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Top 5 Reasons To Eat By The Seasons

Nowadays, it’s so easy to transport food long distances that we take it for granted that we can eat fresh strawberries in December or have avocado toast every day. Yet many of us have no clue when fruits and veggies are actually in season where we live.  And there are many reason why you should eat seasonal fruits. Today we present you the top five:

1. Their nutritional content is higher.

Foods that are grown and consumed during their natural seasons are more nutritionally dense. They are extremely beneficial to our health – they function as antioxidants, help detoxification, and can reduce DNA damage. In a study examining the vitamin C content of broccoli, scientists  found that broccoli grown during its peak season (fall) had a higher vitamin C content than broccoli grown during outside of season. 

When foods are grown out of season, they aren’t able to follow their natural growing and ripening rhythms. In order for you to enjoy certain fruits and vegetables year-round, post-harvest treatments, known as ripening agents, are used. These include chemicals, gases, and heat processes. Some produce is also coated with an edible film to protect it.  These processes allow foods to be produced in mass quantities by slowing the maturation and ripening process. They also help to protect the produce from bacteria and other pathogens on their long journey from the fields to your local grocery store.

While this process ensures that farmers can meet consumer demand year-round, researchers have found that artificially ripened produce is often not as nutritious or tasty as naturally ripened produce. Food that hasn’t been sprayed with pesticides, chemicals and preservatives often have higher phytochemical levels because they have to protect themselves in their environment.

Research has also shown that seasonality can affect the nutrition content of other food products as well, particularly dairy products. A 2018 U.K. study analysed cow milk from local creameries in Northern Ireland to assess the iodine and selenium content. While the research concluded that the selenium content was not affected by season, it was discovered that milk produced in the spring had a higher concentration of iodine than in autumn.

2. The taste is the most intense.

Seasonal food just tastes better. Have you ever noticed that tomatoes grown in your grandma’s summer garden tasted much sweeter than the ones you buy at the supermarket? Mass-produced produce tends to suffer from a lack of flavour. The goal of large commercial farms is to produce a volume of “product” to meet high demand, and unfortunately, quantity and appearance override taste. Selective breeding pushes for uniform ripening, shape and shelf life over flavour, leading to lackluster tomatoes, watery cucumbers and tasteless strawberries.

Naturally ripened fruits and vegetables grown and picked in season are typically full of flavor and nutrients. Don’t believe us? Compare your favourite fruit and veggies from your local farmers market vs. supermarket for a taste.

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3. It’s more sustainable.

Everything that grows naturally is better for the environment.
Let’s not forget all the CO2 we contribute to producing when we push demand for transporting out of season produce from the other side of the globe. Make a thought experiment: How far did the avocado or eggplant you bought at your local grocery store travel before it was stocked on the shelves? Did it come from your local farmer (does it even grow locally?), did it drive across the country, or did it arrive by airplane? Sad news is that more than half the fruit and almost one-third of the vegetables bought in the U.S. are imported. Countries and zones which lack in fruitful land resources like Arabia import even more.

Consider buying locally grown produce as a great way to eat with the seasons. Seek joining a CSA (community-supported agriculture). These foods don’t have to travel nearly as far, so the associated fuel emissions and transportation costs are minimal. And you will get to support your local farmers and small family businesses.

Another great way of eating locally is growing your own produce in a small garden.

4. It’s cheaper.

Fruit or veggie in season is by definition more abundant and, not surprisingly, available at a lower price since there is more suppliers. That’s why, in summer, which is a berry season, you get strawberries and other berries much cheaper than in other months.  Meanwhile, if you’re craving grapefruit in July, you’ll probably pay twice as much as you would in December. Why? Grapefruit is in season during the winter, so the supply is higher, driving down the price. A great tip for saving money on healthy food is to buy in-season produce.

5. Supports your body’s natural nutritional needs.

In winter we are provided by nature all things citrus, these are particularly high in Vitamin C, which is very important for preventing infections such as colds and flu. Winter vegetables are often part of comfort food and are perfect for hot meals, healthy stews, soups, casseroles and other warming meals. Summer foods such as stone fruits provide us with extra beta-carotenes and other carotenoids that help protect us against sun damage. They also provide more sweetness for an energetic summer activities, as well as salad vegetables for those tasty refreshing salads.

What’s in the season?

FruitVeg
January

 

Apples, PearsBeetroot, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Celeriac, Celery, Chicory, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kale, Leeks, Mushrooms, Onions, Parsnips, Spring Greens, Spring Onions, Squash, Swedes, Turnips
February

 

Apples, Pears

 

Beetroot, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Celeriac, Chicory, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kale, Leeks, Mushrooms, Onions, Parsnips, Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Spring Greens, Spring Onions, Squash, Swedes
March

 

Rhubarb

 

Artichoke, Beetroot, Cabbage, Carrots, Chicory, Cucumber, Leeks, Parsnip, Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Radishes, Sorrel, Spring Greens, Spring Onions, Watercress
April

 

Rhubarb

 

Artichoke, Beetroot, Cabbage, Carrots, Chicory, New Potatoes, Kale, Morel Mushrooms, Parsnips, Radishes, Rocket, Sorrel, Spinach, Spring Greens, Spring Onions, Watercress
May

 

Rhubarb, Strawberries

 

Artichoke, Asparagus, Aubergine, Beetroot, Chicory, Chillies, Elderflowers, Lettuce, Marrow, New Potatoes, Peas, Peppers, Radishes, Rocket, Samphire, Sorrel, Spinach, Spring Greens, Spring Onions, Watercress
June

 

Blackcurrants, Cherries, Gooseberries, Raspberries, Redcurrants, Rhubarb, Strawberries, Tayberries

 

Asparagus, Aubergine, Beetroot, Broad Beans, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Chicory, Chillies, Courgettes, Cucumber, Elderflowers, Lettuce, Marrow, New Potatoes, Peas, Peppers, Radishes, Rocket, Runner Beans, Samphire, Sorrel, Spring Greens, Spring Onions, Summer Squash, Swiss Chard, Turnips, Watercress
July

 

Blackberries, Blackcurrants, Blueberries, Cherries, Gooseberries, Greengages, Loganberries, Raspberries, Redcurrants, Rhubarb, Strawberries

 

Aubergine, Beetroot, Broad Beans, Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower, Chicory, Chillies, Courgettes, Cucumber, Fennel, French Beans, Garlic, Kohlrabi, New Potatoes, Onions, Peas, Potatoes, Radishes, Rocket, Runner Beans, Samphire, Sorrel, Spring Greens, Spring Onions, Summer Squash, Swish Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips, Watercress
August

 

Blackberries, Blackcurrants, Cherries, Damsons, Greengages, Loganberries, Plums, Raspberries, Redcurrants, Rhubarb, Strawberries

 

Aubergine, Beetroot, Broad Beans, Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower, Chicory, Chillies, Courgettes, Cucumber, Fennel, French Beans, Garlic, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Mangetout, Marrow, Mushrooms, Parsnips, Peas, Peppers, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Radishes, Rocket, Runner Beans, Samphire, Sorrel, Spring Greens, Spring Onions, Summer Squash, Sweetcorn, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Watercress
September

 

Blackberries, Damsons, Pears, Plums, Raspberries, Rhubarb, Strawberries

 

Aubergine, Beetroot, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Courgettes, Chicory, Chillies, Cucumber, Garlic, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Mangetout, Marrow, Onions, Parsnips, Peas, Peppers, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Radishes, Rocket, Runner Beans, Samphire, Sorrel, Spinach, Spring Greens, Spring Onions, Summer Squash, Sweetcorn, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips, Watercress, Wild Mushrooms
October

 

Apples, Blackberries, Elderberries, Pears

 

Aubergine, Beetroot, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Chestnuts, Chicory, Chillies, Courgette, Cucumber, Kale, Leeks, Lettuce, Marrow, Onions, Parsnips, Peas, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Radishes, Rocket, Runner Beans, Spinach, Spring Greens, Spring Onions, Summer Squash, Swede, Sweetcorn, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips, Watercress, Wild Mushrooms, Winter Squash
November

 

Apples, Cranberries, Elderberries, Pears

 

Beetroot, Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Chestnuts, Chicory, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kale, Leeks, Onions, Parsnips, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Swede, Swiss Chard, Turnips, Watercress, Wild Mushrooms, Winter Squash
December

 

Apples, Cranberries, Pears

 

Beetroot, Brussels Sprouts, Carrots, Celeriac, Celery, Chestnuts, Chicory, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kale, Leeks, Mushrooms, Onions, Parsnips, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Red Cabbage, Swede, Swiss Chard, Turnips, Watercress, Winter Squash

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