Do Your Body Good

Local food improves health and performance.  

As spring leads to summer, local farmers and ranchers are hard at work producing food for our community. Across Gallatin and Park counties, access to local food continues to grow with consumer demand. Sustainability isn’t the only benefit of locally grown food—it’s better for health and performance, as well. 

From organic beets and rhubarb at Gallatin Valley Botanical to Bridger Berry Acres berries that you can pick yourself on the way to a Madison float, Bozeman truly has it all. This summer, put the following foods on your grocery list.

Bridger Berries
Berries are an excellent source of vitamin C and fiber. Vitamin C is one of the backbone nutrients of our immune system, helping our bodies fight off unwanted visitors. Fiber ensures a healthy gut, and meeting your daily fiber requirements (25g for females, 38g for males) will help keep bowel movements regular, thus helping you avoid unpleasant trail stops. 

Towne’s Harvest CSA Beets
Beets have a relatively high concentration of nitrates, which, once ingested in our bodies, convert to nitric oxide. A lot of research is being done on the performance benefits of nitric oxide. The two most studied include blood-vessel dilation for more blood flow to working muscles and protecting cells from damage caused by different oxidizing sources. To reap any of these benefits, a consumer will need a high concentration of nitrates; therefore, you could juice 3-4 beets and add this regimen to your training preparation. (Consult with a registered dietitian before implementing, as timing, dosage, and frequency play a vital role in usage. Ridgeline Fuel Dietitians specialize in sports and performance.) 

Bar 77 Montana Grass-Fed Beef
Montana is known for its wheat crops, barley crops, and cattle herds. Local meat products are abundant and of superb quality. Bar 77 Montana Grass-Fed Beef is just one of the many ranches providing beef in the valley. Red meat is high in the essential amino acids our bodies require. It’s also one of the highest-quality sources of protein we can ingest, including plants, and consumption of high-quality protein is vital for optimal recovery. 

MT Highland Lamb
Lamb is another high-quality protein, and it’s generally less fatty than beef. For individuals looking to lean out but still enjoy the savory taste of red meat, lamb or game meats are the way to save a few calories. 

Gallatin Valley Botanical Farm Rhubarb
Rhubarb is most commonly used in preserves and pies. However, there are a variety of ways to incorporate it into recipes such in salads, baked goods, and marinating sauces for barbeque season. Rhubarb provides a great source of vitamin K and calcium. Both of these nutrients play a vital role in maintaining strong bone health. 

Three Hearts Farm Radishes
Vitamin C is found in the majority of fruits and veggies, including radishes. Vitamin C plays many roles in our body, such as rebuilding and creating collagen tissues. Collagen is the tissue that makes the cartilage of our joints. Healthy joints make for healthy movements and healthy performance. 

Black Dog Farm Eggs
Eggs are nutrient powerhouses. Full of protein, vitamins A, D, B6, and B12, eggs are a great way to start the day. Vitamin D is also required in maintaining bone health, and vitamin A is essential for maintaining good vision and eye health. B vitamins are required in just about every metabolic reaction in our body, thus an egg a day will do no harm and the protein content is very high. 

Emely Lambert is a registered dietitian at Ridgeline Fuel Dietitians in Bozeman.