Written by authors Ceri Jones of Natural Kitchen Adventures and Angelique Panagos Nutritionist and author of The Balance Plan
As the weather warms up and seasons change, many of us will be looking to switch up our diets, either motivated by the desire to feel healthier and more energised in time for the longer summer days, or to take advantage of the amazing seasonal produce available to us at this time of year. There's something instinctive about seasonal eating and following the natural cycle of produce.
Supporting your body’s natural cycle - Each season’s produce is “designed by nature” to support out bodies in making the transition from one season to another. In spring we have access to leafy greens which support our liver function in regulating the body’s energy system. As we move into summer, we are able to stay hydrated and cool by eating water dense berries, cucumbers and leafy salads.
Taste – Eating food which is in season and really does taste better. It has been allowed to ripen naturally and picked at the right time and so is packed with freshness and flavour. Think of the perfect bowl of summer strawberries – juicy, sweet and vibrant in colour!
Optimum Nutrition - Seasonal foods are picked at the peak of freshness and have a much higher nutritional content than produce which is out of season. A seasonal diet is diverse and provides your body with a whole host of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which change regularly and benefit your health and wellbeing.
Supporting your body’s immune system - Food which is in season not only tastes better but may also contain ingredients that suit the body's needs for that time of year, such as summer fruits with their antioxidant and natural anti-histamine properties as allergy season is in full bloom.
Education – Once you start eating seasonally you realise just how much variety we have available to us throughout the year and you have a whole new experience in terms of exploring different tastes, textures and learning about seasonal produce.
Get Creative - Keeping to what is seasonal or locally sourced encourages us to be more creative in the way we shop and cook. See naturalkitchenadventures.com for recipe inspiration.
Organic/Free of Pesticides – Food which is grown out of season or not in its natural environment needs help from pesticides, preservatives and other chemicals to grow and also look appealing to consumers in the supermarket. Choosing local and seasonal means you are more likely to get cleaner produce.
Supporting the Environment - Eating with the seasons and buying local helps to support the environment because it reduces the number of miles your food has to travel before it reaches your plate. This in turn helps to reduces pollution.
Feeling Good - There's something instinctive about seasonal eating and following the natural cycle of produce. It also promotes mindful eating and really thinking about what you are putting into your body.
Support Local – Check out your local farmers markets, producers and other specialist shops as well as the Farmdrop service for your seasonal produce