Catherine Jeans | www.thefamilynutritionexpert.com
Norwich nutritional therapist Catherine Jeans tells us why your body craves seasonal food.
Have you ever noticed that you naturally crave warm, stodgy, heartier foods in the winter? Then as soon as the sunshine arrives, you’re more into fruits, salads and cooler foods? It’s not just the changes in temperature around you that encourage you to eat this way, our bodies are naturally in sync with nature, and the foods which are supposed to be ready to harvest as the seasons change.
Many of us tend to think of seasonal eating just in terms of its benefit for the planet. But actually there are huge benefits for your body and mind as well.
Seasonal eating means eating foods which are naturally ready to harvest locally, without being shipped halfway around the world or requiring the use of pesticides or artificial growing conditions. When we pick plants that are ripe and ready to harvest, they have the optimal level of nutrients, especially when it comes to heat sensitive vitamins like Vitamin C.
Who wants bland, boring food? Not me! And seasonal eating really does do a lot for our taste buds. A freshly picked piece of broccoli or locally grown strawberries have an incredible taste, because they are picked when they are ready to eat, rather than ready to ship.
Variety benefits your body!
Eating seasonally means more variety, because you’re forced to try new things which are in season. Most of us stick to the same five vegetables and fruits for most of our lives, but this limits our nutrient intake, because we’re always eating the same things. Our bodies need diversity, from our brains to our incredible gut microbiome, the more different foods you eat, the more different vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and amino acids you’ll be including.
Good for the planet means good for you!
If our planet is nurtured, our bodies are nurtured. If food travels less and thus uses fewer air miles, and if fewer pesticides are used, it will mean a less toxic world for us all which is great news.
My top tips for eating seasonally:
If you want to eat more seasonally, have a search online for a chart that tells you what’s in season and when in your region.Then go shopping armed with a list of things to look out for. You’ll find so many seasonal options at farmers’ markets, farm stalls, farm shops and local health food stores.
You can also now find many seasonal products at supermarkets so look out for things grown in the UK and local to your area.
Growing your own is also a great place to start, because there’s nothing more seasonal than growing in your own back garden. If you grow with the seasons, you then won’t need to use fertilisers and other chemicals which may be toxic to our bodies, and the natural world around us. Even if this starts with a pot of herbs or some salad on your windowsill!