7 Benefits of Eating in Season
When you’re planning your meals, do you plan your produce based on what sounds good, or based on what’s actually in season? I’ve done both, but there are some definite benefits to planning your meals based on when things are actually in season! And while you can definitely still eat watermelon during the winter if your heart so desires, there are a lot of benefits to eating things in season!
1. They taste better! Doesn’t it make sense that when you go against nature by eating something out of season, it probably won’t have the same delicious taste? Your chances of always having delicious produce is much higher if you eat things in season- they’ve had all the time they need to grow and ripen and become super tasty! No more sour grapes or wilty lettuce ;).
2. It’s cheaper! Seasonal produce tends to be cheaper because there’s plenty of it! Because of the surplus, they are often on sale, so not only will your food taste better but you’ll be spending less to get it! This is also a good way to know what food is actually in season in your area- if it’s going on sale a lot, and there is a ton in the grocery store, it’s probably in season!
3. It’s actually healthier. Because you’re eating fruit and veggies that have had more exposure to the sun and more time to fully develop, you’re getting more nutrition in every bite. If you’re eating healthy food, you may as well make the most of it, right? This also means that you’re most likely eating food that is more locally grown, which means it’s fresher, and has probably had less chemical exposure. You’ll also be exposed to a wider variety of fruits and vegetables, which is going to give your body the wide variety of nutrients it needs to stay healthy!
4. It enhances creativity. Not that there’s a magical vitamin in your veggies that will automatically make you more creative, but by eating things in season, you’ll be introduced to a wide variety of fruits and veggies, some of which you may never have had before! This will give you a chance to try new recipes and find creative ways to eat all your seasonal produce.
5. Get all your seasonal needs met! There’s a reason certain foods grow at certain times of the year. Watermelon and cucumber is the perfect summer food for staying hydrated- and they probably would be a little less appealing in the dead of winter (compared to some warmed up apples and pumpkin!) Strawberries actually protect your skin from the sun in the summertime, oranges give you the extra Vitamin C you need in the winter; you’ll be doing your body a favor by eating things in season.
6. Gain an appreciation for nature. When you’re eating things in season, you’re probably much more in tune with nature, and it’s hard not to be grateful for this beautiful earth when you’re paying more attention to nature.
7. Get a greater sense of community! When buying things in season, you’ll probably be visiting more farmer’s markets and produce stands, which is always a fun and humbling experience (growing and harvesting all that produce is no easy task!). It’s a fun way to get to know people, and to financially support your local farmers!
Granted, it’s not always possible to eat everything in season with minimal transportation time, chemicals, etc. But by knowing when certain fruits and veggies are in season, you can make more health-conscious decisions and do your best at eating things at the optimal time. And of course, don’t feel completely restricted to eating things only when they’re in season- if your kids will only eat apples, don’t hesitate to buy apples just because they’re not in season ;).
Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
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