Eating Seasonally for Better Health





Have you ever wondered why a lot of the produce found in the grocery store is available all year long? Or what influence it has on the nutrient content? With our modern society we have fresh foods available to us at all times, but at what cost?



The produce found year round in grocery stores is usually shipped from far away places which uses more gas, oil, and energy. The average time spent in transit is 5 days.



The fruits and veggies are not picked at their peak, rather before they are ripe to ensure they do not spoil during the time of transportation. Instead of allowing nature to work its magic in its natural habitat so it can increase its nutrient value, it's robbed of this precious time. The produce is then packed, shipped, received, sits in the back of the store, sits on the shelf at the supermarket, and then usually sits in your refrigerator. All of this time spent sitting around can decrease the nutritional value.


As someone who worked as a supervisor in a produce store when I was 18 years old, I can tell you from first hand experience that eating with the seasons can be quite beneficial to your health and your pocket book. Seasonal fruits and vegetables retain more nutrients than their counterparts making them a better choice for your health.



Shopping at your local Farmers Market is a beautiful way to support your local farmers and to get the most nutrient dense foods. They are usually picked the day before heading out to the farmers market which means the produce will contain more nutritional value.



I would like to share some advice advice from my years working closely with farmers. Establish a relationship with them and know where your food is coming from. I have seen many times people pretending to be farmers and selling their produce at farmers markets. In reality they went to a whole sale vendor and bought a large quantity of produce. They do not actually have a farm! This means you are not buying fresh picked nutrient dense produce. Know where your food comes from if possible.



Our bodies are intelligent beings which require different types of food at various times of the year. Have you ever noticed how the foods that grow in the winter are more dense and provide warmth to the body during the cooler months? Delicious foods such as root vegetables can be so nourishing and provide a great deal of energy to the body. While foods that grow in the summer can be more light and cooling? This is great to keep in mind when looking to eat with the seasons because it can be your guiding compass to deliver the nutrients your body requires.


While all food can be enjoyed year long for a healthy diet it is also nice to be conscious of how to get the most nutrients from the food you consume. This can be done by paying attention to what is in season. It will also save you money because the food does not have to be transported from far away places.






Spring Seasonal Foods:




Artichokes


Artichokes are one of the richest sources of antioxidants and are incredibly nutrient dense. They are particularly high in folate and vitamins C and K,. Artichokes are known for being a wonderful pre biotic, support liver health, and gut health. Pre biotics help to feed the good bacteria in your gut which is essential for a strong immune system.


Artichokes can be enjoyed in so many healthy ways. If you are looking for a simple healthy alternative simply steam them and make a dipping sauce with olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt, and pepper. Also vinegar is wonderful.


Arugula


Arugula is wonderful for bone health. It contains an impressive amount of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, folate. Arugula contains minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, and iron. It helps the body to naturally detoxify and can improve skin health.



Arugula can be enjoyed raw as a base for a salad, used as replacement in pesto instead of basil (one of my personal favorites. It adds a little spice to the pesto). It can also be added on top of pizza to add a balance of flavor and nutrition, as well as into soups.




Asparagus


Asparagus helps to promote overall digestive health and can help improve mood because it is rich in B vitamins and folate. Asparagus has been shown to help with weight loss, immune health, urinary tract health, liver support, and skin health.



Asparagus can be enjoyed grilled with olive oil, blended and made into a delicious soup, added to soups, risotto, breaded paired with a dipping sauce, or added to your breakfast omelette.


Avocados


Avocados are a delicious healthy fat that are rich in potassium, vitamin C, folate and vitamin K.


Avocado's are perfect for healthy glowing skin, ahir, and nails. It is the perfect beauty food due to its healthy fat and nutrient content. Healthy fats help to plump the skin resulting in a more youthful appearance.



Avocados can be enjoyed as a healthy snack by just eating a half, on top of toast, guacamole, with eggs, you can cook an egg and enjoy it in the center of the avocado for a healthy balance of protein and healthy fat, you can stuff them with veggies or protein of choice. The possibilities are endless.




Beets


Beets are a rich source of antioxidants, vitamins and trace minerals. They are a wonderful anti-inflammatory and promote good heart health. Beets are excellent for supporting healthy detoxification which is essential for optimal health.



Beets can be enjoyed steamed, baked, in a salad with goat cheese, pickled, and pureed.




Broccoli


Broccoli contains high amounts of vitamin C, Calcium, and Vitamin K. It has been shown to protect heart health, improve immune health, and protect eye health.



Broccoli can be enjoyed raw, steamed, bakes, made into a delicious cheesy casserol, blended