Tools for Healthy Living: Eating by Season

Thanks to advances in food transportation and technology it is now possible to get virtually any fruit or vegetable you want on any day of the year, regardless of where you are. Supermarket shelves are stocked with exotic fruits and vegetables for you to grab whenever the mood strikes. But, just because you can get out of season produce, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should.

Rather than eating out of season produce shipped from far corners of the world, eating by season is a powerful tool in the quest for a healthier way of eating. Here’s why:

By Choosing to Eat What’s In Season…

  1. Your Food is Fresher. When you opt for produce that is in season, you are getting options that have been grown much closer to your local market. When fruits and veggies aren’t subjected to going on long journeys from far corners of the world to reach your plate, you get better produce. Time and temperature extremes associated with long travel means nutrients can start to degrade. Eating what’s in season means that you are getting optimal flavor and optimal nutrition!
  2. You Stretch Your Grocery Budget. Produce that is in season is more readily available, accessible, and affordable for your grocer to purchase.  Those advantages can be passed along to you, the consumer. The greater supply of in season fruits and veggies often results in these items going on sale and special. This means you can better afford to fill your cart with the nutritious fruits and veggies that are key to any healthy diet.
  3. You Naturally Get a Greater Variety of Nutrients.  One thing dieticians all agree upon is the importance of getting a variety of nutrients in your diet. Each different food offers its own unique nutritional profile and by eating a wide variety of foods you are able to take advantage of these different benefits. When you change up what you are eating based on what’s in season, you effortlessly introduce a variety of nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals into your diet.
  4. You Have the Potential to Reduce Your Chemical Intake. Anytime you can reduce the amount of chemical pesticides on the food you and your family eat, it’s a step in the right direction towards a healthier diet.  Out of season produce grown in other countries may be sprayed with harsh pesticides that aren’t legal in the U.S. Additionally, when you choose your seasonal produce from smaller, local farmers they often use organic growing practices, even if they haven’t completed the process to be officially labeled as such. Visit your town’s farmer’s market to take advantage of this!  

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