Optimize Your Diet By Eating For The Season
The concept of food being in or out of season is yet another thing the modern world has allowed us to lose touch with. These days, most everything is on supermarket shelves all the time!
However, just because we can be eating all kinds of fresh produce at any time of the year doesn't mean that we should. In-season fruits and vegetables are both cheaper to produce and cheaper to buy, and they're better for your health as well as the environment.
First of all, foods sold when they are out of season are usually plucked before they are mature, meaning they will not reach their nutritional peak. This produce is then given post harvest "ripening treatments" which include radiation, pesticides, waxes, and preservatives. It will then often travel long distances, which causes its flavor and nutrients to degrade and increases its overall carbon footprint.Additionally, one study found that broccoli grown in fall contained more Vitamin C than broccoli grown in spring, and most experts agree that food grown in-season will likely taste better and contain more nutrients than off-season food. In-season food is also more likely to be locally grown, which will allow you to support local farmers and your local economy rather than huge corporate goliaths.Changing up your diet as the season changes will also help encourage you to eat a more diverse diet overall, which will expose you to a wider variety of antioxidants and other beneficial plant compounds.
Eating a more varied diet can also help improve the functioning of your microbiome. There's even evidence that the bacterial content of your gut changes as the seasons do, making you more efficient at digesting particular foods during the time of year when those foods were "meant" to be eaten.If you must go against what nature intended, buying frozen versions of out of season food or freezing your own when the time is right is probably a better option than indulging in "fresh" off-season options.This handy dandy guide can also give US readers an idea of what's in season in their specific state; for even more convenience, you can download it as an app! LocalHarvest can also help you find farms, farmer's markets, food co-ops, and groceries near you where you can buy fresh, locally grown food.
To give you a head start on getting your food choices back on track with what Mother Nature intended, here's a listing of Phase 2 and Phase 3 foods and the optimal season that you should enjoy each. Best get your cravings for some of those fall foods out of the way before winter hits!
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