Eating healthy at my local market
Food and craft markets have been sprouting up all around the Northwest. One market that began very recently is Strandhill Peoples Market, which takes place down at the beach front in Strandhill every Sunday.
This market has really taken off, with more stalls popping up each week.
As well as many local crafts on offer, it is fast becoming a real foodie market.
There are lots of exciting, local foods for sale, with something for everyone, from sushi to paella.
One stall which caught my eye was the Green Warrior, which is run by local Ballymaloe trained chef, Carolanne Rushe.
Carolanne's passion for plant based, raw and wholefoods lead to her further trainings as a raw food chef.
I tried her Superfood Salad, which was bursting with healthy ingredients.
The pearl barley added a real texture to the salad, an ingredient which is often overlooked in the modern diet. It used to be real staple ingredient in Ireland and was often added to Irish stews and soups.
Pearl barley is a slow energy releasing grain containing both soluble and insoluble fibre.
Soluble fibre also contained in oats can help to lower cholesterol levels.
Insoluble fibre promotes a healthy digestive tract and reduces the risk of certain types of cancers, in particular colon cancers.
Another great addition to the salad was beetroot, a personal favourite of mine.
Beetroot is right in season now and one of the easiest vegetables to grow.
The vibrant red colour of beetroot is from pigments called betalains, these are natural antioxidants, which are responsible for mopping up those damaging free radicals.
Beetroot is also high in potassium, which is important for maintaining and lowering blood pressure.
They are fantastic raw or cooked.
The Green Warrior also has some chocolate treats, containing raw cacao, which contains a much higher amount of antioxidants called flavonoids than you will find in regular chocolate.
A small bit of this goes a long way.
These treats also include a sprinkle of chia seeds to further boost the antioxidant content.