One of the great things about Arizona (with the exception of July-September) is that there is a long gardening season. We started an organic garden in our backyard a couple of years ago. Being novices, the first year or two provided a few veges and lots of lessons. This year I think we’ve figured it out. We planted some heart-healthy veges: 1) Beets-full of potassium, insoluble fiber, carotenoids, and other minerals and vitamins. 2) Carrots, which are full of beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body. Known to be protectful against stroke and heart disease in vegetable, not supplement form. 3) Spinach and Kale-these greens are truly superfoods, high in folic acid, iron, potassium, calcium, and vitamins A, B, and C. 4)Tomatoes, loaded with lycopene, which reduces ‘bad’ cholesterol, tomatoes are also high in potassium, folate, and vitamin C. 5) Summer squash, lots of vitamins A and C. In addition to heart health, vitamin C is also essential for collagen, a fibrous protein that acts like ‘glue’ in holding tendons and ligaments together. 6) Melons contain three ingredients that help the body regulate blood sugar levels. In fact, if you are taking blood sugar medication, check with your doctor when adding to your diet.

Produce takes great when harvesting it right outside your door-tastes so much better that what you find in the stores.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.