Eating seasonally is very en vogue in the nutrition world. However, as with most positive nutrition trends, it mirrors what both humans and nature have been doing for years.
Quite simply, eating seasonally is building your meals around what is grown and naturally available to your local area throughout the year. But we live in a very modern and convenient society so why would we limit ourselves to eating only what was available in our small corner of the earth? Turns out that eating for the season not only has added health benefits, there are environmental and financial benefits as well.
Benefits of Eating for the Season
More Nutrient Dense
When fruit and vegetables are first harvested they are jammed packed with vitamins and minerals. Almost immediately, some of these nutrients start to deteriorate. So, a local strawberry that was harvested the week it hit your tongue may have more health benefits than those that have spent weeks travelling from another part of the country or world.
One way to tell if something is in season is that you can usually find them at the front of the produce section and it is typically on sale. That is because when something is in season that means that there is usually a lot available and it doesn’t have to travel as far. This drives down the price!
Better for the Environment
Travel and preservation of fruits and vegetables has an environmental impact. The less a piece of produce has to travel the less driving, refrigeration, storage and need for chemical preservation.
Naturally Supports our Seasonal Needs
In my opinion this is the coolest benefit! Nature has a unique way of knowing what our body needs at different times of year and the food that is in season supports that. For instance, in the spring we tend to want to detoxify and shed the extra layer from winter so we have produce like lettuce, asparagus and parsley. These are powerful detoxifiers that help our bodies naturally cleanse from the heavier, warming foods of the winter. In the summer the days are longer and hotter so produce like strawberries and cucumbers are denser in both energy producing carbohydrates and water for hydration.
What is in season right now?
- Bell Peppers
- Butter Lettuce
- Green Beans
- Jalapeno Peppers
- Summer Squash
For a full list of what is in season in your specific area, be sure to visit: https://www.seasonalfoodguide.org/.
Summer Seasonal Fruit & Vegetable Recipes
Greek Salad with Grilled Basil Chicken
In this recipe, Cooking Classy combines seasonal peaches, corn and greens with protein packed grilled chicken breast. At your next weekend BBQ, throw a few extra pieces of chicken on the grill and you can enjoy this all week! For the recipe visit www.cookingclassy.com.
Lemon Raspberry Frozen Yogurt
Fruit is so naturally sweet in the summer months, it only makes sense to use it as dessert. Over at JoyfulHealthyEats, they combine raspberries, lemon, honey and Greek yogurt into a crowd-pleasing dessert. No ice cream maker needed! For the recipe visit www.joyfulhealthyeats.com.
For even more delicious summer recipes, visit my blog post Best Summer Foods & Recipes. If you have any other recipes you are loving, be sure to post them in the comments below. Enjoy!