The Benefits of Eating Seasonally

Benefits of Eating Seasonally

Words by Michelle Park

Shot courtesy of Angelo DeSantis via Flickr
Shot courtesy of Angelo DeSantis via Flickr

 

As Thanksgiving approaches, the thoughts of creamy butternut squash soup, sweet cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, pear desserts and pumpkin-flavored treats come to mind. Of course, for early settlers in America, this menu may mostly have been due to convenience and availability. Now, thanks to technology and methods that allow us to transport and store foods, we can get foods that grow in different seasons and exotic places from all over the world at most local supermarkets. It’s to the point where most of us don’t know when certain produce is even in season.

Eating seasonally is a healthy diet habit that most of us don’t practice. There are many reasons to embrace seasonal eating other than tradition. Becoming familiar with which seasons provide which produce is a natural, easy, environmental, and economic way to a better, healthier, and more beautiful body.

Seasonal foods not only taste better, but also have much higher nutrient content when grown in season than when grown out of season. Seasonal foods provide the body with a wide variety of important vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, and phytochemicals that are needed to maintain good health. Unless frozen immediately after harvest, fruits and vegetables grown out of season lose nutrients with time spent traveling or in storage, and they require pesticides, waxes, preservatives and other chemicals to keep them looking fresh all year. You can imagine the negative effects this imposes on the environment as well. According to the British Nutrition Federation, vitamins quickly degrade over time with storage. Vitamin C, which is a crucial antioxidant that helps create radiant skin and heal blemishes, levels go down with longer transits and greater storage time.

Eating seasonally can also aid in your weight-loss goals, as the rich nutrients provide the body with natural detox and suit the body’s different needs throughout the year for a more balanced weight. There are also several books that provide tips on how to stay fit by eating seasonally, such as John Douillard’s The 3-Season Diet: Eat the Way Nature Intended: Lose Weight, Beat Food Cravings, and Get Fit (2001). And the best part about eating seasonally is that it is easy on the wallet!

Start transforming your health and beauty from the inside by getting to know seasonal produce charts which are available online on sites such as bbcgoodfood.com/seasonal-calendar.

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