17 Aug Healthy Choices Are on the Rise in Chicago
2020 has changed many things for Chicago individuals including an increased focus on healthy eating. Many consumers have discovered a connection between what they eat, how they feel, and their unique health needs, but unfortunately, many individuals still do not consume enough fruits and vegetables.
What’s in demand?
Compared to 2017, the last time we checked in to see what the top fruits and vegetables were, the top 11 fruits and vegetables purchased in 2019, in descending order are: potatoes, bananas, apples, tomatoes, onions, strawberries, grapes, carrots, broccoli, bell peppers, and oranges.
Each one of these offers specific vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can benefit a different part of the Chicago consumer’s body.
- bananas: source of potassium; help lower blood pressure
- apples: source of flavonoids, an antioxidant; lower risk of developing diabetes and asthma
- strawberries: great source of antioxidants; help decrease inflammation and hardened arteries
- grapes: source of resveratrol, an antioxidant; help prevent heart disease and may reduce the spread of breast, stomach, and colon cancer cells
- oranges: source of folate, a vitamin for pregnant women, and hesperidin, a phytochemical that can lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels
- potatoes: source of soluble and insoluble fiber, vitamin C, and B-complex; help lower plasma LDL cholesterol keep blood sugar stable
- tomatoes: source of antioxidants, dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins; protect against cancers and ultra-violet (UV) rays; protects eyes from “age-related macular related macular disease” (ARMD)
- onions: source of chromium, quercetin (an antioxidant), vitamin C, and B-complex; help control diabetes, offer anti-inflammatory properties, and help with brain health
- carrots: source of carotenes, vitamin A, vitamin C, B-complex, copper, calcium, potassium, and antioxidants; help protect against skin, lung, and oral cavity cancers, maintain eye health, and help maintain healthy connective tissue, teeth, and gums
- broccoli: source of fiber, protein, iron, calcium, selenium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, E, K, and an array of B vitamins; lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease and helps improve eye health
- bell peppers: source of vitamin C, vitamin K1, vitamin E, vitamin A, folate, potassium, and antioxidants; help improve eye health and reduce the risk of anemia
Organic or Conventional?
According to the USDA’s ChooseMyPlate program, most adults should consume between 2 – 3 cups of vegetables and 1.5 – 2 cups of fruit per day. To understand which fruits and vegetables an individual should add to their diet, it is important for them to learn more about their potential choices, both organic and conventional.
Recent research from The Packer’s 2019 Fresh Trends survey found that the overall demand for fresh fruits and vegetables is up compared to the previous year (2018). Survey participants also indicated a preference for Fair Trade (59 percent) and locally grown produce (55 percent). Organic produce sales in 2019 increased by almost 5 percent over 2019 and represented 15 percent of the entire fruit and vegetable market in the U.S.
The growth in sales for organic produce didn’t plateau after 2019. Sales of organic produce during the spring of 2020 jumped dramatically after the onset of the pandemic. According to Laura Batcha, CEO and Executive Director of the Organic Trade Association, “The pandemic has only increased our desire for clean, healthy food. Our normal lives have been brought to a screeching halt by the coronavirus.”
To maintain a healthy diet especially right now, it is important for everyone to have access to a wide variety of fruits and vegetables especially during the workday. Chicago employers can help by offering healthy snacks and beverages at the office that are made from fruits and vegetables. Whether your break room menu could use a few more healthy options or needs to be redesigned, Yami Fresh can help. For more information, please contact us at 847.423.2448.