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Health at the Farmer's Market

December 15, 2012 - Dr. Greg Walsh
Limit your time in the sun. Do not expose yourself to excess radiation. Get routine mammograms or prostate exams. These are just a few of the ways that health conscious people are ensuring that they can maximize their chance of staying cancer free.

Cancer cells are formed when our normal cells undergo a series of mutations that are spurred on by free radicals. Free radicals can be seen as vandals that create mayhem and destruction in otherwise healthy areas of your body. To combat these free radicals, we need to keep high levels of anti-oxidants (our internal police force) in our systems.

Although many people use supplements for their anti-oxidant needs, many studies have found that getting vitamins and enzymes straight from the source will keep you a little healthier. A good example would be looking at vitamin C. For years, scientists have identified this vitamin as an important anti-oxidant that helps fight off cancer creating free radicals but recently it has been found that isolated vitamin C is not nearly as effective as drinking a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. The reason being, oranges are filled with many other helpful enzymes that are not normally found in a supplement pill. In fact, an actual orange is healthier than the juice because the white film on the fruit (called the albedo) provides even more nutritional value that you won’t find in the pulp!

So eating a bowl full of oranges will help limit cancer, right? Not exactly. Although one orange provides us with our recommended intake of vitamin C, excess acidity in our body can actually promote cancer. As always, moderation is key.

Sanibel’s Farmer’s Market has a wide variety of locally grown fruits and vegetables for a reasonable price. Blood oranges (a deep red fruit with a slightly tart aftertaste) usually run you a dollar a piece in Publix but the Farmer’s Market has one stand that offers them three for $1.25! Not only are you supporting local farmers and getting a fresher product, but you will also be saving a little money. You can stop by the market on Sundays from 8 am to 1pm near the City Hall.

If you would like to reach Dr. Greg Walsh with questions or comments, email him at


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