Fruit and vegetables
The best way to protect our health is to eat healthy. The Mediterranean diet, one of the healthiest food models in the world, advocates eating at least 5 portions of fruits and vegetables a day, and what better way than to consume fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are important elements of a healthy, balanced diet, either as part of a main meal or as a snack, as they supply our body with many vitamins, trace elements and dietary fiber.
Epidemiological studies have shown that high consumption of fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of developing chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
Fruits and vegetables can also contribute to maintaining healthy and beautiful skin, strengthening the immune system and generally acquiring a healthy body.
Nevertheless, there is a large variation in their nutritional value, depending on the season in which we choose to consume them. This is because non-seasonal fruits usually come from distant countries, so that, during their long journey to the shelves of local markets, they have lost a large proportion of their nutrients.
On the contrary, local products are collected only when they are ripe and ready to eat and are therefore very tasty. Local products are either produced by small producers who follow traditional – environmentally friendly methods, by organic growers, or by large-scale conventional crops. The first two categories should always be preferred.
In particular, the organic market has been booming in recent years, as more and more farmers are turning their crops into organic, following strict standards laid down by European legislation and relate to the production, processing and marketing of their products. Approved organic control and certification bodies shall ensure that these standards are met.
Research suggests that organic products are richer in various vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, iron, magnesium and phosphorus. In addition, farms producing organic food are designed to reduce environmental pollution and maintain soil and water integrity.