Wellness Market offers Valley residents health food options

PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- People may have heard of First Fridays in Phoenix, an event that happens on the first Friday of each month, where people check out art, food and drinks.

Now, some are adding the Second Tuesday to their schedule.

It may not have the same recognition yet, but that will change if health experts have their way. It's part wellness center and part Farmer's Market.

"To basically discuss how health is connected to food and how food can be medicine," said Dr. Shad Marvasti with University of Arizona's College of Medicine.

It's the brainchild of U of A's College of Medicine, Wesley Community and Health Centers, and Star Impacts LLC. The idea is simple: eat good, feel good.

"People don't understand how powerful food can be," said Dr. Marvasti.

Olive oil, for instance, can reduce risk of a heart attack and stroke by up to half, and vinegar can lower blood sugar levels.

"A lot of these things can be less costly and less dangerous than being on multiple medications

Heart disease, cancer and diabetes account for 70% of all health care costs today. These foods are just some examples of healthy ways to combat disease.

"When we can find lifestyle and food cheap that have minimal to no side effects that we can use everyday to keep us healthy and help treat our disease, then were doing something good," said Dr. Marvasti.

Everyone knows smoking is bad, but Dr. Marvasti wants people to remember one thing.

"Dietary risk factors are the number one risk factor, even above smoking," said Dr. Marvasti. "Physical activity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, it's the number one risk factor both for death and disease."

The event offered walk-up flu shots on Tuesday as well. Each month, the U of A College of Medicine will have a different theme, as part of the Wellness Market. The U of A also has two community centers in the Valley with gyms, and they even offer culinary medicine classes for anyone interested.