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 Ricky Riddles from Rush Springs displays a bouquet of carrots during a recent farmers market in Lawton.

Buy local, get more vitamin bang for your buck

Shopping for and eating fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables from farmers markets this summer has some added benefits besides supporting area farmers.

There's not as much food miles on the produce. It didn't travel on a barge or come on a plane. It hasn't been exposed to unknown air and germs.

Besides that, vitamins decrease with time and some vitamins in produce decrease with exposure to light, according to Ashley Lazzerini, wellness dietician for the Comanche County Health Department.

"Some vitamins are sensitive to temperature," Lazzerini said. "You almost have to think of vitamins (in fruit and vegetables) as a living thing. You don't want your fruit from another country to be two weeks old because a lot of the vitamin content has already died off. Eating local, you're hopefully, getting fresh vitamins. Hopefully, they were packed fresh, possibly just picked yesterday."

Lazzerini said it is especially important to get water-soluable vitamins in our diet regularly.

"Fat-soluble vitamins like to break down and be stored in fat," she said. "So we don't necessarily need fat-soluble vitamins every single day because we are good at storing some vitamins in our fat so we have some to grab. Water-soluble vitamins, we need those every single day because they are not stored in the body. We don't keep little banks of water-soluble vitamins."

The Lawton Constitution

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