Have you heard that we should be eating our foods according to their season? It’s called Seasonal Eating.
Remember those grocery trips where everything looked… the same? Same old apples, same tired spinach, same “meh” taste buds? Well, darlings, there’s a delicious secret hiding plain sight: eating with the seasons!
It’s not just some newfangled fad. Eating seasonal produce is a way to tap into mother nature’s bountiful harvest and give your body the best of the best. I’m sure you have heard of it in passing, or maybe there was an article you saw on your phone once that you then forgot about. But, there are many benefits to eating food while it’s in season, as opposed to eating those foods year-round (read this to learn surprising ways to eat more vegetables!).
Now, you may be asking, “But, Honey, what are the benefits?” Well, let food be thy medicine, some foods are known to be protective of your brain health, and others are great for your skin. Read on to see why it’s best to eat them in season.
The Benefits of Eating Seasonal Foods
Eating seasonal foods is part of the ancient Indian practice of Ayurveda, and there is a special term for eating seasonally. It’s called, ritucharya.
Ayurvedic medicine practices eating foods only in season and claim it to help prevent disease and maintain your overall health. Why are these foods more healthy? Remember how grandma always had the juiciest tomatoes in summer and the most comforting stews in winter? It wasn’t magic, it was seasonal eating! Ayurveda, this ancient Indian wisdom thing, calls it “ritucharya,” which basically means “eating in tune with the rhythm of the year.” Because when grown in season, they are more nutritionally dense. This is because, when grown in its proper season, the crop follows normal (instead of forced) growing and ripening rhythms. Thus, the food is naturally better for you. There was even a study done about this on broccoli.
When food is artificially grown and ripened, the foods are naturally not as nutritionally dense. As well, the ripening process is often sped up to keep up with the high demand for crops, this always makes foods less nutritious for us.
And, did you know what when food is grown out of season, it also gets treated with post-harvest treatments and ripening agents? This coats your food in chemicals and gases, and an edible film to protect the food during this process. You know what I’m talking about, you’ve seen it on apples most likely. Who wants to put that in their bodies?
Lastly, it’s not only seasonal produce, even animal protein can be in season! Just like juicy berries in summer, some fish migrate with the seasons, seeking ideal feeding grounds or spawning conditions, making them freshest and most abundant at certain times of year. Think plump salmon returning to rivers in autumn or tuna following warmer waters for peak flavor.
Aging Gracefully With Seasonal Foods
Aging gracefully isn’t just about wrinkle creams and anti-aging serums. It’s about nourishing your body from within, and what you’re feeding it matters more than ever as the years go by. That’s where the magic of seasonal eating comes in. Think of it as a way fuel your body with the freshest, most potent ingredients in their prime.
Ditch the year-round grapes from faraway lands, bland and devoid of their true potential. Instead, seek out the treasures that burst from local farms right when the season is in its prime. Sweet potatoes in autumn, brimming with vitamin A for healthy eyes and vibrant skin. Spring onions and swiss chard in early spring, their vibrant greens packed with antioxidants to keep your cells dancing. Summer squash in mid-May, bursting with vitamin C to shield your body from free radicals. These aren’t just trendy buzzwords, darling; they’re nature’s health serums, and in-season produce is the star ingredient.
Eating seasonally isn’t just about taste. It’s about supporting local farmers who pour their passion into nurturing the land and bringing you the best of each season.
So, swap the grocery store aisles for the vibrant hues of a farmers market. Talk to the local growers, discover hidden gems like sweet potatoes in November or crisp green beans in late summer. Let the seasons be your guide, eating what nature offers with each glorious cycle. You’ll find your body brimming with vitality, your taste buds singing, and your spirit dancing in harmony with the rhythm of the Earth. Remember, aging gracefully is a delicious journey, and every bite of seasonal goodness is a step closer to your most vibrant, healthy you.
It’s Not Only For Your Health
Eating seasonally isn’t only beneficial for your health. There are many other benefits to eating seasonally that you may not have thought about. You’re not just nourishing your body; you’re nourishing your community, reducing your carbon footprint with less long-distance travel, and giving your local economy a healthy boost. It’s a win-win-win for you, the planet, and your neighbors.
Reasons to Eat Seasonally:
1. The Environment will thank you: Eating seasonally reduces your overall carbon footprint. How? Because in order for non-seasonal food to get to us, it’s produced in other countries, then brought over to the US. Think of all that travel time! If you eat seasonally and shop locally, you will not be contributing to this practice. Sure, it may not seem like it will help much, but the more people that use this practice, the more impact it will have.
2. It’s cheaper: Out of season food (fruits and vegetables) are always more expensive because of the costs that accrue to produce the product. The price also includes the foods travel to get to you. If you start to eat seasonally, you will begin to notice the prices of those foods can be considerably less than ones that are out of season. As well, it makes it much easier for you to support your local farmers! They will always have the foods that are in season.
3. It tastes better: This may seem like a no-brainer, but have you ever tasted an orange that in season versus one that is not? The taste difference is astonishing! It’s like when you get home from the store, bite into a strawberry and go, “Oh my gosh, that is one of the sweetest berries I have ever eaten!” compared to all the other times you’ve bitten into one only to be met by a sour and bland taste.
That’s because it’s in season! These food products have been grown naturally, without any engineered processes. This is also why shopping at your local farmer’s market always tastes better than store-bought produce!
Foods to Enjoy This February
So, what seasonal winter foods should you be eating this February? Here is a great list for you to pick and choose from. As well, make sure you visit your local market to see what is in season in your area!
- White cabbage
- Savoy cabbage
- Brussels sprout
- Beet tops
- Red radicchio
- Jerusalem artichoke
- Dried fruits
- Sea Bass
Eat Well, Be Well
I hope this has opened your eyes to the idea of seasonal eating. Print the above list out and keep it handy when planning your weekly meals. Your taste buds and your body will thank you for it!
Have you tried seasonal eating before? Tell me about your experiences in the comments at the bottom of this page.
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