April is National Garden Month. This a great time to plan your garden for spring and summer fruit and vegetables. When we select the fruits and vegetables to put on our plate, they should be colorful like a rainbow. Liven up your meals with a variety of nutrient-rich choices with at least five servings a day of fruits and vegetables.



Benefits: Can lower LDL cholesterol, blood pressure, reduce macular degeneration, reduce risk of prostate cancer, promote healthy joints.

Foods: Apricots, butternut squash, carrots, yellow apples, pineapple, rutabaga, papaya, mango, cantaloupe, grapefruit, tangerines, oranges, peaches, yellow peppers, yellow potatoes, sweet potatoes, persimmons, yellow watermelon.


Childersburgs farmers market3-bc.jpg

Benefits: Can lower blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, reduce cancer risk, aid in digestion, boost immune system, fight inflammation, support eye health.

Foods: Green beans, green grapes, green cabbage, zucchini, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, avocados, artichokes, kiwi, honeydew, leeks, leafy greens, spinach, okra, green apples, peas, green peppers.


Talladega Farmers Market

The Talladega Farmers Market is held on Tuesday afternoons in the Talladega Chamber of Commerce parking lot.

Benefits: Can support eye health, healthy digestive tract, reduce tumor growth and limit activity of cancer cells.

Foods: Blueberries, blackberries, purple peppers, raisins, purple cabbage, purple potatoes, pomegranates, plums, grapes, egg plant



Benefits: Can boost immune system and reduce risk of colon, breast and prostate cancer; also balance hormone levels.

Foods: Banana, cauliflower, ginger, garlic, mushrooms, onions, potatoes, white corn, white peaches, jicama, Jerusalem artichoke, brown pears, kohlrabi.


Farmers Market and Blue Bell Ice Cream Day

Benefits: Can reduce risk of prostate cancer, lower blood pressure, reduce tumor growth, support joint tissue in arthritis.

Foods: Beets, blood oranges, cranberries, papaya, red apples, strawberries, watermelon, red potatoes, red peppers, rhubarb, red chili peppers, pomegranates, cherries.

This list is only a sampling of the variety of fruits and vegetables that you can add to your plate to help you live a healthier lifestyle.

Some of the vegetables can be grown in a container on your back deck. Gardening can be very peaceful, mood-boosting and offer you some aerobic exercise.

For more information on gardening and nutrition, contact your local Calhoun County Extension office at 256-237-1621. You can also find us on Facebook at “Calhoun County Extension.” For a wide variety of research-based information, visit our website at www.aces.edu.

Sheree Taylor is a regional educator for human nutrition, diet and health for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. Contact her at 256-237-1621, 256-499-7146 or snr0010@auburn.edu.