Eating seasonally is more than picking up your favorite pumpkin-spiced latte and it can actually keep you healthier, longer!
Each season offers an abundance of beautiful fresh fruits and veggies, providing a great opportunity to begin experimenting with new recipes or reworking the old ones to add more seasonal foods. Choosing produce by season will not only impress your palate but also get you to eat the way nature intended.
Preservatives, chemicals, additives, and more are all things you need to take into account before reaching for the nearest snack. Seasonal eating can actually reduce your consumption of those elements. It provides a simple way to become a more conscious eater and conquer some of the difficulties of finding new and genuinely safe ingredients for your body. The next time you’re taking a trip around the produce aisle, remember these 5 Key Benefits of choosing seasonal foods:
1. Richer Flavor
There are much more flavor and nutrients in fruits and vegetables that are harvested in season. A vegetable that has been manipulated with chemicals or artificial elements to keep it growing out of season and one grown by the Earth's natural ebb and have clear differences including color and taste. When choosing your next produce cart, aim for the brightest fruits of the bunch… these will have the richest flavor (and highest nutrient count).
2. Greater Nutrient Density
Nutrients found in plants are beneficial to human health and can play a role in preventing various diseases. There is a decline in phytonutrient content in fruits and vegetables that are processed for long periods of time or transported out of season… this translates into poorer flavor profiles and dull color. These phytonutrients contain antioxidants including vitamin C, folate, carotenes ... Instead of limping and drying up, they create a clearer and more colorful look.
3. Fits into your budget
Buying in-season is a perfect way to remain safe/healthy without going over budget. With the cost of organic and all-natural goods continually hovering above the average family, buying out of season foods can really rack up a receipt total. Now, when a crop is in-season -- when farmers harvest a large abundance of produce -- the cost of the commodity decreases. In addition, when procured in your region, traveling expenses and storage are not needed. This keeps your body and your wallet healthy! Buy local!
4. Supports Your Body’s Natural Nutritional Needs
Mother nature knows what we need and when we need it. In winter, all things citrus are produced by nature. Especially high in vitamin C, which is very important for the prevention of infections such as colds and flu, winter foods provide exactly what your body needs in just the right timeframe. As well, summer foods such as stone fruits provide you with extra beta-carotenes and other carotenoids which help protect you from sun damage. As the plants have adapted to the changing season, they provide nutrients to help us do the same!
5. Get More Variety
This is a seasonally eating bonus that can be particularly enjoyable, and may even inspire innovation. With the seasons continuously shifting your diet, you're more likely to eat a larger range of foods. This variety is essential in ensuring our body continually adapts to the changes in a healthy way. You can also start trying to prepare your food in various and exciting ways in your adventure into new types of seasonal items.
Eating seasonally is a way in which we can all be more mindful consumers and contribute to the natural agricultural cycle. So, put on your chef hat and start whipping up some seasonally delicious dishes at home!
Fall items are the building blocks for some of our favorite holiday sweets, including apples, pears, and pumpkins, and all of these foods are good sources of vitamins B and C, nutrition, and phytonutrients! This combination of vitamins and phytonutrients helps protect the body from aging-related free radicals and also increases immunity as you step through to the winter months to help combat infections. Here are some fall favorites to stock up on:
- Brussels Sprouts
- Green Beans
- Sweet Potatoes & Yams