eat with seasons healthy eating seasonal eating fruit vegetables dietitian healthy self Amanda Rigby

Eating With the Seasons – How Eating Seasonally Helps Boost Your Gut Microbiome

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Frustrated over $8 strawberries and blueberries?

I know I feel ya. I’d love to eat fresh berries year round (which is why I’m trying to grow my own strawberries and also have been making a lot of smoothies with frozen berries #hack).

But the reason your strawberries are $8 over the past few months is because they’re out of season!

Good news! We can welcome great prices and quality taste on things like apples, asparagus, avocados, bananas, carrots, celery, kale, kiwi, citrus fruits, strawberries, pineapples, spinach, turnips with the upcoming spring months.

What does it mean to eat seasonally?

Eating seasonally means to change one’s diet in accordance to the foods readily available by nature.

Not only will eating seasonally save you some $$ on your grocery budget, but will provide you with the most delicious, freshest, belly (and environmentally) friendly foods.

Benefits of Eating Seasonally:

Best Flavor– fresh, fully ripened produce has the best flavor, texture, and color. It is just how it was meant to be.

Superior Nutrition – compared to being picked early or grown in less natural conditions, the foods ready in each season have a higher nutrient value because they’ve been given the right amount time to grow and obtain nutrients from the sun and soil.

On average, produce travels anywhere from 2,000-6,000 miles to get to us and our supermarkets! The nutrient density of the foods declines as soon as they are harvested so you can imagine what we are left with. Studies have shown upwards of 70% of nutrients being lost by time we get to it.

Abundance = lower price – When certain foods are plentiful, the price won’t be as high. Say goodbye to your $8 strawberries! It’s also cheaper for farmers to produce. Cash in on this.

Local/Organic – seasonal food is more likely to be grown closer to home which allows you to know where your stuff came from! This also reduces the use of pesticides, herbicides, and genetic modification because it doesn’t need as much ‘help’ to grow or transport.

Variety – eating seasonally allows you for your tastebuds to explore new flavors, helps you pick things you may never have tried, and get creative with making them into your dishes!

Diversity – eating seasonally allows you to provide your gut microbiome with a diverse array of foods – which it loves. Having diversity in the gut helps boost the immune system.

Harmony – once we begin to eat and live by the tune of how nature intended, not only do we become more aware, appreciative, and connected to our food supply, but our bodies thank us.

The foods ready in specific seasons provide exactly what the body needs: detoxification from the long winter of heavier foods (as seen in the plethora of leafy greens in the spring), hydration (as seen with more berries, watermelon, cucumbers in the summer) and cooling (as seen in the emergence of apples in the fall to help rid the body of heat to prepare for winter).

These foods were here before us and will remain here after us – they must be on to something.

Below are a list of foods and their corresponding seasons. Print these and put them on your fridge or shopping list!

image from SNAP-Ed

To eating with the seasons and happy bellies!

xo