Why Seasonal Foods Are Better For You
First off, to maximize the nutrients you get out of the foods you eat, there are a few simple things you should remember: eat colorful (avoid white foods like non-whole-wheat bread, pasta, and rice); eat local (buy foods grown within 100 miles from where you live for fresher produce, meat, and dairy); and eat seasonal. Not only are seasonal foods better for your health, they also give your metabolism a boost, helping you manage your weight.
“Eating seasonal” has become very trendy and in the most part for good reason. You can save money on healthy foods and protect the environment. However, there is one downside. You don’t want to eliminate fruits and veggies entirely if they aren’t in season. Green leafy veggies are always good for you no matter what time of year it is. The key here is putting more seasonal veggies on your plate then not. Here’s why.
Seasonal foods are better for your wallet. It costs food manufacturers a lot of money to grow foods out of season, and those expenses ultimately get passed on to you, the consumer. To make matters worse, out-of-season fruits and vegetables often get sprayed with chemical crap to help them survive their unnatural state.
Seasonal foods are better for the environment. One of the reasons the cost of non-seasonal foods is higher is because of the cost to travel the food around the world. Berries that aren’t in season in the northeastern U.S. would have to be shipped in from some other part of the word like Mexico. This is not only expensive, but terrible for the environment.
Season foods are better for you. Foods that don’t have to travel long distances to make it to your plate are fresher and therefore don’t lose as much of their nutrient content. And, they require less dangerous chemicals to keep them fresh and keep the bugs away.
Seasonal food options can vary, depending on the region in which they’re grown, but here’s a quick guide to help you sort out what to buy when:
- Dark, leafy greens (Swiss chard, spinach, romaine lettuce, fresh parsley, and fresh basil)
- Summer squash
- Fresh cilantro
- Sweet potatoes
- Root vegetables (carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic, and winter squash)
- Citrus fruits (mandarin oranges and clementines)
Remember, the key is not to eliminate produce that isn’t seasonal, but rather maximize produce that is!