Eating your way through the seasons is as nutritious as it is delicious, heres why…
1. Nutritional Benefits
Fresh and in-season (maybe even local) produce has a far superior nutrient profile for that exact reason, it is fresh; fruits and vegetables lose phytonutrients and vitamins as soon as they have been harvested, many produce such as spinach and berries lose around 30% of nutrients in just 3 days . Eating as close to the time of harvest as possible means lapping up the maximal amount of nutrients. When you combine seasonal and local, there is less travel time for the produce, the crops will have had a chance to ripen as nature intended and as such will contain higher levels of antioxidants such as Vitamin C and beta-carotene. Eating seasonal produce provides the body with the nourishment it needs for the time of year; summer offers cooling and hydrating cucumbers and beta-carotene rich stone fruits and tomatoes to protect our skin against UV rays.
One of the most important reasons; the sweet flavour and aroma of a locally grown, ripe summer strawberry is sensational. Chilling fruits and vegetables before they are perfectly ripe compromises the taste and texture, we’ve all had a fluffy-textured and flavourless apple. Never compromise on flavour – we don’t just eat to live, we live to eat! We must indulge our tastes buds in the varying flavours and textures nature provides us with.
3. Keeping the planet clean
Food grown in-season requires less human interaction in the form of pesticides, preservatives, waxes, irradiation (a burst of radiation to kill germs) and in some cases colourants, this is not only bad for the planet, it also causes health implications. The CO2 emitted in food transportation (when travelling from deepest Peru) is a well-known environmental issue, however, we must also consider the energy expenditure to keep the fruit and vegetables refrigerated for prolonged periods and the hot houses crops are grown in out of season.
Seasonal produce is cheap as farmers have an abundance of it. Get down to your local market to make the most of delicious fruits and salads in the summer before they quadruple in price in the winter and lose all their flavour.
5. Creativity and mindful practice
You can get creative in the kitchen; finding a recipe or inventing a new dish out of what you have found at the market can be extraordinarily inspiring and encourage a MINDFUL approach towards food. Cooking itself is a mindful practice as you tend to focus on the task that you are doing in the present moment. Creating a dish from scratch is incredibly satisfying and even better, you know all of the whole-food ingredients that have gone into it. Whip out your culinary skills!
- Buy fruits while in season and freeze them to use as breakfast toppings and in smoothies throughout the year (freezing also preserves the nutrients).
- Stay on top with whats in season by using a seasonality table like this one.
- Find a local market and speak to them about in season produce. we love the one outside Goodge Street Station (pictured above).
We hope you’re inspired to go and visit your local market and check out the delicious seasonal goodness!