In this article, Leslie Bobo, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) who practices here in San Diego (and whom we absolutely adore), is here to share the many benefits of eating seasonal foods.
With the transition to fall upon us (ok… let’s be honest some us have been drinking “PSL’s” (pumpkin spice lattes) and burning fall scented candles since September 1st!) I thought this was a great time to dive in to seasonal eating…
We always hear “eat fresh foods,” “eat local foods,” but what about eating seasonal foods? Well, technically if you are eating local foods you are eating seasonal foods as well. After all, local farmers can only grow what’s in season, except for those farmers growing in greenhouses.
But why should you bother eating “seasonally” and what are the benefits of eating seasonal foods?
6 Benefits of Eating Seasonal Foods
Listed below are six main benefits of eating seasonal foods:
1. You get a variety of nutrients.
If you eat the same fruits and vegetables year round, you aren’t getting a wide diversity of vitamins and minerals.
Choosing to eat foods that are in season forces you to mix it up, adding different fruits and vegetables to your diet that contain an array of nutritional benefits.
2. Transported produce loses nutrients.
If a variety of produce is out of season but you find it in your local grocery store, that means it had to be transported in from somewhere else.
When eating food that is local and in season, you know that it was picked at peak ripeness and was’t sitting in a shipping container for weeks or months. That ripeness and freshness also translates into better nutrition for you, such as higher levels of antioxidants.
3. Flavor and fragrance.
Have you ever been in a strawberry field? In the summer, the strawberries are perfectly juicy and they smell amazing! Not quite the same when you pick them up at the grocery store in December.
As you may know, smell and taste are closely related. Those freshly ripened strawberries don’t just smell better, they taste better too.
4. Supporting local farmers.
Going to the local farmers market allows you to shop the foods that are in season while supporting your local farmers and businesses!
I encourage you to get to know your local farmers at the stands as well. Even if a local farmer hasn’t had their farm certified organic, that doesn’t mean they’re not doing things right. Ask them about their growing practices and get to know them! Then support them with your pocketbook (or wallet).
5. Pesticides and other chemicals.
Foods that are transported or grown out of season may contain additional pesticides and chemicals. These substances are used to keep the produce from going bad, and to make sure it looks good by the time it reaches the grocery store.
To avoid consuming these substances, shop organic or get to know your local farmers. If a local farmer is bringing a harvest to market in a matter of hours or days, they have no need to go through the same steps as a farmer whose produce will be in an international or interstate shipping container for weeks or months.
There’s nothing like curling up with a warm bowl of soup on a chilly night, and same goes with a fresh smoothie on a hot summer day!
Choosing to fill these seasonal meals with fresh, in-season ingredients is just good for the soul! These types of comfort foods nourish your body and mind.
Here’s a seasonal eating tip for my fellow San Diego residents: if you find yourself short on time, can’t make it to the Farmers Market, or grow your own fruits & vegetables, then Daily Harvest Express offers a wide variety of CSA Farm Boxes delivered straight to your home or office!
Get your Daily Harvest Express order placed right now (or no later than Sunday evening at 5 pm) so you can enjoy another week of fresh, healthy food from local farmers!
If you’re an existing customer, check out the What’s In My Box page to see what’s headed your way or to customize your order. If you’re a new customer, learn more about which service is best for you by clicking the button below:
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