The Hidden Benefits of Eating Seasonal Produce – Timing is Everything!
by Callum Allan on Apr 19, 2023
Eating a diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables is vital for anyone who wants to live a healthy and active lifestyle. Consuming produce that is locally grown and in season, not only tastes better but it also contains higher levels of nutrients, since it is picked at its peak ripeness. As we know, consuming nutrient-rich food fuels your body before and after workouts, and aids in overall wellness. In this blog post, we will dive into the seasonality of produce, and explore the importance of timing when it comes to eating fresh and delicious fruits and vegetables.
Eating in-season fruits and vegetables is important for several reasons. It is good for the environment, our health, and the local economy. When it comes to understanding seasonality, it is essential to know what grows and when. For example, during the summer months, you’ll find plenty of berries, melons, and tomatoes. Conversely, during the winter months, root vegetables such as carrots, beets, and turnips are abundant. Learning to cook and eat what’s in season is an excellent way to maximize flavour, nutrition and also can save you money.
Maximizing Nutrient Absorption
Produce that is picked at the height of its ripeness has the highest level of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fibre content. Once harvested, nutrients begin to break down, so the shorter the time between harvesting and consumption, the more nutrients we can absorb. Therefore, timing is critical when it comes to consuming fruits and vegetables. Eating produce that is out of season can result in a decline of nutritional value, and the loss of beneficial phytochemicals that promote health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Supporting Local Farmers and Economy
Eating produce that is in-season and locally grown is not only better for our environment and health, but it also supports the local farmers and economy. When we buy from local farmers, we know exactly where our food comes from, and can be sure it is fresh and of the highest quality. It also helps to reduce the carbon footprint and increase sustainability by decreasing the distance it takes for the food to reach our plates. Food grown in season in your area is often at its peak freshness and taste, lowering the need for any additional additives, such as preservatives for extended shelf life.
Integrating Seasonal Produce into Your Diet
Incorporating seasonal produce into your diet isn't as difficult as it may seem. Start by taking a walk through your local farmers' market or grocery store and choose produce that is not only fresh but those that are in-season. Mix it up and try new recipes to keep things exciting in the kitchen. Seasonal produce is also great for adding flavour and nutrition to your smoothies, juices, and protein shakes. The bottom line is to make healthy eating easy and enjoyable.
Incorporating seasonal fruits and vegetables into your diet is easy, beneficial and can support local farmers and the economy. Understanding seasonality and timing is essential to optimize the nutritional value of what you consume while reducing your carbon footprint. Take the time to learn what produce is in season and incorporate it into your meals for optimal flavour and nutrients. When you invest in your diet, you are investing in your health, and there is no better time to start than now.