Both health experts and chefs agree that it’s best to eat the foods that are “seasonally” available, rather than seeking out frozen foods from other seasons. Ideally, the healthiest, and most cost-effective diets are rich in produce that are grown in the same month that you eat them. This means that you would eat squash throughout the fall and summer, and switch to leeks and artichokes in the spring.
Eating seasonally couldn’t be simpler. All you need to do is make sure that you choose to purchase the produce that’s locally available at the time of year that you’re shopping. You may have noticed that more people are trying to make the most of the “seasonal” aisle lately. However, there’s more to seasonal eating than getting involved with a diet trend. There are real benefits to eating the foods harvested at specific times of year.
Perhaps the first, and most obvious benefit of eating foods that have been freshly harvested, is that they’ve been able to grow and ripen properly, meaning that you can enjoy their full, optimal flavor. Taste begins to diminish when you prepare produce to last for longer than it should. That means that anything you get in a tin, or from a freezer is either packed with preservatives and extra sugar to make it taste better, or it loses its flavor. Even when your fruits and vegetables are simply chilled during transportation, their flavor can begin to diminish, and the texture can also be altered too!
Frozen or stored fruits and vegetables also begin to lose some of their nutrition when they’re left to sit for extended periods of time. That means that you can make the most of the vitamins and minerals that fresh produce has to offer when you eat it according to its seasonal schedule. You could even turbo-charge your nutrition intake, and begin to lose more weight by juicing your vegetables, rather than eating them in a meal. Typically, foods and vegetables that are harvested closer to their ideal date have higher levels of antioxidants like folate, vitamin C, and carotenes.
A significant benefit of seasonal produce is that it can grow without a great deal of human assistance in the form of things like genetic modification and pesticides. We know from scientific research that these toxic compounds can contaminate soil and water, and have a significant impact on our health. By harvesting and eating seasonal foods, we can ensure that the produce we get access to in our stores is more organic and better for us, and the environment.
Seasonal produce could be better for your local economy too! As we mentioned above, seasonal produce is much easier to grow for farmers, which means that they don’t have to spend quite as much money getting their harvest to your table. Because people don’t have to spend as much money growing and harvesting seasonal food, this also means that the price of what you pay for your produce in the supermarket can go down too! You can also avoid sourcing so much food from overseas too, where you may not get the same level of cleanliness and stringent agricultural measures that you get at home.
5. Seasonal Support
The natural cycle of produce growth is perfect for supporting our health. For instance, apples grow in the fall, and they’re perfect for when we need to cool down and remove excess heat from our bodies in time for winter. In the winter months, vegetables that are hearty and brimming with nutrients help us to fight off infection and warm ourselves. During the summer months, we can begin to cool our bodies down by eating more fruits in the form of berries and watermelon – which are rich in hydrating water and beta-carotenes that protect us against sun damage.
By consuming the right foods at the right time of the year, we give ourselves a constant source of natural organic support, intended to keep our bodies and internal organs functioning at their best all year around.
From the benefits it can have on your wallet, to the health advantages that it offers your body, eating seasonally is a fantastic option for anyone who has the opportunity to purchase the latest harvest from their local farmer or grocery store. With seasonal food, you get delicious variety all year long, and all the natural nutrients that you need to prepare your body for the months ahead!
contributed by Rebekah Carter www.bestblenderusa.com
Rebekah is a passionate writer and healthy-eating advocate. She’s always keen to try out the latest foods and recipes, explore new information about health and fitness, and expand her understanding of the world around her with constant learning.