Updated: Nov 3
In my 6 years of Nutritional Medicine practice I have explored endless supplements, superfoods, diets and lifestyle in search of the answer to how to not only live without the presence of disease and illness, but live a life of absolute thriving vitality.
During this time, the closest thing I have found to a miracle answer is to eat seasonally. It almost seems too simple to be true. Can something so basic really make much of a difference? Well, I say Absolutely! And here's why.
Better for your body
From the very moment produce is harvested it's nutrients levels decline. When choosing seasonal produce it is more likely that the food has been recently harvested, meaning it is richer in nutrients. If you are going to go to the effort to dig into a healthy meal, you want the ingredients to be as nutritious as possible!
Did you know that apples in the supermarket could have been sitting in the back store room for up to a year?! No thank you! To keep produce shelf-stable they must be treated with preservatives that prevent them from going off to quickly. When you eat the produce, you're eating the preservatives too.
Eating preservatives is like dropping a bomb on your gut, killing off all your beneficial bacteria that help you to turn your food into energy, fight infection, produce serotonin (your happiness hormone) and so much more. This is why I always choose seasonal (and organic when possible) to make sure my food is free from preservatives and bursting with nutrients that are just waiting to make tomorrow me both healthier and happier.
Eating seasonally is another brilliant way to ensure you are nourishing you body with a variety of essential micro and macro nutrients that it requires across the seasons. The easiest way to know your body is getting what it needs in winter, summer, spring or autumn is to trust Mother Nature - she always has your back. Eating what is in season where you are will always give you a healthy dose of what you need to be fit for the season; immune boosting benefits from winter produce and hydrating and sun protection benefits from summer produce.
Better for your community
Buying seasonally is not only going to nourish your body but is also a vote with your dollar to help support local farmers and small businesses. Especially with everything 2020 has thrown at us there is no better time to do what we can to help out small local businesses.
Better for the planet
Next time you have a meal I challenge you to think for a moment about the air miles and environmental cost of that meal. For an example lets imagine your meal is a simple stir fry from your local Thai shop. Some veggies are out of season and canola oil isn't great, but seems innocent enough, right?
First there is the air miles to ship the produce from the opposite side of the world. Next, it is likely that this produce was grown in mono-crop farms. This type of farming wipes out natural land biodiversity and is slowly stripping the earth of healthy soil at an alarming rate. Now, time to spray with herbacides, pesticides and preservatives. Goodbye healthy gut microbes. Next, let's cook the veggies in inflammatory vegetable oils to kill off any left over nutrients that these old veg may have been holding on to. Last step is to put all of the above into a plastic container allowing plastic particles to seep into your food as the container heats. Pop all this into a plastic bag and just like that something that technically cost you $14.50 actually cost the planet and your body a whole lot more.
Sorry for the doom and gloom, but this is the reality of today. All because people are too lazy or don't care enough to get off their butts ad over to the local farmers markets or even just google 'local organic produce delivery to * enter your location here* '.
To finish on a positive note...
Buying seasonal produce is also much kinder on your wallet. When fruit and veg are in season they are growing in abundance and therefor sold at a much lower price point. Bring on cheap big juicy mangos!!
What's In Season
Here is a list of produce that is in season in NSW Australia during this next month:
Avocado, Bananas, Berries, Cherries, Grapefruit, Mangoes, Melons, Oranges, Papaya, Passionfruit, Pineapples, Rhubarb
Asian Greens, Broccoli, Asparagus, Green beans, Carrots, Cauliflower, Chillies, Fennel, Kale, Lettuce, Onions, Peas, Potatoes, Silverbeet, Spinach, Zucchini
Right now at Springfield our gardens are bursting with springtime produce. We are enjoying an abundance of peas, lettuce, cabbage, kale, chard, celery, and of course, as always... Farmer Pete's famous pumpkins!
Summer fruits and veggies are incredible hydrating and lighter on your digestive system. They also boost collagen production and help to protect your skin from sun damage - how perfect is that?!
So next time you are feeling in need of a little health kick, delete 'Uber eats', put down the expensive supplement and head to your local farmers market.
Oh, and as always, don't forget to eat the rainbow.