October 12 is National Farmer’s Day, a day devoted to celebrating the often back-breaking work our farmers do to supply us with delicious, fresh foods.
More and more people are discovering that an all-natural way to achieve better sleep is by selecting foods that can promote a good night’s rest. So what better way to pay homage to our hard-working farmers than to provide a shopping list of sleep-inducing foods you can buy at your local farmers markets? Choosing to buy food from our local farmers is an excellent way of saying “thank you.” Their families depend on our support to enjoy a good quality of life and to continue growing the crops we enjoy eating year-round.
First, a bit of background on National Farmer’s Day: Originally called “Old Farmers Day,” this holiday began in the early to mid-1800’s when agriculture was a primary industry in our nation. The celebration was intentionally set for mid-October, a time when farmers were finished with harvesting most crops, and could join in the festivities.
Should you wish to enjoy a Farmer’s Day Festival, you’re in luck! There are a few slated for October. The celebration which most honestly replicates our farmers’ lives is Loranger, Louisiana’s 46th Annual Old Farmer’s Day on October 26 and 27 at Brunett Farms. Earlier this month, on October 12, Charlotte Regional Farmers Market in North Carolina will also host a Farmer’s Day Festival.
Shop for These Foods at your Farmer’s Market to Help You Sleep Soundly This Fall:
1) Go Bananas!
We love to tout the wonder of bananas, a sweet fruit that supplies both magnesium and potassium. Bananas also create tryptophan, an amino acid that helps produce melatonin and serotonin, leading to easy sleep.
2) Grab the Greens!
Get busy eating salads and cooking spinach! We have mentioned the helpful copper found in dark leafy greens, and that vegetables such as kale, spinach and mustard greens also aid in the production of tryptophan. Don’t forget your always available friend, lettuce. If you are suffering from insomnia, try this before bedtime: Soak three pieces of lettuce in water for 15 minutes, then boil the water and drink it once it cools down a bit. Lettuce contains lactucarium, a milky fluid that can relax you.
3) Think Down Under: Amazing Root Vegetables
Root vegetables serve as the in-season carbs for fall. High on the glycemic index, carbohydrates help the body produce tryptophan – are you sensing a common theme? – so you can doze off quickly.
Fortunately, a diverse variety of root vegetables is readily available to us: carrots, potatoes and/or sweet potatoes, jicama, carrots, beets, radishes, turnips, and gourds. These tubers are sleep health giants, releasing within the body doses of magnesium for relaxation, potassium to lower blood pressure and calm us, and complex carbohydrates.
This October, thank the men and women who task themselves with plowing, sowing, raising, feeding and harvesting the foods essential to our good health. Bring smiles to their faces and your own when you select their delicious farm produce that will help you sleep!