Winter is almost here and although the soil may be frozen in some parts of the country, there are still a bounty of cold weather veggies (like cabbage, brussel sprouts, squash, beets, carrots, turnips, parsnips, sweet potatoes, radicchio, citrus fruits, pomegranates, dark leafy greens and fennel) you can incorporate into your diet in an effort to eat seasonally. 

Wait. What is seasonal eating and why should you incorporate it into your lifestyle? We’re glad you asked! Seasonal food is produce that is grown and harvested at a certain time of year. Seasonal dishes include as many of these as possible.  For instance, tomatoes are a quintessential warm-weather fruit and basil hates the cold, so a Caprese salad bursting with garden fresh ingredients is a summer seasonal dish. 

So, what makes this way of eating something to aim for? If eating fresh, unprocessed, whole foods is one of your wellness goals, seasonal eating will put you right on track. Here are six more reasons why seasonal foods should be what you put on your plate.

6 Reasons To Eat Seasonal Foods

  1. It’s a flavor sensation

There’s no question that produce picked at the peak of the season is a hit for your taste buds. The snap of a crisp autumn apple freshly plucked from the orchard or the juicy sweetness of winter citrus really can’t be replicated. This is a major selling point for those who might be shy about filling their plates with fruits and veggies. Our tip: to make a convert out of the produce-shy, try serving fresh cherries, apricots, peaches, and plums during the summer stone fruit season. The term “nature’s candy” will make total sense. 

  1. It packs a nutritional punch 

Why does in-season food taste so good? Well, the moment produce is picked, the nutrient levels start to change. They increase as it ripens, but once harvested, the nutrient levels start to fall, which impacts flavor! Typical fruits and veggies in the grocery store may spend as much as five days in transit, then they might hang out on the shelf for another extended period of time and the clock keeps ticking as it lingers in your fridge or on your counter awaiting your consumption. The longer your produce stays off the vine and out of your belly, the less tasty and good for you it gets. Our tip: compare the taste of a salad made with seasonal veggies from your farmers market versus a big box supermarket chain pre-packaged one. 

  1. It’s only natural

This is the way we were made to eat! In cooler weather, your palette craves more cooked dishes and fatty, high protein foods to stay warm – think soups and stews. When spring has sprung, we’re in clean out mode, attracted to lighter, detoxifying foods like salads, asparagus, and bitter greens. Once summer arrives, the oven is on hiatus and we’re fueled by juicy, sweet fruits and crisp veggies that give us the carbs we need for active, longer days. And as brisk fall air takes over, the harvest of apples and squash starts to push us into cozy mode with our wardrobe and what we dine on. Our tip: obey your cravings! 

  1. It’s good to be green

Green isn’t just for the color of the veggies you should be putting on your plate, it’s also for the environmental impact of which foods you choose to munch on. Seasonal foods can often be cross-referenced as local foods, so eating what’s grown close to home is a great tactic to eat seasonally. According to CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture), on average, fruits and vegetables travel 1500 miles to get to us. The less your food has to travel, the better for the environment in terms of pollution from transit and chemicals needed to keep it fresh. Our tip: frequent farmers markets and sign up for your local CSA box.

  1. It supports local economy

If you’re eating seasonal local food, you’re giving a bounty of economic support to your surrounding community. It’s no secret that farming is a tough business, so purchasing what your local farmer can grow in your climate helps keep them thriving. Our tip: get to know your farmer and shop at grocery stores that purchase produce, meats and dairy from local resources. 

  1. It’s healthy for your wallet 

Because of everything mentioned above, seasonal foods may be priced less, making it easy to say yes to bushels full of yumminess that make your taste buds sing. Our tip: shop and save! 

 

Hungry for more nutrition tips and knowledge? Schedule a cooking demo, lunch and learn or nutrition class for your workplace with Goomi Group! Our nutritionists offer a variety of customizable services such as seminars, cooking demonstrations and private one-on-one consultations. We’ll help you build out your health fairs, weight loss challenges and provide personalized nutrition programs for each individual. Learn more at GoomiGroup.com.