- Eating seasonal food will taste better
- Eating in this way adds more diversity to your diet
- It can be good for your gut health as well
Changing of the seasons provide us the unique opportunity to incorporate a variety of fantastic particular foods that are only available during that particular time of the year. This means each season offers an array of beautiful fresh produce that we should take advantage of in terms of health benefits and nature.
Eating seasonally ensures that we are properly nourished throughout the year by eating the best that the season offers, perhaps a great time to start experimenting and trying new recipes or remaking those old ones to incorporate more seasonal fruits and vegetables. For that matter your palate will be impressed but there are health benefits too.
Here are the many benefits to eating seasonal food
1. High nutritional value: Seasonal fruits and vegetables that naturally ripen in the sun are fresher, taste better and have the highest amount of nutrition, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Whereas, produce loses nutritional value the longer it is stored or sits while being transported. Consumption of seasonal produce closer to the time of harvesting provides the most nutrition.
2. Cheaper: Not only the nutritional benefits but seasonal foods come with many other advantages one of which is that these are very cost-effective. In an area when something is produced area at the time when it is in season there, the cost of the food will automatically go down since the farmer spends no money on transportation and storage. Also, foods that are transported from far off places, the burden of cost of transportation and storage gets transferred to the customers and they end up paying more.
3. Better taste: In-season produce is fresher and tastes better, sweeter and perfectly ripe. Fruits and vegetables when taken for consumption that have been naturally ripened on the vine or the tree and harvested at the right time, will have much more flavour and nutrition.
4. Support's body needs natural nutritional needs: Eating with the seasons provides the body with the nutrition it needs. In winter we are provided with a variety of citrus, high in Vitamin C which supports the body to fight coughs and colds. The winter vegetables are perfect for making warm and nourishing meals like soups, stews and casseroles. On the other hand summer foods such as stone fruits provide us with extra beta-carotenes and other carotenoids that help protect us against sun damage, they also provide more sweetness for an energising summer, as well as salad vegetables for those tasty cool summer salads.
5. Environment friendly: Eating seasonally reduces the demand for out of season produce which further supports more local produce and supports local farming in your area which in turn results in less transportation, less refrigeration, less hot houses, and less irradiation of produce.
To note that eating seasonally and locally is not always a realistic option for everyone's health and pocket. It is about making decisions where possible that are better for health and budget.
(Nmami Agarwal is nutritionist at Nmami Life)
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