Eating an in-season diet is one of the most simple and practical approaches to living. But there are more benefits to seasonal eating than you think.
My top 5 reasons for eating in-season foods are:
Eating in season adds variety to your meals and to your gut bacteria
It's pretty much always cheaper
In season produce is more fresh and has higher nutrient value
It's more sustainable and better for the environment
Seasonal foods support nutrient, digestive and health needs that also change with the seasons
Let's look at each more closely...
1. Eating in season adds variety
By the end of Winter, we’re all a bit sick of soup and by the end of Summer, you’re probably over salads! When the season changes, you're ripe and ready for new foods. As new produce start starts appearing at the markets, you're almost gagging for it. Think of the delicious smell of the first mangoes in Summer. That's your body saying YES to new season foods.
Eating a variety of fresh foods maintains variety in your gut bacteria too. That's essential for gut health, which of course, affects your whole health. The bacterial changes from seasonal foods connect us back to our evolutionary nature; your insides reflect the environment outside. This is in line with how our species evolved to survive in different environments. Clever!
2. Seasonal foods are cheaper.
This is a bonus. In-season fruits and vegetables are always cheaper because there’s an abundant supply. The very first foods of the season are often more expensive - like those Summer mangoes! Once the season gets going however, in-season fruits and vegetables are by far the cheapest. Buying in season, especially at farmer's markets, saves the big bucks!
3. Seasonal foods are fresher & healthier.
In-season foods are locally grown. They have not been treated or refrigerated for months in order to be shipped thousands of miles and still look pretty when they reach you. The more fresh your food, the more active vitamins, minerals, antioxidant and enzymes they contain. Of course, if you can buy organic or farm fresh it’s even better!
4. Seasonal foods are better for the environment.
Locally grown foods clock less food miles and require less energy for long term refrigeration and storage. This dramatically reduces fuel and emissions from shipping and storing mass quantities of food. Shop local, shop in season and if you can, shop at a farmer's market. It's even better! The more people who make this choice, the greater the benefit for the environment.
5. Seasonal foods have health benefits that suit the season.
This is another reminder of our evolutionary connection to nature and how we are healthier in every way when we work with the environment we live in. Going back to the old mango, if we look at hot tropical climates, we see mango, pineapple and papaya growing abundantly. These foods contain enzymes that reduce the activity of harmful bacteria and parasites in the digestive tract. That's important in hot climates where these organisms thrive and can easily enter the body and cause illness. The foods in this climate have a protective mechanism built in to keep us safe and healthy. Cool, huh?
Another example is the red, yellow and orange vegetables and citrus fruits that grow in Winter. These are high in Vitamin C and beta-carotenes that support immune resilience in Winter when we may need it more. At the same time, these Winter foods (think sweet potatoes, pumpkin, beetroot) provide slow-release energy, helping us maintain an active metabolism when the cold weather would otherwise slow it down.
These are just a few examples of how eating in season provides what we need, when and where we need it. Smart as!
Eating in Season is a cost effective, healthy, natural and environmentally sustainable lifestyle choice.
You can feel the benefits of eating in season and an learn to cook foods in ways that make it even more practical with my 7 Day programs. Not only for weight loss and health, they are designed in sync with the seasons!