By definition seasonal foods are those that are grown in the same season that they’re harvested. Why is seasonal eating so effective? Eating foods in season helps you in several ways.
Here are some tips for incorporating and enjoying healthy, sustainable eating during the seasons. Regardless of the season, you can eat for optimal wellness and good health.
Vitamins and Minerals
Seasonal foods such as fresh oranges, apples, strawberries, and pears contain vitamin C. They’re also delicious and help keep your heart healthy. Keep track of the fruits you love with a fresh fruit list. Maintaining this list allows you to get your daily recommended fruits and vegetables easily.
Spices, herbs, and vegetables like basil, curry leaves, and onions are rich in vitamin E. Harvest your spices from clean, environmentally responsible locations.
Vitamin K is a mineral. Carrots are heavy in this mineral and help protect against age-related eye problems. Spinach is another rich source of vitamin K. Other leafy vegetables like kale and collard greens are all excellent sources of vitamin K.
Dark green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, mustard greens, turnips, broccoli, cabbage, and brussel sprouts are all loaded with this powerful antioxidant.
Root Vegetables and Trellises
These seasonal foods are packed full of fiber and contain many nutrients like beta carotene, vitamin C, and iron. Some of the most nutritious root vegetables include carrots, celery, zucchini, radishes, beets, okra, parsley, squash, okra, and turnips. Nutrient-dense side dish vegetables include carrots, zucchini, red onions, garlic, tomatoes, spinach, peas, mushrooms, and brussel sprouts.
Herbs and Flowers
With gardening, you create an environment that allows your seasonal foods to grow and thrive naturally without the use of chemicals and pesticides. Pick fresh greens throughout the year from the garden and enjoy them in their whole form in most places.
Be sure to select your greens before the flowers bloom. If pesticides are used, they can be absorbed by the leaves and cause leaf discoloration. Picking your greens before the flowers open will ensure that you get the entire spectrum of nutrients from your seasonal foods. You should thoroughly clean all fruits and vegetables before eating.
Local Fresh Food
It may be challenging to find a grocery store with varieties of fruits and vegetables. There are some fantastic ways to enjoy food from your local area year-round.
When you find these stores, you can make wonderful soups, pies, and other baked goods from scratch using all-natural ingredients. Growing your own vegetables is a great way to enjoy food year-round. It is also a great way to help the environment. By growing your own fresh produce in your backyard, you are reducing your carbon footprint and helping the environment at the same time.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture produces a popular fruit list called the USDA Nutrient Profile that allows you to find seasonal eating opportunities around the country. It’s also a great way to get your daily doses of vitamins and minerals necessary for good health. Freeze or can your fresh fruits or vegetables if you can’t eat them before they expire.
The National Organic Program supports organic agriculture. Shopping in grocery stores that support sustainable living is a great way to increase your seasonal fruits and vegetable intake.
Harvesting and preserving the season’s produce is a great way to eat healthy all year round. If you plan to harvest fresh fruits and vegetables this year, it is a great idea to learn how to pick them. Picking your own food means that you can be sure that they are as nutritious as those you would buy at the store. With just a little bit of practice, you can be harvesting your own healthy, seasonal foods. So get out there and start picking!