Contributed by Jodie Montgomery of Health Matters
Budapest’s markets and food halls are awash with colour and vibrancy as the grey clouds of winter make way to the spring rays of sunshine. Did you know, it is the essential minerals, antioxidants and vitamins we require to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle which give fruit and vegetables their bright, eye catching colours as well as adding to their aesthetic appeal.
Here are some simple tips to help increase your fruit and vegetable intake whilst enjoying and supporting the locally grown produce around Budapest’s food halls and farmers markets.
Eat a rainbow of colour
This is a simple way of reminding ourselves that a variety of fruits and vegetables in our diet will get us the vitamins and minerals we need. Consuming a wider variety of fruit and vegetables increases the human body’s nutrient intake. Ideally we want to consume a larger range over the course of the day but why not work to do so over the course of the week to help make those life- style changes a little easier and more achievable.
Use your food halls and snacks
When enjoying the beautiful weather and buzz of Budapest, picking up pre-prepared or fast food snacks is something we are all guilty of now and then. Why not try to familiarise yourself with the food hall map on the next page and set yourself the challenge of using these when on the go. Fresh, seasonal, locally grown and even
organic produce is readily available. This simple behaviour change will help increase your fruit and vegetable intake, is more cost effective and may even allow you to pick up extra items from your weekly shopping at the same time.
Before leaving home, pack a snack. This can sim- ply be picking up a piece of fruit on those days when getting out of the house on time is a challenge. When you have more time, why not pre- pare a fruit salad at the beginning of the week and take a small pot out each day (remember the rainbow rule). Alternatively, pepper or car- rot batons make a healthy, fuss free snacking option which go perfectly with hummus. Add- ing homemade coleslaw to sandwich fillings is a delicious way to make an alfresco lunch more varied and appealing.
Add some fruits and vegetables to every meal
Add fruit, such as berries, or chopped kiwi to cereal and porridge. Add grilled mushrooms or tomatoes to scrambled eggs.
Add some crunch to your sandwiches with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber or grated carrot. Cucumber, pepper and carrot batons or cauliflower and broccoli florets are delicious with dips such as salsa or low-fat cheese spread.
Add chopped carrot to a Bolognese ragu, sprin- kle chopped red peppers on your pasta, or mix vegetables such as peas and sweetcorn to up your vegetable intake and make varied, tastier meals.
In addition to the Budapest food halls there are a number of organic farmers growing fresh, sea- sonal food in the Hungarian countryside. Zsámboki Biokert, “are committed to growing quality food, meeting people and promoting the planet, biodiversity, and the community.” The aim of reducing emissions related to production is supported by their limited usage of machines and reliance on human and horse power on the farm. A weekly vegetable box delivery service is offered at 7 pickup points throughout Budapest to help strengthen the countryside-city links at Zsámboki Biokert. The boxes contain fresh, seasonal, organic vegetables – which are harvested and sent directly to the city– at affordable prices all year round. Zsámboki Biokert also operate at the Saturday organic market at Csörsz utca, behind MOM Kult which hosts a number of certified organic farmers and shops selling a range of food and household products.