways to get your produce

Farmers' markets and growing your own trump the grocery store.

What's better than fruits and vegetables from the supermarket? Those you buy from a local farmer or grow yourself. Frequenting a farmers' market or growing your own produce can give you a new relationship with food, and perhaps with people; be good for your heart and muscles; and help you eat more fruits and vegetables.

Up on the farm

Wandering through a farmers' market on a breezy summer day is a feast for the senses — writer John McPhee captures this in his timeless essay, "Giving Good Weight." It is also a nutritious treat. The fruits and vegetables on sale have usually been picked that day or the day before. They are likely to pack more nutrients than much of the produce sitting on your supermarket's shelves. You are also likely to see varieties of produce you don't ordinarily run across in your grocery store.

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