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Eating seasonally is what our bodies were designed to do. If you think back to the hunter and gatherer days, mangos and berries weren’t available in the dead of winter, and apples and squash weren’t available in the summer. Fruits and vegetables were consumed based on what was in season and fueled the bodies of hunter and gatherers with exactly what they needed during the season they were in. 

With the convenience of being able to eat all produce during all times of the year, many of us aren’t eating seasonally, but we should be, and here’s why. 

Eating seasonally will naturally give us exactly what our body’s need and is also thought to help balance the body out. (1

Not only does eating seasonally provide the body with the nutrients it needs based on the season you are in, but you will also be consuming fresher and more delicious foods while also saving some money. 

If you are interested in learning more about why we all should be eating seasonally and then how you know what foods are in season when, read on.

The top 5 Benefits of eating seasonally 

#1 Fresher Food: When you consume food that’s in season, chances are, it didn’t have to travel nearly as far to find its way in your local grocery stores. The reduction in food travel time in addition to the fact that the produce may have been purchased locally means your food is going to be fresher and taste better! (2

#2 More Nutritious: Studies have also found that in season produce are going to be more nutritious s than fruits and vegetables that are not in season. It’s been found that produce that has been allowed to ripen naturally contain more nutrients than fruits and vegetables that are artificially ripened when picked out of season. (3) When you consume in-season produce, you may also reduce the chance of consuming a fruit or vegetable that was genetically modified. Genetic modification is often used when fruits are picked before they are ripe. (4)  

#3 Support the Environment: Not only does eating seasonally help support your overall health, but it also supports the environment. You can help support local farmers, and direct-to-consumer producers have been found to be less likely to spray pesticide on produce which is a great way to help support the environment. (5) You can also support other community farms by buying your produce from your local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) where you can buy a “share” earlier on in the year and then pick up your produce weekly. This is also a great way to feel more connected to your local community and to really get to know where your food is coming from.

 
#4 Save Money: 
Want to save some money on each grocery trip? Shop local and in season! Seasonal foods are going to be far less expensive than trying to buy strawberries or a mango in the winter where the prices are increased. Buying from your local farmers market is also going to be cheaper than purchasing produce in the grocery store. So, save yourself money while also supporting local farmers by shopping at your local farmers market during the times of the year they are open. 

#5 Add Variety to Your Diet: If you are used to eating the same fruits and vegetables all year long, eating seasonally will definitely be a great way to add some variety to your diet. It’s a great way to add different flavors to your recipes while also adding a variety of different vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to your diet. Plus, it’s also the ideal way to give yourself that push to try new foods and recipes, especially if you tend to get stuck in a food rut. 

The Benefits of Eating Seasonally | HealthSoul

How to know what food is in season when?

The best way to know what foods are in season where you live is to visit The Seasonal Food Guide website. This will give you a list of foods that are in season during different times of the year based on where you are located. 

To start adding more seasonal foods to your diet, you can then select a handful of foods you want to enjoy and look up recipes that incorporate those seasonal food. If you have kids, this is also a great way to get them involved in eating a variety of healthy foods! 

While seasonal foods are going to vary by location, here is a general guide to get you started with seasonal eating. 

Summer:

  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon 
  • Zucchini 
  • Cucumber 

Spring:

  • Apricots
  • Avocados
  • Mango 
  • Pineapple 
  • Asparagus 
  • Chives 
  • Mustard greens
  • Fennel 

Fall:

  • Apples 
  • Pears 
  • Cranberries
  • Figs
  • Sweet potato 
  • Butternut squash 
  • Cauliflower 
  • Garlic 
  • Ginger 

Winter:

  • Grapefruit 
  • Lemons
  • Oranges 
  • Kale
  • Leeks
  • Radishes 
  • Turnips

Start each season off right by researching what fruits and vegetables are in season and then making a grocery list based on those foods. Commit to trying something new each month, and find recipes that look good to you! Make a habit of this each month or each season to add variety to your diet, support a more balanced diet, and support the environment and local farmers one seasonal food choice at a time. 

About the Author

Rebecca Jacobs N.C is a Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant, specializing in digestive and women's health. She doesn't believe in dieting but rather making lifestyle changes, and believes that healthy eating must be delicious. Rebecca is also a recipe developer and creates healthier alternatives to traditionally unhealthy foods.

Diet and Nutrition


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