We are heading into the exciting season of fall, which also means a lot of really nutritious and delicious fresh fruits and vegetables to feast on. Most of these fruits and vegetables won’t be found during the rest of the year; thus their inclusion into our diet this season is what many define as seasonal eating.
What is Seasonal Eating?
Think back to your grandparents and parents, who were living in a time without the supermarkets and grocery stores of our time, you will find that they inadvertently followed the practice of seasonal eating. They grew a lot of their food; they had huge gardens and farms to plant and harvest fruits and vegetable at a particular time of the year.
That was the pattern that they ate in and religiously followed for their daily meals. Nowadays when we go to our grocery store, we can get pretty much anything available all year round, irrespective of the season.
For e.g., Strawberries wouldn’t typically be available in the month of winter; however, today you can find them all year long at your nearby grocery store. Hence, we are no longer forced to eat seasonally as our ancestors did.
The Benefits of Eating Seasonally
Although most prefer eating irrespective of the season, not many are aware of the benefits that come from eating seasonally.
Firstly, the fruits and vegetable harvested in season typically taste better. If you pick up anything fresh like a peach off of a tree and compare it to the one you bought from a store, you will notice a drastic change in the taste of that peach. When you harvest something during its season, it will taste better.
High Nutritional Value
Secondly, when you eat something close to harvest time, then you are getting the nutritional value from that piece of fruit or vegetable. A lot of our food comes not only from out of state from where we live but also out of the country. So when that fruit and vegetable is harvested, it takes 1-3 days to travel to its destination.
When it comes to a supermarket, it will sit there for 2-3 days more before it is bought. Once bought it may sit in your fridge for more days before finally being consumed.
So a lot of the stuff you buy from the grocery store may have very well lost its original nutritional value. The longer the time gets, the more the fruits and vegetable’s decline in their nutrient density. That is why eating seasonally is way more beneficial than eating out of season. It is always good to get food closest to where you stay. If you know farmers or neighbors who cultivate fruits and vegetable, it is advisable to get it from them.
Another reason to eat seasonally is because it is actually cheaper. For e.g., If you go to buy Strawberries in the summer, you will find a container for about $2, which is pretty cheap. However, if we go to buy the same container in December, it will cost up to $6 per container. This price inflation is because these strawberries are out of season, and the strawberries are being brought in from a farther distance than your locality.
As we head into fall, there are a lot of delicious fruits and vegetables are coming into season right now. This is the season winter squash like acorn squash, pumpkins, etc. These foods are a very rich source of Vitamin C and Antioxidants and should be consumed this season to increase our body’s vitamin C levels. They are the perfect food to incorporate in our diet as we head into the cold and flu season.
Another great fruit to come out in fall is the apple. Apples are shown to boost your immunity. Right now is the apple harvest season, and if you have an apple orchard near, go and pick it up. You can have an apple raw, and also create some mouthwatering delicacies out of it like an apple pie.
Apart from the above-mentioned food, this is also the season of Kale, sweet potatoes, turnips, root vegetables, mustard green, etc. A lot of these will become a great source of nutrition for your body this fall. Try to incorporate them in your diet; make sure to pick them up from your grocery store. A lot of these foods will contain nutritional punch that cannot be found in them any other season of the
year. Jump on the opportunity, and increase the nutrient density of your body.