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  • Marilyn Buckley, CHHC

The Many Benefits of Eating a Seasonal Diet.



We are entering my absolute favorite season of the year! AUTUMN!!

I love everything about this season.

The crisp air, the smell of the leaves falling from the trees, football, jeans and sweaters.


But I also love the magnificent bounty of fruits and vegetables available to us during this time of year.

Each season brings with it such a beautiful array of seasonal fruits and vegetables that also have a multitude of health benefits.

Many of our parents and grandparents only shopped for and prepared what was in season at that particular time. They didn’t have means to get “off season” produce. Today we go into the store and can buy strawberries and watermelon (among just about any type of produce) in mid-winter!!! Our bodies are not meant to consume produce out of season. Historically, before we had proper refrigeration and freezers, our eating patterns were dictated by the seasons. We consumed what was available because there were no other options.

As the seasons change we tend to naturally transition our diets, for example, in the summer we are looking for lighter and fresher foods that will energize us as we are usually more active and in the cooler weather our bodies naturally crave and need a warmer and heartier diet because we slow down to conserve our energy to get through the cold months.


According to John Doulliard, D.C., C.A.P., a natural health, Ayurveda and sports medicine practitioner from Boulder, Colorado states that, “seasonal eating has the potential to fulfill three, “best-selling” diets each for four months out of the year. “There is a low-fat spring harvest of bitter roots and leafy greens, a high-carb summer harvest of fruits and veggies, and a high-fat high protein fall harvest that stores easily for a long, dormant winter,” he explains. If we follow a more natural approach to our diet by eating active harvests during spring, summer and fall, he adds, we should be able to meet most of our nutritional needs.

If we follow natures seasonal produce schedule we will naturally support our bodies to transition from one season to the next and support our bodies nutritional needs.

I think that if there was only 1 item that could support the benefits of seasonal eating the best it would be a tomato! All of us would be able to agree that eating a beautiful ripe, juicy and fresh picked tomato in the summer is so much better than a tomato that is dull, hard and virtually tasteless in mid-winter that was actually picked when it is still green so that it will be “ripe” by time it arrives on the shelves at the grocery store.

It may not always be possible for everyone to eat locally and seasonally every single day of their life. What is really more important is to be informed and make the best choices you can when you can.

It is so easy for us to lose track of what is actually in season and what is not because everything is available year round most of the time.

SO HOW DOES SEASONAL EATING BENEFIT YOU?

Fresh is best – ALWAYS!!!

When food is harvested at the peak of their ripeness, when they are meant to be eaten, they truly taste totally different. Seasonal produce is full of flavor and high in nutrient value.

So here are some of the main benefits to choosing and consuming seasonal produce:

Taste:

Food that is in season is full of flavor and color. When it ripens naturally and picked at its prime it will have so much more flavor and nutrition. When produce is harvested too early and then

Put in refrigeration for storage and transportation is