I love this time of year. The sun is shining (or not, if you’re in the UK!), the days are longer and the fresh produce in shops and farmer’s markets is changing. There is an abundance of local fruits and vegetables.
Unless you have a box scheme or only shop at farmers markets, eating seasonally is probably less on your radar. We can enjoy many fruits and vegetables all year round. There are numerous environmental and health reasons for eating with the season.
This is particularly important – when your gut is healthy, you are healthy! When you eat seasonally, your diet changes month by month, increasing diversity and upping the fibre content that you ingest. This high-fibre, diverse diet is a key factor in increasing and feeding your gut microbes. In addition, seasonal fruits are fresher and brighter, which means that they have a high polyphenol count – nourishing the microbiome and strengthening the immune system.
Finding ways to protect the environment is a priority. Seasonal produce is likely to be locally produced, and can be grown with less pesticides, waxes, chemicals and preservatives. Growing food locally also reduces “food mileage”. It supports local farmers who choose to farm sustainably. Further, knowing where your food is coming from creates a feeling of being more connected to the process, creating community around food and encouraging us to engage more in our local environment.
Living in tune with nature’s rhythm.
I love the idea that the natural cycle of produce across the seasons is designed to support health. When we embrace the natural rhythm of things instead of living in conflict with nature, we can find harmony within our surroundings, promoting balance with the earth’s resources. Consider the types of foods that grow during each season. In the spring there is an abundance of leafy greens to help us to detoxify, in summer we have fruits, berries and cucumber to cool us down and stay hydrated. In autumn we have apples and root veggies to help us transition into winter.
Encourages more home cooking.
Cooking meals from scratch is one of the healthy eating behaviours that I always recommend to clients. When you take control of what you put into your body, you are making a conscious decision to improve your health. Cooking also creates a great opportunity to connect with friends and family. Choosing to eat seasonally, especially during the winter months, challenges us creatively to create new, delicious dishes based on the ingredients available.
When it comes to flavour, fresh produce that has been allowed to fully ripen in the sun, tastes far better than store bought, imported options. Think about the strawberries or cherries that you buy at the farmers’ market. Their flavour is so much sweeter and more complex than store bought. This is because the longer the produce sits on the shelves, the more nutrients they lose. Whereas, all fresh produce that is harvested at the peak of freshness is nutrient dense with higher levels of antioxidants.
Want more? You can contact me for some 1-1 person-centred coaching. Book a free clarity call to see how best I can help ❤️