Ever notice that you crave watermelon during summer? Or how oranges and kiwis taste better during winter? Eating seasonally involves eating fruits and vegetables during their growing season – making them fresher and offering a slew of benefits. Here’s 5 reasons why you should start eating seasonally.
1. It adds variation to your diet
You’ve probably heard it before: eat a variety of fruits and vegetables for all the different benefits they offer. Even for the most health-conscious, obtaining all the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs can be a challenge through diet alone.
But a well-balanced diet with a lot of variety can definitely help. Each plant has its own nutrient profile – some richer in vitamin C, some in fiber and others in iron, so a varied diet can help get important nutrients to keep you healthy. Eating seasonally not only encourages you to adjust your diet with the changing weather, but it also ensures you’re getting the max amount of nutrients the fruit and vegetable has to offer.
2. It’s fresher, tastier and more nutritious
If you’re eating seasonally, you’re getting fruits and vegetables when they’re most ripe, meaning they’re the most nutritious at that time and the most tasty. You might have noticed some popular plant foods are offered all year long. But ever notice that it just doesn’t taste as good as when it’s in season?
Here’s the thing: to keep up with the demand, popular fruits and vegetables are often harvested all year round with the use of ripening agents. This not only affects their nutritional value, but impacts taste as well. Or maybe your favorite fruit is being imported from across the world, because it’s in season there, but not where you live. Since transport times are long, companies will often disrupt their ripening process by adding preservatives, using coloring to enhance its appearance, and in some cases use edible film or wax to extend the shelf life.
In short: when you’re eating these foods when they’re in season, it’s going to taste the best.
3. It’s good for your wallet
With all that time, effort and resources required to harvest produce in their off-peak season, you can imagine the added costs that come with it. Locally grown produce is usually more affordable as it’s easier for farmers to harvest them. Which also means it’s harvested more often during that time and in larger amounts – driving costs down.
4. It supports the local economy
When you shop locally or at the farmer’s market – you’re prioritizing small businesses and local farmers, which helps circle money back into your local community. Shopping from local farms not only helps maintain jobs within your area, but also gives you the opportunity to get to know your neighbors, eat fresher and healthier!
5. It’s kinder to our home
Eating seasonally isn’t just beneficial for your health, but it’s also beneficial to the environment. Transporting truckloads of produce takes its toll on the environment. Think about: fuel emissions, refrigeration requirements, increased use of packing materials, water consumption, and the effect of pesticides and toxins on the environment. But when you’re eating seasonally, you’re getting fruits and vegetables from farms that are nearby, making it better for the environment.
To learn about antioxidant benefits in fruits and vegetables, read 8 foods high in antioxidants
Gina is a Registered Associate Nutritionist (ANutr) and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Nutrition from London. She believes nutrition is all about choosing to respect yourself & your body by making smart yet enjoyable choices everyday.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional, or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Do not use the information from this article for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal, or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read in this article.